Helter-Skelter

Trying to recreate my days each morning in my journal is a little like putting a puzzle together. Okay, what was yesterday??

Things/life do seem fragmented – not necessarily for any specific reason but rather from many reasons and getting a stable and productive routine going seems beyond the possibilities. Four lists wait on the kitchen counter – each with only one or two items – scattered messages for scattered tasks.

The squirrels are busy – foraging in the yard, under the oak trees. They seem to have a purpose to what they’re doing – only the year has been so dry and the acorns so few that finding any bounty to store for the winter may take a lot of helter-skelter here and there and checking in hidden corners. And not just for squirrels – drought across much of the farmland and floods in the other part are going to make for a very slim harvest in general.

Some old tasks, however, are getting completed in our house. Along with everything or nothing else, in these past days the dining room chairs are finally getting a face-lift. I bought them for $5 each at a garage sale years ago because of the charming carvings on the back of hummingbirds and a dragon – the chairs relics from some Chinese restaurant at some unknown location. Sturdy, however.

The chairs are getting a paint-job and a swiping with varnish to bring out the carvings, but of course each layer of work needs a day to dry and so far the chairs, while almost finished, are still in pieces – the chairs absent the seat cushions which of course got a redoing too. Caught in fragmentation again!

A poetry manuscript headed for the publisher, however. That was a big deal – putting it together in a way that made sense and “flowed” the euphemism for saying there’s no big gaping holes in whatever form you’re working on. So great!! Yes, of course it’s great, and at least until I hear back from the publisher that the book is accepted and then will need revisions or changes or whatever, or it’s rejected which means it will need to be sent out again to another publisher, I’ve put that project to bed. Or down for a nap which may be a more useful metaphor, given the circumstances.

So what do we do with all this fragmentation? My solution, as I’ve mentioned, is to make lists; my other solution is to pull out the pieces of the whatever next needs doing somehow and laying them out where I can see them. Which of course leads to more fragmentation. It’s not all together yet. What more needs to be found?

And I breathe. That seems to always be my remembered reaction to almost any stress. Breathe. Especially when I hear the tension in my voice raise the pitch!

But I also know others of my friends are dealing with big issues – a mother in a process of actively dying, another mother in a process of actively not being content or well, another out of work for months, another with serious physical problems. And Mother Earth is dealing with war and famine and climate disasters. That helps me remember my fragmentation is pretty small in the long and short of things. For right now, I am safe; my family is safe.

What’s helping you in these days of fragmentation? How are you keeping the pieces of your life glued, even if the seam is a little jagged? What do you do to maintain your peace of mind? I figure if we all have suggestions for each other, we might just, as a community, make it through all this. Whatever “this” is.

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