The sound of my own whining is getting to me. As I look out the window over my desk, the trees are bare, save a few last straggling hangers-on, the wind is whipping the fallen leaves in eddies and whorls, and a forlorn tricycle has been left stranded, forgotten, in the middle of the yard.
It’s a adequate snap-shot of my inner-life.
Yesterday, I noticed people out putting up their Christmas decorations, and for a few minutes, I was puzzled- why would anyone decorate this early? Perplexed over the date for a few seconds, I realized Thanksgiving is next week- and it’s me, not the world, that’s off. What this also means is I have another dupioni dress to make before next Wednesday, and I thought I had a lot of time. I hate those dresses.
Thanksgiving this year has been entirely handed over to the capable and loving hands of friends. For the first time in my life, I realized I am dangerously close to the end of my proverbial rope. Admitting it is the hardest part. Thinking about the Thanksgiving spread and the work it entails, work I usually enjoy, I felt I was drowning and couldn’t breathe. Friends to the rescue- when I confessed my panic, they took the whole thing from me and all I have to do is show up. That’s love.
Being this close to the edge is like having a tattered, antique velvet purse hanging around my neck. In the old, fraying bag is all my pain and hurt and loss and anger and stress and fear from this year, and I wear it everywhere I go. People around me see it, but they don’t know what’s in it. The raveling edges and straps leave me in constant fear it may break, and all my messy secrets might spill on the floor for all to see, laying me bare and raw.
People talk about the holidays- I hug my purse tighter, and put on a smile. People talk of sales and Christmas shopping and gifts they’ve already bought- I feel a small hole in the bottom of the sac give a little. People talk of donating time and money to the children in need- and I hope they don’t see us in line- and my purse feels heavier. Fundraiser fliers come home from school with the kids, and I crumple them quickly, wishing I could stuff them in my purse, too. Emails come in, asking us to adopt a family, help the needy, contribute to a team, sponsor a marathon, and my purse slips from my shoulder, landing like lead in my lap.