Monday, August 25, 2014

Longing, falling, rambling, striving. . . routine...

a recent photo of me...

I'm on a lot of social media these days for my writing "career," and I feel this constant need to update my photos.

You might think it's vanity, but it's not exactly.

Rather, it's this odd combination of social media ennui and the fear that someone will see me at a book signing who has just seen a stale photo of me online and say, MY GOD, I barely recognized you.

This is me. Sort of. Almost. 

This is me, aging. I can picmonkey and photoshop it out all I want, but we know the truth: the computer, my cellphone camera, and me.

I see it everywhere: in the skin around my eyes, on my legs, on the looser paunch around my middle. I feel it everywhere, in my constantly-corrected posture, in my shoulders and my hips. Sure I can photo shop it out for you, but I am stuck with the crueler truth.

This blog post is a ramble. I haven't been here -- to this blog -- in a long time. I'm afraid to look to see how long, for fear it will remind me just how fast time flies.

Of just how little I accomplish compared to what I mean to.

I don't need reminders.
Two good boys. I love them at this age, but it's all loss
and leaving... so crazy hard to bear.

Dropped my son off to college again two days ago. He's a lovely young man.

But, how did the boy go? 

How did this round of goodbyes come so soon again? 

The other one starts his junior year in less than two weeks. Another amazing boy who keeps leaving.

I don't want comfort or platitudes. I just need to purge.

I know how to navigate it for now.

I'll do the routine. Write. Swim. Do laundry.

Some of it pleasure, some necessity, all of it staving things off.

Things that cannot be staved off.

It's nearly September. The month of longing, before the months of cold and hard-to-bear. In it daily, I promise I'm not this morbid and scared. But sitting here, quietly, for a moment, staring it down...

I feel like I'm falling, and I'm so very afraid of the fall.

Me, this summer, about to swim...
oh thank god for the swimming.

Last month I turned fifty.


I swam two 10K's this summer, one actually at least a mile longer than a 10K. 

I turned in my next manuscript to my agent, and am waiting to hear news from my editor.

I did things. I made almost the most of it.

And yet, the questions pound frantic in my chest, the answers almost never really enough:

What next? 

What do I want to still do?

How do I accept it all with grace?

How do I plow forward with bravado, when the days will grow shorter and darker and colder, and each step is just a step closer to leaving,
longing, and
letting go.

- gae


  1. Oh Gae,
    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your journey, your fears, your aching. My older daughter starts her second year in college this morning. My baby girl started 3rd grade. Both are starting in new schools. I forced them into the position that they must make new friends, carve a new space for themselves. The move over the summer is truly for the best, for everyone, but still I feel the angst of whether I am doing all this "right."

    I do not have much to show for the work I've done this summer. My writing sits in electronic purgatory, new characters waiting for development and release while I continue to tinker with their predessors and get new people to pay attention to what I've already accomplished. I do not know if I have the courage and heart to weave together such soul-characters again. For then, I have to tell them good bye, like children set free into the world of criticism and cynicism and commercialism that deems work and individuals worthy by how much revenue they can generate.

    I apologize. I did not mean to highjack your post, but I feel your angst.

  2. Angst loves company. Or at least sits quietly holding its hand. <3

  3. Beautiful. Change always brings sorrow, angst, a sea of emotions until we settle and get grounded again. It's such a raw journey and it takes courage to share it. Thank you.