Writers fight a myriad of internal battles that are difficult to translate to other people. For example, they often have low self-esteem coupled with an odd form of grandiosity (John Barth: “It’s a combination of an almost obscene self-confidence and an ongoing terror.”); they are intelligent but in unmeasurable ways; they are highly skilled yet have difficulty finding congenial work in the world; they are easy-going in their lifestyle yet have unusual and non-negotiable needs; they enjoy people but are fierce about alone time; they are likable but peculiar."It's like a game of hot potato up there," I said to Jeff, referring to the exchanges occurring between my man and I that are causing us to have the crazy-eyes. What I meant was that he and I have not had enough of our own personal space and that we've been making each other bonkers. "Like rabid dogs" my pal, Amanda Sophie, said.
Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake
The potential for space and growth where I am now is huge. We're on five wooded acres. We have a pond with newts and/or salamanders! We live in the large studio apartment above what is known as "the studio".
On the phone, Amanda Sophie reminded me of something her Grandma said this summer. Her grandma said, "A marriage is not staring into each others' eyes; it is standing next to one another, looking out into the world."
Also on the property, sharing the dirt driveway, is what is known as "the house." "The house" is actually a house, but it was built in the seventies. While assisting with remaking the bathroom I learned that most "middle-class" things built in the seventies were built shoddily and in the fastest, most plasticked way possible. That is why the house interior needs a lot of re-doing and TLC before I'll be settled with it.
Many things must be done prior to the imagined end point. It became apparent to us that we really needed more space a few weeks ago, when I started my typical three-week long PMS cycle. (It's really too long a time for anyone to have to endure the kind of up-and-down that engenders.) For three weeks I become progressively more withdrawn into myself and must have my own territory in order to be peaceful and pleasant. Or I get snappy. And neurotic.
Several solutions to the cramped cabin fevers have been discussed. A temporary fix will involve my retreating to the geo-dome that Hadj built for Burning Man this year. Other, more temporary and crazy sounding fixes have included my retreating to my car, but not driving anywhere, and my crawling into the furthest-back, darkest corner of the very big closet in order to gain the quiet required to keep me sane and kind.
I had an "A-HA!" moment last night when beginning my yoga routine. I know Hadj values planning and forethought prior to introducing new ideas so I thought my presentation through while I opened up in yoga. Since this is my blog though, I don't have to do that for you readers and I'm just going to blurt it out. After all the discussion and changes in plans I finally found the right answer and it is this: I will have the studio apartment as my own.
I'm going to have my own apartment again! And it's right on the property and it'll be filled with my special brand of golden light and it'll be all my own and I will make it magic and filled with me. I'm so excited that now I'm dreaming up and up and up the ways that will be in this apartment when it is mine all mine. Before this answer, all other answers didn't excite me. They distracted me, filled me with uncertainty and longing for something, but I didn't know what.
In some way, I don't learn things. What I mean is that my way of learning seems to really resemble osmosis. Information settles into me, permeates my understanding of the world. Often times, I am taught simple enough information, but it doesn't seem to set on me and I have to be retold in various ways, until I find a way to translate the information within myself so that it does finally settle on me. I don't learn information so much as I intuit information. My ability to read situations and senses is becoming stronger and stronger.
The new situation will evolve. First we have to terrace the front yard with a giant bob-cat construction tool. Hadj and Jeff are particularly excited about this part. I have always enjoyed watching construction crews at work. Next we will erect the geo-dome, a semi-permanent outdoor structure. We will then install a chimney space and the new-to-us wood stove, creating a heat source for the structure. I will be ready, then, to begin inhabiting the intention of the structure for myself. Phase two will involve gently evicting (with ample notice) the two residents in the house and possibly at the same time beginning to remodeling much of the house interior with found objects, paint, and wood. As that happens we will gradually move our home from the studio apartment to the house, and I will move my fairy-grandma craft space out of the geo-dome so Hadj can move into it and make it his art-czar space (my name for it). I will also be redoing the interior of the studio apartment, so it houses my wills, as I move in to it in a new way.
"We're muddying each other," I said to Hadj last night, "like your paints when they don't have the proper containers. We need that much space because we will fill it."
Some worry part of me is concerned that I am being greedy or pretentious about this.
Of course I know that's bullshit.
What I see coming out of this situation is the butterfly I dreamt up in June 2008.