I was chatting with my dad this weekend and he was asking me questions about Arcata, none of which I knew the answers to. Population? Um… College enrollment numbers? Um… Industries? Um…
After I hung up, I went to wikipedia and read about Arcata for a little while, so I now know the population is somewhere around 17,000, about half of which is related to the university in one way or another, and that the “industry” is, in fact, the university. I also know that the average high temperature — all year long! — is in the 50s or 60s. All year long!
In September, which is the hottest month of the year here, the high temperature will be 62. And in January, the coldest month of the year, it will be 53. Ironically, that’s almost perfect weather for living in a van. On the other hand, with the low of 42 in January, I’d probably be quite happy to be in my cozy tiny house. (Except that I’m still planning on being back in Florida by then.)
Tank would be quite happy to be in my cozy tiny house, too, but he is slowly adapting to his own house. Okay, so the picture doesn’t show that, but I’ve caught him curled up in his own house at least a few times. And I’ve relented and let him into my house only when the rain was really pouring down. I’m not sure he’s figured out what the secret is, but at least he’s not trying to run in every time I open the door.
Now that I’m finally mostly done with house projects, I’m trying to get back to my writing projects. It hasn’t been easy. I want to write fun and joyful books, the kind of thing that you finish with a happy sigh, with maybe a chuckle of two of delight along the way, but every time I try to give my brain room to create, it falls into terrible spirals of self-loathing. In our culture’s stories, if your child rejects you, you must be a really horrible person. Even if you can turn it around and say, well, a child who rejects the mother who loved him is probably a horrible person, then you’ve raised a horrible person and that’s just as bad. Either way, horrible all around.
It’s not very conducive to writing joy, so I’m thinking I should probably write horror for a while. Something with lots of very gruesome murders, innocent people suffering but the bad guys getting theirs in the end. It feels like it might be very satisfying to commit lots of virtual murders. I suppose the alternative might be to play lots of video games for a while, but writing out my hurt and anger would be cheaper. And possibly more productive. Not emotionally productive — I told a friend yesterday that I didn’t see the point in therapy right now, because I saw no hope for change: my sense of betrayal is so deep that I don’t see how I ever recover from it. But there’s obviously a market for books with gruesome murders — a much bigger market, in fact, than that for books that try to delight. That said, I’m really tired of living in my head. I might need to look for more house projects to do instead.
Beautiful Azalea!! IMHO, stories about Grace and Tassamara would be ever so much better!
I’ve got one started, but I’m not getting very far with it. I’ll keep trying, though!
Well, the situation with your son is very upsetting so it’s not surprising that it weighs heavy on your mind.
The climate where you are is insanely perfect! And I thought we were lucky here in Vancouver, Canada, where it usually doesn’t get colder than freezing in winter (on the rare occasions that it snows, the whole city pretty much shuts down) or hotter than 22C/72F in summer.
In the grand scheme of things, I can tell myself all I like about how lucky I am — which is true — but it always hurts to be rejected, and being rejected by someone that you’ve loved so much is particularly brutal. Spirals of self-loathing, I tell you! But I’m trying hard to appreciate where I am and not let myself wallow. Vancouver probably has a very similar climate — it’s super foggy here, that’s another random fact from Wikipedia. The local airport is one of the foggiest in the world, with frequent fog delays!
My heart is sad for you.
I had been planning on a trip to northern California and Oregon in September. The anchor motivating part of the journey was Astoria, Oregon and it has been postponed til 2021. I still want to do the rest of the trip (Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco) but I’m going to hang tight for a while to see how life develops.
Long story short, if I’m out there, I’d love to build in some Wendy time.
That would be wonderful! I’m definitely planning to still be here in September and would be happy to come down to the Bay Area or move into Serenity for a few days and let you take over Serendipity if you wanted to visit Arcata. It would be great to see you.
My heart breaks for you. I don’t believe you are a horrible person and I don’t think you raised a horrible person. I think you are going through a horrible experience. I have no idea what is going on, I don’t think you know much either. I hope it’s just growing pains and that you reconnect soon. No matter what, there is always hope. You go ahead and write whatever you need to write to let it all out. You are not alone. We all carry pain and I imagine that your stories will resonate with many of us. And if I’m wrong, that’s OK too. You take care of you.
I hope you find peace.
Thank you so much!
I just read a gruesome horrible book. I won’t read another by this author. It was very well written but I don’t want to live in that world long enough to read a book never mind write one.
Have you tried some writing prompts?
I haven’t — I have so many projects underway, I don’t really want to start yet another. My problem is always finishing, never beginning. But it’s a good idea and if I stay stuck, I will!
Linda Cal said:
My biggest secret dread was that my kids would reject me. The period of nest-leaving is wrenching for all. We’ve never been estranged but I must say, when they became parents, they each said “Ah, now I get it; everything you did was out of love.” I hope that happens for you; outgrowing parents is one thing, adulting is quite another.
You know, it never even occurred to me as a possibility that my son would reject me. I always thought we liked one another, I was completely shocked to discover that feeling wasn’t mutual. And I’m still mystified that he’s not even capable of basic politeness and respect — I feel like the kid I raised has just become a complete stranger. But thank you for your hopes — I hope so, too. And I’m glad your kids figured it out!