Strudel fell into a hole on my street last week and sprained her ankle. Fortunately it was a very light sprain. I sprained my ankle a couple of years ago and Strudel theorizes it was the same hole. I don’t believe it–my street (and most Seattle streets) has lots of holes! Lucky for her, it was a very light sprain. It poofed up very dramatically on the first day, turned an alarming shade of yellow quickly, and then she was walking on it with no pain by day three. Lucky kid. A couple of years ago I don’t think she’d have healed up quite so quickly.

I don’t feel any of my old aches and pains anymore, which frees me up to make new ones. I am just at the beginning of the 100 Push Ups challenge. It used to hurt to do push ups, but I did them anyway, sometimes. My back, my elbows, my shoulders. Now I only stop when my muscles do. Franny and I watched American Psycho late last night and it was okay. I thought she would like it because she enjoys horror and “mindfuck” movies. What I really enjoyed was Patrick Bateman and his “I can do 1000 sit ups now.” I used to think bodies like his were genetic outliers or Hollywood magic. Now, I think I can get about as fit as time and my motivation will allow.

I used to have a very vivid “life of the mind” to the extent I was able, and even that was fading at the end, as my thought processes became increasingly clouded. I think I’m still mourning my old, more destructive, and just plain different former self. Anyone who has been reading me or knows me knows that I am a doer, and if I see a door I want to do through it. I see a lot of different doors now, and I am not hobbled by confusion or anxiety most of the time anymore. Discovering that I can do math this year (not fantastically, but well enough) and that my body will actually get fitter and do what I want–it’s pretty empowering.

I am left with so many questions. I believe people can change, or at least change their own lives. But now I wonder, who am I? Who was I for 30+ years? Was that really me? Am I a fake me now? How much do I sound like a stoned 15-year-old in someone’s basement, listening to Black Sabbath. (A: A lot.)

There’s a lot of before and after in life. I can think of before children, and after. Before divorce, and after. Hell, even before and after dogs was another big one. I am trying to accept this as another before and after, but it is taking time.

So. Up betimes and alone. P. is out of town (Portland). I wish I could have enjoyed the bed a bit more, but the dogs just smash up against me regardless, so by the time I wake up, I am on my customary 1/4 of the bed.

I watered the yard this morning and everything was looking very pretty.

We used to live a block from the rose garden, and when they switched over to not spraying, we watched our favorite roses very carefully to see which ones would continue to thrive without pesticides. Hot cocoa (above) seems to be one of the winners in our yard, as it was in the rose garden. “Silver” roses are my favorite but I am told they are very tricky here. I tried to plant ones that are made for the PNW.

Everything in the yard is absolutely going gangbusters this year. A hot summer is predicted. I am happy either way, as long as it’s dry. In 2009 my router melted. In 2006 I remember it was a glorious year for tomatoes. These things seem to cycle every few years.

I’m really enjoying doing this lately:

I’m not sure I’ll go back to fillets now. I was always daunted by the cost of a whole fish, and the…wholeness. Now I just walk in and ask them to scale and fin it, take it home, and stuff it with aromatics. This salmon was $40.00 (4 lbs.). We get about 4 dinners out of a fish like this. So it ends up being about $2.50 per serving. That’ll work. I figure if I can make giant roasts and always work with whole birds, then this is doable too. The fennel is from my garden! Since I’m not working right now, I am challenging myself to use every bit of everything. I mentioned I made gravlax recently and I dehydrated the skins and saved them for the dogs as treats. No wonder they like to sleep smashed up next to me.

The bees in the purple hive were also up beetimes. They are lean, mean buzzy machines over there now. It’s impressive. Franny helped me work the bees yesterday and it was really fun. She did great. She did say she was worried about getting stung, of course, but neither of us did. The comb hole that P. and I left last week was almost completely closed up. I’m not worried about them right now because I see a great variety of babies, pollen, and nectar, including some capped honey. You can hear the chickens singing along in the background.

I trimmed the roses out front around tax day, as some people say you should. It’s the first time I’ve touched them since I moved in. There was a lot of cross-caning and dead wood. This year they are looking great and are very pretty next to the raspberries. Year three here is when everything is taking off, plant and manimal.

6 thoughts on “Intoxicating

  1. That whole fish looks lovely and so does your post, especially the before and after part(s). Thanks.

  2. Having recently undergone and being in the process of a similarly physically transformative process, it really does strike fear into you. I think it underscores more than we are comfortable with the fact that we are our bodies. Even as an atheist, coming to terms with how dependent my inner life is on muscles and membranes and chemicals is awe-inspiring and somewhat terrifying. We’re all going to die someday. The narrative of the mind is a construct. Pass the joint.

  3. Dotty: I am not sure if it’s more fear? Maybe just different fear. I used to think I would die having a stroke or shitting blood like my relatives (with my allergies/health issues) and now I can maybe look forward to a new and exciting way to cack it. Now with fewer aches and pains!! But the whole process is awe-inspiring, as you say. I am certainly inspired by your feats in your class!!

    suenos: :) Thank you!

  4. I suppose I process uncertainty as fear in some ways. Not adrenaline fear, more like a general existential intimidation. Perhaps it has to do with what features we decide to be part of our identity. You probably never identified as foggy-headed, but I was reading wildly into your comment about doubt in your younger self’s motivations. I definitely think the idea of not having a set in stone identity is scary, but I’ve had less time to come to terms with it.
    I’m doing what I can with the time frame I am given d:

  5. Oh yeah, life is becoming a lesson in “let’s just rip that plan out from under you.” I tell my friends I feel like I had a personality or brain transplant and I am trying to get to know my new self. It’s like a horror story where someone gets a heart transplant and they get all weird. Some things are blindingly clear and obvious to me now, and others are still surrounded by the fog of war. Some things I don’t care about at all.

    When I was 19 I had a 30-year plan. What’s survived is that I still want to open an inn/b&b someday. I don’t know if that will come to pass, but I am working towards it. I think the next stage of my education and career plans will actually help with that. What will happen in between?? I don’t know. Now I feel like you need a 10/20 year plan and a “next week” plan and everything else will probably not happen at all like the gyspy lady said.

    I would like a break from my existential angst but I am not even drinking right now. It’s full blast or asleep. Exhausting. :D

  6. Imma send you an email about some news I got today…maybe you’ll still be awake. I guess it’s not too late there.

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