Lady in the Water


My husband actually sat through it, which is more than he did for "Little Miss Sunshine".  He, of the "Band of Brothers" ilk.

It IS odd.  But then, M. Night Shyamalan is an eccentric guy.  The critics panned the living hell out of it— voted it the worst movie of '06 I think.  Which is unjust, even though it had some extremely goofy sections.  I guess there were areas where a bit of comic relief would've helped.  And maybe it was not a great move for the director to play the character that he chose to play ("self-indulgent").  On the other hand, it's his prerogative, and most people probably don't know who he is so it wouldn't matter. 

Best watched in kid-who-has-read-Joseph-Campbell mode.  It's fantasy. 

Not any worse or self-indulgent than so many other movies around (like say, "War of the Worlds" or "Vanilla Sky").  I think critics were expecting something more…intellectual? and this does have a tinge of that well-made- film-school-project quality about it.  I think they also wrongly accuse him of taking it as seriously as they did.  It's a bedtime story!  Ok, with characters that have an earnestness that would probably be missing in the real world.

If you've seen everything else and you don't know what you feel like watching but nothing too taxing, get some popcorn and enjoy Paul Giamatti in the lead role.  You will appreciate his efforts on this film.

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make it a double.

ahhh, the silvery-gray-blue, shimmering, glimmering, undulating sea…rolling in impossibly smooth ripples across the vast dove-grayness of the horizon.  It's a mesmerizing palette, large slate gray cumulus clouds in the distance…so soft, muted, quiet, soothing…the bath I can't have, but i don't know why.

the beach is a graveyard of shells.  clams large enough to be eaten, and so small they're barely hatched.  all the same but different, like snowflakes.  it's ridiculous to collect them but i have a few.

i used to think about stressful things on my walks.  now i can think about simpler things…it's good…a nice walk isn't always the time to be disturbed, although probably more appropriate than the middle of the night.

i've become such a passive observer, a non-thinker of deep thoughts…one might say, thoughts that matter.  i lack the energy for argument, focusing on staying calm and trying to determine what i should do with the rest of my life.  i still think about what i read, but i don't put forth on the subjects anymore.  i recall a time i was impassioned—i miss that innocence and idealism and intensity.  i also miss the simplicity.  

"the rest of my life"—- a casual phrase generally associated with one's hunt for a suitable partner, real estate, or career.  what to do…how to act, how to feel, how to engage with everyone around me.

i pretty much stopped drinking the past few years, trying to conceive (later, a post about all my friends having babies within the year).  i didn't miss it too much then, knowing it was a matter of choice.  i liked scotch, and wine, not really cocktails.  lately i want a cocktail—a good-tasting, strong concoction, something fruity but not too sweet, robust with alcohols.  it sounds so good to tie one on—it's been so long, but i distinctly recall how nice a good buzz feels—the kind that doesn't whip you the next day.  i do so long for that.  i couldn't join my husband in a birthday bender the other night, and i felt like i should get to.  who knows how many more birthdays i'll have with him?  but, i want to get well.  i still need that attitude as regards dessert—

so, i'm a whiner, passive observer, obsessive worry-wart, procrastinator, indecisive, non-thinker of deep thoughts, wondering what i should do with the rest of my life, needing a cocktail right about now.

NOT a good combination.


"The year rolled on and doesn't bear thinking about.  Suffice to say the words surgery, hospitals, deaths…Go, bad year.  May the stars realign.

"…I am going to Spain for a winter month in Andalucia. Andalucia, land of the orange and the olive tree.  Land of passionate poets and flamenco dancers and late-night dinners wth guitar music in jasmine-scented gardens."

—- Frances Mayes, A Year in the World

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The comfort of strangers

I always have the good intention of getting up and paying a visit to WWM, to thank everyone for their friendship and support, to see their smiling faces, hear their voices, recall a time and place I belonged to.  It's not easy fitting in.  Sometimes it never happens.  But if it does, even for a suspended moment in time, the comfort helps buffer the daily stress of work, even if it's the comfort of strangers.  Those same strangers are often the ones that step up in a time of crisis and show true friendship: bearers of thoughtfulness, compassion, understanding.

