friendship · gratitude · poetry · progress

Toodling Along

So, perhaps it’s the marked decrease in my caffeine intake,
but I feel pretty good. I’m about a 3 or 4 cup-a-day girl, and have been for a
very long time. But, since Monday, I’ve been trying to make… 1 cup a day. I’m
supplementing as much as I need with black tea – but that’s been not all that much. And although I was in bed at 8pm on Tuesday, and had a massive nap on
Monday, I’m wondering if the worst is over or not?
Partly, this is a health thing, partly this is a vanity
thing – I read a few message posts from people saying their skin cleared up
without caffeine, and as embarrassing as it is to say, I still have mild to
moderate bad skin on my back and shoulders, and have since I was a young
teenager. In fact, when I was about 13 and at summer camp, I was so embarrassed
to take of my shirt at the pool that I made up a story that my best friend had
recently drowned and now I had a fear of water. … I don’t think they bought it,
but I never had to go in. I will say, at this point in my life, I’ve given up the hiding – it is what it is, and I do my best, but c’est moi.
The health thing is pretty obvious. Despite the copious
amounts of water that I drink a day, it was recently suggested that I’m still not hydrated enough – Whaddya want me to do,
mainline it?? Caffeine is one of the main culprits in cancelling out my
hydration level.
And so, here we are. It’s an experiment, and we’ll see. But
I liked reading things like “I don’t crash at 3pm anymore” or “Once I was past
two weeks, I felt fine, like I had energy throughout the whole day.” I’ll let
you know.
Other things that may be contributing to my general sense of
calm or low brain activity may be:
I’m almost done with my poetry thesis draft, and will hand it in TONIGHT! It’s basically
a book, is what we have to turn in, and although there are some things that may
be objected to (“It’s not long enough”), I’ll take my chances with what I’ve
got. I actually -almost- like it. Although I’ve been washed overboard by some of the
emotions it arises in me at time, I’ve also found a few moments when I’ve
actually been able to look at it like an editor – with a mildly detached eye
from the content, and more to the flow, what works, what’s extraneous, etc.
That brings me a great amount of relief. And maybe was/is
what this whole project was about. To allow me to get to a place of detachment,
not rejection or dismissal, but of curious observation. Hm, that’s an
interesting poem. Or, yes, I remember that – I’m glad it makes a good piece of
work now. Sure, it’s still my experience, and at the moment it’s still got the
capacity to chuck me off my groundedness, but, I’m learning to dance with that
a little.
Coincidentally, I’m using the “20 minutes on – 5 minutes
off” technique I learned when I was training to be a live art model, although I
didn’t pursue that. But the technique works for writing for an hour (or an hour
and 15 minutes, to be exact). Enough time to get into the work, but not long enough to get mired by it.
And then, 5 minute break. Sometimes I’ve just sat and stared, glassy-eyed and
spun for the 5 minutes. Mostly, I get up, make tea, use the bathroom, move
around a bit. It’s been a useful technique.
And just to round us out, other things on my mind are pretty
positive: I am reading at a poetry/open mic on campus tonight – although what I’m reading I have NO idea, and I haven’t advertised
or invited people mainly because I’ve been so concerned about what on earth I’d
read – not sure if I want to read from my thesis or not, in a 3-5 minute slot, but I might. But I’ll
be happy to be up and out there again.
Also, today is the day that I perform my monologue for my
acting class. It’s Dennis Shepard’s speech from The Laramie Project, about Matthew Shepard’s murder in Laramie, WY back
in 1998. I still remember when it happened, a few folks in the class do, but
most are too young to know about it, being 10 years younger. But the teacher
chose this play, and we each chose a monologue, and I’ve actually, SURPRISE!,
been practicing and reading it over the last two weeks – as a marked difference
from previous auditions when I tried to cram the few days before.
And last, just to say, my very best friend, whom I’ve
written about here before, is coming out to visit from New Jersey in just two
weeks. I’m really excited. Also a bit nervous. 5 days in a studio apartment
with anyone is a lot, but I’m sure it’ll be alright. I’ve learned that
Enterprise Rent-a-Car is actually cheaper than Zipcar if you need it more than
4 hours, and it also takes a debit card, so we’ll be some mobile cats around this fair city.
So, that’s about it. Feeling generally good. A mite nervous
about what on earth I’ll read at tonight’s open mic, but I’m sure it’ll work
out just fine. (I’m even bringing my old chapbooks from last year’s Art Show to
sell – who knows!) 

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