A half an hour has passed and I’ve not written a word. In the other room, a CD is playing: “Dharma Collection”. It stores in a red velvet case. I have had it for years and have never quite decided whether I like it.

So it is one of those mornings.

I am hyper aware of the fact that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. There is still no planned trajectory, no curated bits to signal an identity. Hell, I don’t even know what to write on my social media profiles.

I am noticing this morning what I miss now after what seems like two years of unraveling. Building and unraveling, really. Two years? No. Three years.

Two years on medication.

Things are not this bad. It is just another dark morning in what feels like a holding pattern.

I was scrolling on Facebook this morning – something I don’t do very often anymore. Someone posted, “Be careful around unhappy people.” And I thought – yeah, that is why I am not scrolling on Facebook often anymore. Reading comment threads feels too often like watching toddlers scratch and bite over a toy.

Why do I keep going there? The ratio to pleasant interactions/observations to feeding frenzies is not favorable for happiness. Not in my feed at any rate.

Months ago, I disagreed with someone about something, and what sticks in my head (and in the corner of my rib cage) is his, “Why are you trying to pick a fight?” I had to reread what I wrote a dozen times, not seeing how I had done that. Disagreement can’t be tolerated in some places – and it takes time to get a feel for the room, to see who has the “chip on their shoulder”, or what is now the viper you have to be careful not to stumble onto: Don’t tread on me. What a greeting.

I’m not good at taking time to get a feel for the room. From the thousands of potential connections on a “friend”‘s list, and the select 20-or-so that the algorithms presents to, I am beginning to thing that they are chosen by “engagement” statistics. I no longer think of engagement with a positive connotation.

Am I remembering correctly? That we begged Facebook for the angry emoticon?

Since the beginning of Facebook people talked about a need for a sarcasm font. I think that is superfluous. We need an earnestness font.

What point is there in anger and self-righteousness? “Been there, done that,” far too often. And just lately, with my ridiculously sketchy memory, I am not certain of anything – even my own experience – and… I’m finding that it doesn’t really matter most of the time.

My feed looks like one of those centers where people pay to go into a room and throw computers against the wall, or take a sledgehammer to something once-beautiful. I think I read that people don’t actually feel better after this kind of thing. On the contrary. It becomes an almost addictive kind of behavior.

I don’t know. The positive posts that show up in my feed seem saccharine just by virtue of their stark juxtaposition to everything else. Or: poke it carefully with a long stick because it may not be what it appears to be. When the laughing emoji pops up, I assume it is mocking – no doubt because I have used it that way, too.

I do know that I am tired of it all. Literally short-of-breath most of the time. I walk around like Pig-Pen with an aura of crap. I bring it into the room. I see the world through it.

Lately I have been ashamed of myself for all the time I have wasted binge-watching old episodes of ER. Then I log onto the “social network” and read caustic arguments about Madonna’s face. I think watching hour after hour of ER in isolation is better for me then ten minutes of Facebook, if I am going to pick. ER makes me hate myself for being lazy. Facebook makes me hate myself for being a member of the judgmental mob. I find myself, like everyone else, (unconsciously) believing I have a unique and elevated perspective. I use energy to start reasoning it all out, formulating my brilliant insight – more of an exercise of ego than of social service. And either way, completely deluded. My “insight” is a product of the mob mentality. There is no way around that.

They say fish can’t see the ocean they swim in. I wonder if they can see the shit they fill it with?

I liked Twitter. I had a great list. But I left when Musk forced his way into my feed. I miss the contacts I had there. I keep telling myself that choosing not to go to an as*hole’s party, instead of going and saying I will stay in the quiet corner with only my friends is a good choice, and a valid metaphor.

I hated high school. And I never went to a single party in high school. I know that makes me a freak in most people’s eyes. It means there are life skills I never learned. I am not denying that.

Why have I been struggling with social media for over a decade? Didn’t I recognize it?

I heard a podcast yesterday about weak ties and contentment. And I thought of the woman on the cleaning staff at work whom I exchange sincere smiles with every single day. We’ve never spoken except to say good morning – though once I told her her new haircut looked great.

To everyone else, I think I bitch the majority of the time and tell myself it is because we are “close” enough for me to do that.

How screwed up is that?

I’m not blaming Facebook for my state of discontent. It is only one means of self-destruction – as I have constructed it.

There is a lot of concern about AI now. But I think it’s been throwing chum in the water for a long time already. But then: I never went to a party in high school, so maybe there’s no more blood in the water than has been there all along?

I wouldn’t know.

I don’t know much at all. Except now I have an hour before I need to leave for work and am thinking a bubble bath sounds really good.

