spending my whole life gathering grain

Wherein theatre feels the strain

Finally home after a particularly lousy dress rehearsal.

Oh it was bad. Just bad, bad, bad. And that stress. That stress, that heat in your face, that drop in your stomach when the whole theatre is dark except the lights on YOUR SCENE and everything is silent and you know they’re waiting for you and you have NO WORDS.

The past couple years I’ve started getting the early signs of panic attacks when I get up on stage. Not all the time, but often enough that the fear of the attack is as dangerous to me as the fear of actually doing something wrong. Oh God. It just sucked. And I was so nervous. And that’s just not me. Not there. The stage is my safe space. It’s always been my safe space. But tonight I just felt panicky and scared and sick.

Oh and then, THEN!! we were told we were doing PHOTO CALL so please go get into costume. Yeah. No announcement beforehand, so there I am with no makeup on, my hair flat and static-y and full of weird bends from being in a ponytail all day… getting my picture taken for the publicity shots. WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL US BEFORE?! Unreal.

And then, of course, the cool shoulder for missing rehearsal last night due to impassable, snow-covered roads. There was no way I could’ve made it to the theatre in one piece, and I know the director totally gets that. But still: stink eye.

Dammit, dammit.

Wherein nature feels the strain

The muck before the storm.

The muck before the storm.

The roads coming home tonight were slushy and icy. It’s snowing and raining outside. I can’t stop in time. I’m afraid I’ll hit something. I can’t afford to hit something. I’m scared to get behind the wheel. I can’t breathe. And it’s so dark. Outside. Inside. In-inside. It’s just darker and darker all the time.

Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a movie of myself falling out of God’s favor, except that it’s on film, and there’s no projector, just my own hands speeding the frames in front of a light bulb as fast as I can trying to get to the end so it’s just over.

I don’t want to wish my life away. I don’t want to waste away, sleep away, idle away my youth, my life. But for the life of me I can’t find a reason why I should bother. It’s just dark. Dark everywhere. I don’t even want this any more. I don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t like it, and it’s collapsing with no hint of reconstruction, no glimmer of ‘maybe tomorrow will be better.’ Why would I want that? Because it’s called a gift? Why is so much of this gift so shitty? And why has it been that way for so long? Why are my parents suffering when they are so faithful? Why are the good moments so short, so fleeting? Why do I have to be thankful for my QUEST card instead of thankful for a job and a paycheck that enable me to buy my food my own damn self? What am I supposed to be learning out of this?

I feel like I’m whining. I feel like I have no right to be upset since I have all my limbs and my house the bank’s house is still standing. This is ridiculous. I feel guilty for acknowledging my own pain!

From "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by Green and Levithan

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by Green & Levithan

Wherein God

DAMMIT GOD WHERE ARE YOU? I KNOW YOU HEAR ME. I’M TRYING TO HEAR YOU. BUT EVERYTHING IS SO RICKETY AND FALLING APART AND SHITTY THAT HEARING A “STILL SMALL VOICE” JUST ISN’T HAPPENING. You know this. All of this. There’s nothing I can say that you don’t know I’m thinking. Nothing I can feel that you aren’t feeling with me. I am crying into your heart. Weeping into you. You know the state my brain is in. You know my chemical levels. You see this depression. You feel it. You built me. You rebuilt me. And I just want to know how come trying and working hard are never, ever, ever enough? Please. Please! I don’t want to come to the conclusion that there is nothing more to this life than rationing my toilet paper and wearing holes through the thighs of all my jeans, all the while watching the friendlier, happier parts of my personality get chipped off and blown away by yet another contract that doesn’t get signed, by yet another bill that must go unpaid.

Wherein Me

I liked who I was. I miss who I was. I don’t even know what to do with who I am now. I just want to tuck her into bed and tell her I’ll wake her up when this is all over. Please, God. Please. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.

Wherein user error

God, you guys. I just feel so lied to about how this operates. The fact that I even think it “operates” any particular way is probably just another sign of how misled I’ve been. I feel like I’ve been cheated out of the family farm after spending my whole life gathering grain. Useless, useless grain, rotting under all this rain and snow.

I don’t want me to be over. But the alternative is so empty and stupid and sad and disappointing and full of lies and I can’t keep up with the pace and the weight of this bullshit piling up and piling up and piling up.

Wherein Mindy makes a promise

I’m not going to do something stupid. Don’t worry.

Actually I’m probably going to do something worse. I’m going to do nothing. Just… nothing

I count the day’s successes in blog stats, in Facebook game scores, in ferret yawns. I used to be so full of hope. What remains could fit in my shoe.

What a waste.

My mind was on the moon

Mom and I just got home from grandma’s and I realized I left my best scarf there.


It is NOVEMBER in WISCONSIN and I left my warmest, coziest, burgundiest scarf AN HOUR AWAY FROM MY NECK.


My casserole was a hit tonight, because Duh: Who doesn’t love tuna casserole? Grandma and I both had two helpings. Mom, because she is a responsible adult, had only one.

After dinner grandma retired to her chair and mom and I took over the couch where the cat sleeps because I am allergic to cats and was in the mood to snot out a few more gallons before bed. There were bowls of “fun” size Butterfingers and Kit Kats by the couch- Bonus! – so the three of us snacked, chatted, and unmuted the TV for the occasional news update.

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

We were talking about Hurricane Sandy relief efforts when suddenly Grandma doubled over in pain in her chair, clutching her right leg just above her knee. Twitching in pain from whatever was happening, she gasped out that it was a nerve… it hurt so bad… it just happens sometimes… so sorry we have to see her this way…

Mom and I just looked on, helpless, as she waved us away and explained there was nothing we could do or get for her. Nothing we could move out of her way, nothing we could lift or prepare or pour. She shook four nerve pills out of a small bottle and tucked them into her cheek to swallow when she had the energy to refill her water bottle. (She didn’t want us to get it; said she wanted the walk to work out the pain.)

On her way back to her chair the pain flared up again, leaving her curled over the back of a dining room chair, wincing, shaking.

How do you watch somebody do that and not want to just fix it?

I went to her, put a hand on her arm and another on her back. Rub, rub, rub. I wanted to pray with her, but didn’t want her to feel stuck there in case she needed to sit down. Instead of simply praying in my head I argued back and forth with myself about the merits of praying out loud anyway, and whether she’d really feel “stuck” enough to stay and how I shouldn’t over think these things and how too often I under think these things and soon my mind was on the moon.


So instead I just kissed her shoulder and kept rubbing her back ’til she was ready to sit.

Sometimes I just want to find people who hurt and hold on to them really close, really tight, really true. But then, that’s the easy part. Loving them – sacrificially – every day is the hard part.

She took two (prescribed) morphine pills and explained how the doctor told her the only option was to have the nerve cauterized, which would cause her to lose control of the leg. She doesn’t want to not be able to walk, but the pain, she said, the pain comes on so strong and fast and unexpectedly and she can’t live like that, she said. She can’t live like that.

A head in 5 slices, courtesy of Genesis12

“We don’t want to take pills every day, but sometimes we have to. We don’t want to lose control, but sometimes the pain is so bad we have to.”

I came home, answered questions in a social networking help group, soaked in the tub, fed the ferrets, downloaded free books for my Kindle, and missed my scarf. I took no pills. Nothing hurt.

And save for a couple of grouchy sinuses, every single thing worked.