Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Hiatus

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ...

Philippians 2:1-30

I’m taking the advice of certain family members and turning portions of my blog into book-format. The happy parts. I’m going to self-publish all of ONE copy for my grandmother, who recently referred to the world wide web as the “internment.” (There may be some deep symbolic meaning there.) Obviously, she has never been on the “internment.” Therefore, if Mohammed can’t go to the mountain, let the mountain come to Mohammed.

I was trying to paste the posts together into a cohesive storyline, filling awkward gaps with the words “In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo.” I’ve since given that up and am creating a book of “essays.” There will be more pictures than words, actually.

I’m going to take a short blogging break. A blogging sabbatical. I’m off to Italy with my sister-in-law, Lisa. (I warned you, Scott.)

I’m kidding, of course. I’ll be at home paying more attention to my house and my kids and less attention to me.

I’m so sick of me. I’m sick of my petty problems: my disenchantment with my role as the proverbial housewife; my constant yo-yo dieting; my insomnia; my overall sense of restlessness; my horrible jealousy of people who seem so damn happy. I’m jealous of their vacation pictures and their tans and their clean houses and their contentment. I am a terrible person!

You can take your arrogant jerks, your narcissistic beauty queens, your know-it-alls who give constant, unsolicited advice, because here's the God's honest truth: there is no one more self-absorbed than the depressed person.

I’m tired of "playing" Sylvia Plath. Because, in the end, I'm a crappy poet and, more importantly, she really failed as a mother.

So, I’m stepping back a bit, going into full-fledged nesting mode for the new puppy, taking my kids outside to enjoy the last remnants of good weather, making out with my husband, and putting wallpaper over all of the mirrors in my house. Seriously.

I’m off to the p-word. Because it just hasn’t been a good summer. And I can’t do another bad winter.

I need to be of one mind.

I’ll be back when the twins are potty-trained. (Give me a couple weeks.)

In the interim, please peruse the archives or check out the amazing bloggers listed on my blog roll. Or, get off the “internment!” You’re probably supposed to be working or spending time with your family or something.

And, finally, because I’ve been meaning to imbue a little culture into my blog, I leave you with what is probably my very favorite poem of all time. It’s depressing. Go figure.

(I so want the mermaids to sing to me.)

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all." . . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


Jessica said...

I look forward to your return in a few weeks. And turning blog entries into a book is a great idea. In the meantime I could use some wallpaper for my mirrors too (seriously)!
Enjoy nesting and all that :)
Much love to you!! <3

Holly said...

Thanks, Jessica. And thank you for commenting. Nice to know I'm not writing to the great, vast, void!

Anonymous said...

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock's Mistress

Here we shall wait, you and I,
And settle our heads against a pillow as we lie
Waiting, waiting for love...

J. Alfred! Why doth thou hesitate!
I need thee now, I cannot wait!
I am aroused when I see him ascend the stair
(And see that glistening bald spot in the middle of his hair)
And yet you tarry; come love make speed
For it is you I desperately need!

At night, with the cat by my side
I ask, 'If he loves me, why does he hide? '
It is true he is not apt with speech
But those ready-made words are within his reach.
He may not be Hamlet, but who needs to be
When all he has to say is that he loves me!

I pray for the day he will take my hand
And upon my finger fit a wedding band.

Had we had world enough, and Time,
This coyness, J. Alfred, would be no crime.
And while my beauty today would glimmer
(That's what you'd say) , Tomorrow, it shall be dimmer.
I want everyone upon this spinning rock
To see me as Mrs. J. Alfred Prufrock!

But J. Alfred, could it be
That I am not worthy for thee.
Do you look upon me
And not like what you see?

During my daily stairway vigil
I wonder whether dwelling upon you is criminal.
If it is, I accept the fetter
For there is no thought that could be better...

But J. Alfred, could it be
That you lookupon me and not like what you see?

I look into a mirror
And see I made a grave error.
The beauty I think I see
Are just the words you've said to me.
'Your hair is beatiful and fine...'
(It looks like seaborne brine) .
'Your body is soft and fair...'
(It is oddly shaped like a pear) .

I truly want to be
The image in the mirror you wished to see.

No! I am not Helen of Troy!
My grotesque self is why you are coy.
It is in bed, Meneleus would stay
If, by Paris, I were whisked away.
These blistered and chapped lips
Could never set sail a thousand ships.

I grow dull; I am past my prime;
I'll use coffee spoons to measure out time.
I'll bid men nearly grown
To gaze upon me and turn to stone.

And I hoped, hoped for the ring
And for minstrels to dance and sing,
But hopes (it is their nature) are surely dashed
Like a mighty Barque upon the rocky shore; crashed.

Traci Michele said...

I couldn't have said it better. Loved it!

Enjoy your wallpaper-covered mirrors and your family ;-)


Debbie said...

I will miss your blogs but understand completely why you need a blog holiday (so to speak). I will look forward to your return!

Holly said...

Anonymous- love that.

Thank you Traci and Debbie!

Elizabeth said...

Holly, I am very late to this party (I have no idea why these posts didn't show!). I hope the break is what you needed and that you are ready to face the winter ahead. I love your thoughts on Sylvia and the interweb... and all the shiny happy peeps on blogs clearly living "the delusional life".
Take Care my blogging friend.