So today I thought I would go there, and to the Farmer's Market, but I couldn't get up, and I hadn't written in days. Journaling is time-consuming but necessary, as are all the healing things I resolved to take up again—activities I'd let slide over the holidays, when I felt better.  Where does 8 hours go?  And why can't I seem to budget it properly to squeeze in time to visit my friends? 

I don't think it's laziness.  Maybe it's a certain hesitancy—that I no longer belong, that I have to earn my way back, that I have to physically be there again, for a while, to have those experiences in common again.  And maybe, some folks would rather not have to deal with it, and I understand that completely.

The time between last August and now has flown by for me.  Each day rushes towards me, and past me… I can't seem to hang on.  I suspect that time would go by even faster, were I at work.  There's no slowing it down.  The time between my initial coughing and the diagnosis seemed to take forever, and I waited a lifetime before I could get in with my oncologist (after I ditched the last one).  Then there was the delay caused by my pericardial effusion.  But once chemo began, it was a constant march to the next appointment.  All I wanted to do was get to the next day, get through the side effects and fatigue.  And here I am, almost 6 months later, wondering where the time went.

I can't leave the country, now, when I have the time to travel.  There's taxes and financial things to do, which are deathly boring but necessary.  And then there's the healing stuff, which I'm really supposed to be doing 3 times a day.  I think I'll be back to work soon, so I need to focus now, on this…whatever "this" is.  I think it could be a relief to go to work again, to have that distraction, stimulation, socialization.  It's a form of forgetting.

I'm setting my sights on Monday.  I'll go see my peeps on Monday, when I can spend the weekend baking…

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Blissful Sleep, how you elude me…

"I slept like a rock." 

THAT would be a true luxury for me.  Oh sure, I have the time to sleep all day and all night, but I don't get very good sleep.  Not solid, like a rock.  It figures, right?

Some mornings, Mike's goodbye kiss becomes a sedative.  That kiss before he leaves for work is the door closing on my consciousness.  For about 2 hours I fall into a cement-like snooze which hardens around me, blocking all light, sound, movement…It's heaven.  It's also when the phone starts ringing.

How do I know it's heaven?  For one thing, I feel so much more power (now THERE'S a funny word for me to use) after that 2 hour nap than I feel after a whole week of my regular (not-so-good) sleep.  And, I recall times of absolute, blissful, delicious sleep—back in college, or when I was a teen—after a daylong, strenuous adventure.  I remember loving it, even though my motto then was, You can sleep when you're dead.

Maybe that's what's missing—something strenuous.  A 2-mile walk is physically strenuous to me, but it lacks the mental release.  Maybe I need the concentration and stress that adventure requires.  Additionally, phantom pains keep me up, along with doubts, fears, sadness combined with the urgency to get my financial life in order while I'm of sound mind (hahahahha).  (That's its own post.)  I'm unable to override those disturbances — lack of mental release. 

It's also probably my bed, which is pretty new, and was fairly expensive, but causes pressure points I think.  The worst beds I've ever slept on were in Paris, but I still slept like a rock and woke up painless.  We walked from sun up to midnight though, so that was pure exhaustion.  (The best bed was in Amsterdam.)  I hear those hotel beds are actually not very expensive models (not even the ones at the Four Seasons). 

I miss that lovely, childlike sleep.  I think that alone could cure many of the world's ills.   It's just so hard to come by.  The manipulated sleep of a sedative or exhaustion from treatment is nowhere near the caliber of Original Sleep, Primeval Sleep.  The kind of sleep my husband and my cat have such a talent for.  They're sucking the blinds off the windows and sawing logs…I lie awake, pinned down and sandwiched in on both sides by helicopter motors.

No wonder I can't sleep.

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