Wednesday, August 23, 2006


My energy level has been sooooooo lethargic lately. I am over my cold. But I have also not been on the Spicy Lemonade program.

This weekend was cool, but starting Sunday I noticed that after Ozomatli I was ready for a nap. We had been cradled by low-lying clouds (read: fog) all morning and afternoon and I just wanted to go back home and cuddle in my jammies, you know? It was the tail end of my cycle, so I am sure my iron count was a little low.

Monday I got into work and my students had MUCH to finish and one day to finish it. I felt myself moving at a Matrix pace. I could see the train-wreck of frustration coming, but I felt so at peace with it. I was available to troubleshoot and edit and offer tech assistance, but I can't do the work for them. It was really nice to come to a realization that I can't do everything. I won't do everything. I can do what's within my power. And I did just that.

I didn't stay on until a crazy hour of the night scrambling. I was home by the sane time of 10:30 pm. And I proceeded to Luka's to listen to dj Santero play and to scarf down a burger. Luka's makes a tasty burger. I justified eating one because I needed the iron to stave off my lethargy.

I didn't go so far as dancing on Monday. I danced my food from the bar to the main dance floor room. Funny. I watched the world cup in this room. I danced in this room. I said happy birthday and good-bye to O in this room. Luka's has become a part of my landscape. It's cool.

I noshed happily and Santero pulled out some awesome new tracks and some beautiful nods to the latin greats. Towards the end I picked up the Satanic Verses and let the music wash over me. Mmmmm.

I then caught the 851 Late Night Broadway bus into Alameda and walked to my stowed away car. My own personal Park and Ride is on the Alameda residential streets. So much easier to park and connect to the O and then to just have a quick drive home from there. I get enough bus time. This allows me to devour my daily dose of NPR and sometimes Dr. Drew on Loveline.

Slept came immediately Monday night.

Tuesday morning came early and I dressed in a pink, button-down shirt and long black, pin-striped skirt and boots for graduation. My hair is back in twists and I pinned them back. So much to do, but again the Matrix-like acceptance came over me.

My therapist has been on vacation, so it's been 2 weeks since I had her perspective. I miss her, but I haven't had a freak-out. That feels really great, actually. Thursday I'll atch her up on the goings-on.

Graduation came and went. Their video came out great. The certificates were fine. All fine. They didn't invite a lot of folks, so it was an intimate gathering and the board and my executive director thanked myself and my co-worker with calling cards. To reach out and call our families who aren't near us. Right now I am wishing I could just spend an hour or two on the phone laughing with my mom, so the gift is appropriate. I get to see her in two weeks. And I can't wait.

The Hezbollah / Israeli thing hangs heavy in my mind. I wake to the body counts and the cease fire agreement. This war thing confounds me. I hear it happening on a really local level with my youth and hearing about the latest shooting. I wonder if violence intended to snuff our life is part of our DNA or perhaps a defect in our need to have IMMEDIACY. I would hope that our conflict resolution skills are more sophisticated than "Waste the f*cker!!!!!" but it seems to come down to this. That saddens me.

Last night, while I was cleaning up in the office and chatting with Mike about which NPR star he'd hook me up with, and pining over Elvis Costello something fierce, I collected my things. It was almost 8 pm and I wanted to be home by 10. I got on the bus, absentmindedly. I took out my knitting needles and became engrossed in them. The puzzle I was trying to solve?
I wanted to get past the casting on row of stitches.

For some reason I picked up the knitting book I've had for a year or so on Sunday after the concert. And I was so pleased to wind a yarn ball! I had never done anything like it before. MY crafts have been collaging and some beadwork, but never any needle work. I would love to be able to reproduce the fishing nets that are decorative of Puerto Rican folklore. That will probably require a crocheting needle, but this is what I had and I took the skein of yarn and wound a beautiful blue acrylic yarn ball. Then I fiddled with the knot and beginning stiches. I barely got a row done on Sunday.

Monday I played more...I knit a cast on row, and undid it. Then I knit it again and I marveled at the row. Knitting is essentially a chaining of loops. I was trying to visualize the chaining of loops to begin row two. My mind didn't wrap around the illustration in the book. I brought the two tips of my needles together, but somehow the tail of yarn I left between them wasn't correct.

I puzzled and puzzled.

Then, without a thought, my second row connected on the bus yesterday.

And I found that I forgot my wallet in the office.

I had to walk back in the cold, get my wallet from my desk drawer, and then got back on the bus. It was a wait, but I continued my stitch. I was knitting and I got to 4 rows as I rode the bus to Alameda.

I was going to drive to Zeli's house to drop off the stuff from Sunday's pic-nic and debauchery (she had me drinking Limonosas at 10:30 in the morning! I have never done such a thing!) and we sat and talked about her move, about her ex-boyfriend, and I asked her about knitting.

Zeli is an amazing woman. She's a strong, dedicated friend with a list of talents that I feel compelled to share. She's humble about her accomplishments and an amazing mothering figure. She's 26 and she cares for me. Tough love to remind me that I am Puerto Rican and I AM worthy. She reminds me that is it my birthright to be proud of myself. We carried recyclables to the curb and then she filled my bag with food from the cupboards she's emptying. She made me tea and gave me a yema - a Puerto Rican candy that is sugared coconut. It's yellowish in color and looks like an egg yolk (yema). SOoooooooooo good.

And we spoke. Like sisters. Like cousins. And I marveled at how confident her words were. She sat in front of me, in her sweat suit and glasses and absolutely radiating strength and determination. And in her presence, I began to feel that about myself.

The hour grew lat, though. And I informed her that I was crashing on her couch. I was going to pull up the blanket and close my eyes and rise early in the morning. She tossed me the pillow that I refused in my martyrdom and I curled up to it. Of course I wanted it, but I always refuse. Why? To seem more polite? She sees through my Latina humility and offers me comfort.

I slept. And then morning came.


Karen said...

I seriously miss knitting. I shouldn't, as the blanket sits on my nightstand, gradually covered in dust. But, since my godson is about to start 1st grade now, and the only little one's I have would tear the thing to shreds, it has somehow lost its urgency. I think I will return to it. For me.

I'm glad you are feeling better and that you are blessed with people like Zeli in your life (of course, she's blessed to have you in her's as well). :-)

densedot said...

"It was really nice to come to a realization that I can't do everything. I won't do everything. I can do what's within my power. And I did just that."

That's VERY powerful, E. You call it lethargy, I call it zen-like acceptance.