It has been a strange week, a week of shifts and stops. I’ve been doing nothing in the evenings. Not reading or finishing the painting or the story. Not even helping the kids with their homework. I have just been coming in, closing the curtains, and going to sleep. Is that shameful? I am not sure. Perhaps. I set my alarm for four and sleep through it. I wake at five and lay there staring at the ceiling. I am trying to figure something out but I am not sure what it is.
I start Japanese lessons next week. It will be the very first time I have ever attended a Japanese class. I am nervous, actually, nervous because being a student requires a vulnerability and perseverance that I often lack. And yet I really want to be fluent in Japanese. It is difficult living in this strange limbo of knowing enough to get by and understanding what I hear without being able to generate a proper response.
On the other hand, it has been exactly where I like to exist, in the quiet space in between. When people consider you deaf-mute, you are both non-threatening and free from the responsibilities that burden the fluent.
I am leaving the margins. Is that why I fall to sleep so easily every evening? Because I am preparing for something?
Someone I know, someone I see regularly and joke with often, suffered a nervous breakdown this week. I am not sure if that is the proper term for it anymore but until I defined it as such I was having a hard time understanding my malaise.
I feel guilty about it, not because of my role in their psychological crisis, but because my first thought on hearing the news was: thank goodness it wasn’t me. We are all, to paraphrase Issa, looking at flowers while we walk on the roof of hell. It is a mad, mad world and those of us not affected by it are simply numbing ourselves, through substances or overwork or Netflix or positive affirmations. We are all just a few steps away from the edge and sometimes the ground gives out beneath us, even if we think we are maintaining a safe distance.
So perhaps that is why I was going to sleep. I was simply exhausted by the reminder of the truth: none of us are safe. Safety is the illusion we envelope ourselves in just to navigate the sharp crags of life. It’s a nice illusion and it can be useful but it’s an illusion all the same. What I am trying to say is, we are all in this together, with the beauty and the beasts.
Take care of yourselves, dear readers.