Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random thoughts with string accompaniment

I get restless when I don’t post anything. That means I’m writing this without there necessarily being anything worth saying. But it relieves my mind and by golly why else did I start this blog anyway?
  1. Last night the second graders put on a little musical. Firecracker was so excited because she had a speaking role, delivering a line about “strng and compassion.” Yes, that’s what it sounded like. I showed up with a nearly dead cell phone and a nearly dead camera. Of course all the other parents had whipped out their camcorders. I’m the mom who still has all her photos in boxes instead of albums. I can’t concentrate on watching and recording so I thought “screw it.” The kids sang about recycling and diversity. It was almost like being back in the 70s. They all wore virulent yellow T-shirts, which Firecracker insisted on wearing again today.
  2. Firecracker now has a cape and some fake blood so that she can be a vampire for Halloween. DramaQueen will be a vampire slayer. We have still to fashion a stake and find some way for her to carry that along with her “holy water” (a spray bottle which we will label and she can use to annoy her fellow trick or treaters). DramaQueen is into verisimilitude, but she told me that it “doesn’t have to be real holy water.” Thanks, sweetie. Firecracker told me quite firmly that she doesn’t want fake blood on her face, which kinda defeats the purpose of buying it. Perhaps I should just have her carry around a little faux juice pouch of blood. The new generation of vampires knows how impossible it is to get blood out of a good white shirt.
  3. The Halloween store had some truly disgusting set pieces, including one of a man being eaten alive by rats. The contrast between that and the toddler ladybug costumes was disconcerting. It made me want to shake some sense into someone.
  4. My therapist thinks I should try something called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Instead of struggling with negative feelings and trying to fix my various problems, I am to observe them with a sort of Zen-like detachment and get on with whatever needs doing. I’m not great at letting my feelings float by like debris in a stream (they tends to swim around in me as if I were an aquarium), but I was struck by the novelty of simply giving up on trying to control depression and anxiety. Easier said than done. Right now I feel anxiety smoking out the long-suffering residents of my internal world. I did try to visualize my anxiety, which for some reason appeared to me as a green lima-bean shaped velvet cushion.
  5. One problem is that I really don’t know what needs to be done at the moment. I have a lull in my workload. That makes me feel guilty, as if I should find some envelopes to lick. So I’m listening to a very odd CD by Final Fantasy, who is actually a violinist named Owen Pallett, who I gather did the string arrangement for one of Arcade Fire’s albums. In live performances he plays his violin into a sampler and then plays over that. I love hearing the violin, so I’m enjoying this. That’s one of the reasons I like Patrick Wolf, too, as he uses a violin so frequently. Anyway, here is Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy doing strange things with a violin.


  1. Your lima bean velvet cushion sounds actually rather nice; mine is more of a calthrop kind of thing. Hey ho, there's the issue with visualising things!

  2. I like your a green lima-bean shaped velvet cushion. The next time I can't sleep I'll try visualizing that instead of my own anxieties.

  3. A green lima bean shaped cushion? Well I suppose there are worse things you could have pictured but why this? Hmm, interesting.
    You keep blogging away to your hearts content - I swear my blood pressure has come down since I started - the best therapy there is, for me anyway.

  4. Keep writing. I love hearing about Firecracker. I so identify with you as a mother, esp. with those boxes of pictures. Your children are still young--think of all my boxes with four children now between the ages of 30 and (almost) 20!Maybe that can give you a laugh or a snicker.

    When I struggled with anxiety and depression in the 1990's, I still remember my therapist told me to ask myself:
    1. Am I safe right now?
    2. Who is in charge?
    That would pull me up short for awhile until I had to ask myself again, maybe minutes later.

  5. I think you're onto something with this orchestral accompaniment to add some excitement to the blogging process. I'm going to start auditioning musicians.

  6. I know you love your music on this blog so thought I'd tell you about this other blog I've discovered - the minute you open the page (is that the correct term? Anyway, you know what I mean) music is automatically played at a very loud volume. Click on to make a comment, the music stops only to start from the very beginning again.

  7. Zen, Nancy and Petty: Today I imagined some particular strand of anxiety as a pillow made of fluffy yarn with sparkly beads.

    JP: Maybe you should have an orchestra - classy.

    Petty: That sounds like a nightmare. You know, when you try to surreptitiously open up a page at work and all of sudden music blares out at you. Embarrassing.

  8. Fluffy yarn with sparkly beads - now theres something I can relate to.

  9. Oh my gosh, for part of this blog entry, I felt like I was writing it! *smiles* I, too, have struggled with bouts of anxiety and depression in the past. I used to get panic attacks often...but I haven't had any for a while now.

    Hey, if you'd like to e-mail me so we can chat about our experiences and helpful hints for anxiety/depression, please don't hesitate to do so--I'm at ciwanski@hotmail.com.

    Also, I almost laughed out loud when I read this: "I have a lull in my workload. That makes me feel guilty, as if I should find some envelopes to lick." I SO felt like that a few weeks ago. Now my volume at work has really picked up, but I hate it when I'm not busy--it makes me feel guilty, too.

    Also, you might find the book "From Panic to Power" helpful. I swear, it changed my life.

  10. Hi there Miss H. I will do just that. Thanks for offering. I'm glad you enjoyed.