Monday, July 9, 2012

Some Days You Get the Elevator (and Some Days You Get the Shaft)

The hardest part about having a broken foot right now is that it restricts my activity, when being active is the best way I know to keep from sinking into depression.  I so miss swimming, my best mental and physical health strategy for the last 25 years. 

The house isn’t selling after 6 weeks on the market.  I guess it’s going to take someone out of the ordinary to really appreciate what we have created here.  We love our house and think it looks fantastic.  But it isn’t like the standard new house.  We don’t have a large master bedroom.  No garage.  We’re next to some (practically unused) freight tracks.  The Redwood City schools aren’t great.  What we DO have is a wonderful cottage, a very large family room with (gas-starter) fireplace that has housed many, many salons and rituals, an organic vegetable garden, a beautiful kitchen, lots of storage, a hot tub and nice deck.   The problem is we’re in Silicon Valley – and are looking to get out.  Silicon Valley types seem to want more conventional homes.  People who would like our house probably live in Berkeley or Santa Cruz.  There’s not a whole lot to love here any more, other than friends and the weather.

Some days I seem to be able to look more philosophically at my situation.  I’m 3 weeks into healing the foot, so hopefully about halfway through.  We don’t HAVE to move, and we have lots of reasons to be okay here (though living in a staged house is annoying at best).  I have Max’s wedding to look forward to.  And Ruby to cheer me up on our weekly visits.  Having this blog to work on has been helpful.  I know I have so much to be grateful for.  My problems are so small in the general scheme of things.  But guess what?  It doesn’t help when I’m feeling like this.
All my appreciation and philosophy seem to have taken a vacation today. 

This is NOT the kind of blog post I want to write.  All the others so far have had some content I could be happy to put out there.  But, honestly, I’m spending a lot of time, a lot of days or parts of days, in this place, and it feels a little dishonest to only post the stuff that I like or that makes me look thoughtful and on top of it.

I do have to say that I get more depressed when my other symptoms are up, and today’s one of those days.  I HAVE decided I need to stop saying either “I’m sick of this” or “I’m tired of this,” because I don’t think it helps me to not feel either sick, tired or both.  What I’m trying to remember to say is, “I’m ready for this to change.”  I am.  Really ready.  For all of this to change.

Maybe I can at least get a poem out of this.  I haven’t exactly been following Stafford’s poem-a-day method, but I have written quite a few during this period.  So, okay.  Here goes.


David Whyte has been visiting my dreams.
We walk and talk together.
When he spoke at Stanford last month,
he spoke a lot about his friendship with John O’Donohue,
and his grief over the passing.
John, he said, was a philosopher-poet.
He, David, a poet-philosopher.
It is a fine and wonderful distinction.

What am I? – I wonder.
Not a philosopher, really,
though sometimes philosophical.
A poet? 
It’s not my primary calling.
Perhaps I am a priestess-poet,
in a time when neither priestesses nor poets
have an affirmed place.
There are no temples
other than what we create
in our minds, yards, or trees.
Poets are mostly self-published and marginalized.

All I can do
is go out to the garden,
raise my arms to the heavens
as priestesses have always done.
Bow down to the earth to whisper
to the ancestors.
Leave a few lines of poetry
tucked into the flowers.
And acknowledge myself.

Well, it’s something, and it feels good to have written.  It’s funny putting out rough, unedited poems into the ethers.  Well, what have I got to lose?


  1. O.M.G., Maya! I really appreciate the courage it took to write this blog post. Perhaps there was something in the stars yesterday, as I almost wrote a piece about how hard it is to be on disability, how it affects my social life, etc. But try as I might, after 3 attempts I abandoned (or perhaps postponed) the project since I couldn't find a clear way into it. And I thought about putting something on Facebook, and still couldn't get there.

    So I applaud your courage and ability to write about the ick. You are inspiring me yet again. Here's to "going naked in public"!

    love always ~ Gomati

  2. Maya: Would having visitors help the boredom level? You might think about requesting your friends to come and visit.
    Beth Nord

    1. Thanks, Beth. I've had a bunch of visits and Barry does schlep me out some. It all helps!