Yesterday, I attended a meeting. I like these meetings, because this group is populated with such intelligent, friendly women. This kind of space is rare for me, and I am glad to be a part of their organization. With this in mind, you would think I would have been able to pay attention, but I could not.
My mind wandered away and thought about cedillas. You read that right. I thought about the little, diacritical cedilla, that small hook often found dangling under a C: ç. And then, I thought about the tilde that often appears over Ns (ñ) in Spanish words and how it beats the apostrophe hands down, because rather than only having the capacity to replace missing letters within a word, such as in couldn't, the tilde can behave as a character in its own right and replace an entire word, such as in dictionary entries to replace the headword when it is repeated within the entry. And then, there is that delightful hat of a circumflex, which sometimes, though not always, indicates a missing letter in a word that was once there and is no longer, such as in the French hôtel, which used to be hostel. Hey, it says, there was another letter here once, but I'm not going to tell you what it was or why it left. I kind of miss it. Poor little gaffer. He has to point out the holes that no one can see.
I thought about all that and completely forgot that I was in a boardroom filled with a bunch of people with whom I was supposed to be actively making financial decisions. This happens to me a lot lately. It is as though my brain's ability to actively focus its concentration has had a stroke.
You think I am lying, because how would I get from one end of an entry to another if I could not focus my energy? I am slowly learning tricks to remain at least somewhat productive. The main tactic I use is to have several things up in the air at once. I will write a sentence, knit for ten minutes, scoop the cats' litter boxes, hash out five or seven more sentences, read some websites, watch a bit of "Law & Order", have a good run at a paragraph or two, make tea, read a magazine, write some closing lines, talk to the Palinode, edit the entry, knit some rows, and then post the entry.
What used to take me an hour is now spread out over a whole day or two, and by the time I am done, I am rarely confident that I have made much sense. Thankfully, I usually do make sense, but it can take me several hours before I am able go back and see the entry in a linear fashion.
This recent way of experiencing the world has put my confidence on shaky ground. I am not always sure what I mean when I talk or write, which makes me wonder what it is I believe. Why am I here doing this talking and this writing? When I am out of the house, I wonder why I am out, and when I am at home, I wonder why I am not out.
My brain has ceased to be where I am, and it is making me feel like little more than a reactionary sponge, an anxious baby.
But I am suspicious of even that interpretation of how I feel.
Part of me is hopeful that I am really on simmer like a large pot of stew, bubbling away for hours and days until everything gels together in just the right configuration of flavour and consistency. I would like to think that something is happening just outside my line of sight, and that in a week or two weeks or a month I will find myself scribbling out poetry and prose and taking photographs with the storehouse of creativity that has been silently cultivating itself inside my chest.
Right now, though, I worry that this is all I have, that the medication I am taking is also taking me, that we are snakes eating each others' tails.
(This entry is also posted at RealMental.org)