My new apartment

I relocated recently to an apartment in another building not far from where I was living before.  I had been living on the fifth floor, the top floor.  Now I live on the second floor, the lobby floor, of an eight-story building.  There is a floor below mine that is the ground floor, but Puzzle and I can actually walk out of here via the front entrance without using the elevator, as there are stairs (or a wheelchair ramp) leading to the entrance.

It is a smaller apartment.  I like that.  I have more control over the clutter here.  The apartment is easier to keep clean.  I had to get rid of lots of my belongings to fit into this place, and I’m glad of it.  Sadly, I had to give away my bicycles, but I am no longer able to ride them due to my poor vision.  When looking straight ahead, I cannot see the curb or oncoming vehicles, so common sense told me it was time to stop riding.
I have more control here because the apartment is smaller. I am reminded of the halfway houses I lived in.  The rooms were small.  I had few belongings with me.  It was the same with hospitals; I kept my personal space impeccable.  I find that now I go around the apartment looking for things to straighten, ways to keep my apartment neat and clean.  Scary.

A poem I just located called “Port Townsend”

I recently moved and unearthed some notes from the January 2008 Goddard College residency in Port Townsend, WA that I attended last January.  I did this poem in a workshop.  Here it is out of my notes verbatim:

PORT TOWNSEND, JANUARY2008

Port Townsend

Chilly, not cold like Massachusetts

green, not black and white

muddy as a puppy’s paws

Grass growing alive with stories

lots of white buildings surrounded

by drizzly fizz

Ocean push-pulling on the beach

thoughts of Evil in my head

Port Townsend

So I’ll tell it:

I’ll tell about chilly, not black and white

not cold like Massachusetts,and green–

muddy as a puppy’s paws

Grass growing alive with stories

I’ll tell about lots of white buildings

surrounded by drizzly fizz

I’ll tell about–so sorry am I–

Ocean push-pulling on the beach

A crack of sun–now gone clouded and bare

In my head: Thoughts of Evil

that have nothing to do with you.

“Litany” with a wink at Elizabeth Bishop

Litany

The day I lost my mother’s breast I gained sustenance

The day I lost my way home from school I learned trust

The day I lost my mind I journeyed forth into the world

The day I lost my agility I gained fluency

The day my bones gave out I learned to remember

Lost hair, a pulled tooth, three screws in the right femur

They say a penny lost is another gained

But the day I lost you, Dear, I lost the vessel that held mylife

After I lost that jar, I had no place left forpennies.

Trying to make a comeback

I apologize for the lengthy silence.  Something happened to me a while back that has been consuming my thoughts for some time.  I cannot share it here.


I am no longer taking Lithium.  I am off the stuff for good.  It feels great to rid myself of constant sleepiness.

I also fired my therapist back in June and am in the process of finding a new therapist.  Given the number of unemployed therapists out there, and I know there are a lot, I can’t believe how hard it is to find one.

I am finally able to write again after a long time of frustration and inability to concentrate.  Since around April, I struggled to write.  I wrote about what happened to me, the incident that was bothering me, and that freed me.  I’ve been writing with pencil on lined paper and that seems to work right now.


Readiness

Surely, I am ready for the coming semester.  Readers, doesn’t it seem like I’ve been in graduate school forever?  It’s supposed to only take two years and I’ve been going at it since January 2004.  I have attended six residencies already, and have completed four semesters, with two to go.  I had to do two extra because I changed concentration (from fiction to creative nonfiction) halfway through.

I made the decision to drop the last semester at the end of March.  I was having too many problems.  What have I done since then?  Wasted time?  Sat around feeling sorry for myself?  Stayed in bed?

Perhaps I did stay in bed at times, but here’s what else I did:  I have continued to do my teaching every Thursday.  I knitted a sweater or two for Puzzle.  I started a sweater for myself.  I revised and then completed a chapter of my thesis.  I photographed people and pets in my building, a total of four sittings, and “developed” the photographs myself.  Most came out to my satisfaction and the satisfaction of others.  I took a rigorous online digital photography course that included learning Photoshop Elements, and passed.  I successfully touched up some new and old photographs.  I took hundreds of photographs of Puzzle.  I set up a website for my friends that will be running in full capacity in September.

I must say, Puzzle is awfully cute.  But that aside, I think it’s time to focus my efforts and hit the books.  I’ll be ready, come July, to return to school.

Asking for your opinions

Here is a recent sweater I made for Puzzle.  It is made with Peruvian wool but I added a “fun fur” synthetic trim, which you can see around the back edge in magenta.  Is it too distracting?  Is it too cheap looking to belong together with the beautiful natural wool?  Is the color too bright?  Or is it cute enough to surpass all these problems?  Let me know, because I can easily remove it.  Ideas?