I’d really like to be squeaky-clean right now.

Virtuous. (←Irony font)

Another slow morning. Curled up in the library chair (my “fancy” wingtip, even-if-it’s-just-Ikea chair) with coffee, the news, and the white noise of the space heater. It would be perfect, if I weren’t lathering myself with guilt because I am still not back to the old routines.

I try shifting my perspective from “whipping myself back into shape” to something kinder, but I am stuck in this shallow spot – measuring my worth with calipers. Feeling broken because of my runner’s knee, baker cyst, shoulder impingement, tension headaches. I feel the muscle tension inside my mouth. Like after a long cry that doesn’t quite empty you, there is this bit of metal still screwed into the roof of you mouth, pulling at your teeth, burning your throat.

I know these things I am dealing with are little things. No-things. There is proof of this everywhere I look. People I love are having to pushing through much harder walls and appear to do so without self-pity. But I circle back to guilt instead of moving through. It is my weird, little me-made vortex of familiar shame.

A familiar is a demon that nestles in the skirts of a witch. In the shape of a cat, a toad, or a chimera.

A familiar wasp, maybe.

Sometimes these lower ranking demons are conferred directly by the devil. Sometimes inherited.

There is this attic. Cluttered and dusty. And there is a wasps’ nest clinging to a rafter. It looks abandoned, but you never know and you’re afraid to sweep away the small corpses scattered on the floor.

Why would anyone deliberately go on a bear hunt?

I have so many conflicting shoulds. And a long list of over-due tasks. I have de-cluttered the house that feels good. I can see the floor in the library now. The desktops are clear in the room we once called the atelier. (Ah, best-laid plans.) But there is still clutter in my head that is like a wall full of post-it notes, each without context of any sort, few I remember writing; like a stack of books I need to read, but can’t remember why; like repressed memories of one-night stands, abandoned acute (and costly) obsessions, and all of the what-was-I-thinkings. There is a fog of grief over every thought these days.

Can’t go around it
Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
We have to go through it

All the things “our” culture has lost. I am not sure what I mean by “our”, really. I’ve got no stories handed down from lap to lap with tiny spoons, in black and white because that is what the past looked like.

I remember getting my hair washed in the kitchen sink. Maybe, just maybe, I remember sitting in the steel sink. I say maybe because I know our minds can assemble sensory information to create new things – that are just as experiential as substantiated memories.

But there are things I can’t fathom into being. My children’s measurement of the past isn’t in black and white. They see one, two generations past in still images – in moving images – in color that looks like I remember it. And I wonder what then gives these moments away as being from “the past” for them. What do they think has been lost, if anything?

In the 1941 films, digitized, AI “enhanced”, and uploaded to YouTube, the women who look vaguely like my grandmother and the picture I have seen of her mother sit around a table and slam the wool against the wood,. They sing a waulking song.

The women have an infantile quality, slightly bloated, smooth – even in old age, wrinkles folding like thick, healthy creases in a baby’s fat thigh. AI has quaint down: the video ends with the credit for the enhancement to Glamour Daze.

Everything seems resilient to the touch. Slightly wet. Like the landscape’s soft moss. Like the wool that keeps one warm none-the-less.

Every time (almost) I go on vacation, I can imagine moving there – living this imagination-enhanced life, where everything is resilient and days and evenings embrace me like a hug. Cosy is the closest English word I can think of. But it isn’t quite right. And because the word I reach for isn’t my mother-tongue, it probably isn’t quite right either. It’s is shaded and textured with colors I can’t see.

Maybe living in the moment means catching all the sensations consciously before they can be processed by memory, by words, by desires. And maybe it means letting them go again – unsorted (good from bad, black from white) without dialing up the contrast.

My grandmother told me that her fondest memories were of doing chores at the children’s home.

My grandmother, though? She couldn’t carry a note to save her life. She only sang in church. Sometimes I think she married my grandfather so his booming, slightly embarrassing, voice would drown her out among the congregation.

But that is neither here nor there. That is just a thought I had that stuck.

It is a full moon and a mild morning. And a walk around the block that I would have done better taking alone. Beginning a new week with old arguments. The kind that rub on the same spot and threaten to fray everything.

Old resentments rush like metal shavings to a magnet.

It is good to remember how the other day I read something about everyone wanting out of their current life – and I thought: nah.

It is a reminder that things will settle again. Probably in the same old painful places, but settled, and the kind of thing you adjust for without too much effort.


I’ve rearranged the furniture in this little library. Put a vase of dried flowers on the little side table. They dried in the vase. 6 months – maybe more.

I can’t decide if they make me sad. Or if they just are. There is a story there that I won’t write.