Darkness covered everything. The sky, the news, my heart.
I had a tough week. I've been working on better physical fitness in a variety of ways this summer with very little to measurably show for it and it was frustrating as hell, culminating in me tripping, (while jogging which I'm adding back into my routine) and scraping up my knee and the palm of one hand. (I posted a picture at the bottom of my skinned knee - be warned if you don't like to see a bit of blood.)
It's hard not to feel punished for trying to do all the right things. Especially when it was on day 2 of getting Harper out and moving before school. I had been looking for a way to get her more physically active and one way is to get out before school and do a walk or a bike ride. Tuesday she had suggested jogging down to the bagel store to get bagels for her and Kurt. Cool! So she and I did and when we were almost to the bagel store, I tripped on the curb while crossing the street.
A lot of self loathing seems to just pop right out when something like that happens. And I let myself feel shitty for a few days. It happened on Tuesday and I finally came out of that gloom on Friday. Some of you know I'm a starry eyed optimist and I mostly am, though it's been extra challenging to be so in these last six months.
Oh yeah, it's been six months since our lock down.
So did I find a silver lining to me falling on my proverbial ass? Yes. I found I was hardly sore at all from falling. I braced with my left arm so those shoulder muscles were sore the next afternoon, but that was it. Maybe my extra efforts in physical fitness did pay off. Fine. But did the universe have to make me TRIP AND FALL to discover this?
There is a metaphor for "bringing me down to earth" somewhere in there, but I can't make it work. You tell me.
The physical world exacerbated my interior world's gloom with smoky yellow skies all week. Either Tuesday or Wednesday was the day that was most oppressive. I couldn't ever tell what time it was, and while not nearly as dramatic as Northern California with its Blade Runner skies, it was enough to feel smothered. This is from Monday morning, when you could see the sun. It got worse before it got slightly better by Sunday when there was an actual bit of sunshine, but it's still bad.
I felt shitty this week, but at least we are not under evacuation warnings like friends closer to the fires burning east of Pasadena.
So what did I do to distract myself? Over the holiday weekend (Labor Day) the texting group I work with was closed. So I wrote postcards for Amy McGrath in Kentucky. During the week I worked a whole bunch of shifts as moderator with the group and that makes me feel good, feel useful, feel busy.
This message on my walk path bolsters my resolve to keep working hard for positive change.
School continued to build momentum, becoming a routine that Harper is getting used to (and me too). I made school lunches more fun by going old school with cafeteria trays.
I made lunch one day for her and found a little more balance. I think.
I don't have a picture of it, but during the 1/2 hour for lunch they get, Harper likes to sit on the couch, coffee table pulled close to her, lunch tray at hand, knees up, book on lap. Reading and eating. Fantastic.
Harper and Kurt did some chemistry experiments from the kit Harper got the week before. Safety goggles and apron in place.
Harper also drew a picture in the thank you card to Kelly, sender of the chemistry kit. (Picture is of the box the kit came in)
The day before my fall, Harper and I went out for a bike ride.
We rode to school and visited Arnie, the best dog. He lives a block from school and we would always stop to pet him on our way in on regular school days. We miss Arnie. Then I made us ride around the school block three times for an extra bit of cycling.
School. (with cat in box)
Other artwork this week included this waterwork.
This image she drew of her playing Roblox via Zoom with her friend Violet last weekend. (Harper is allowed to play Roblox once a week with friends.) I like the wheels on the chair.
But my favorite was from her after school art class on Thursdays. They are learning about Magritte and doing paintings after his. Here is Harper's:
Based on Magritte's Sky Birds.
I put her painting in a spot where I can see it from my desk.
Last year she did a painting based on Picasso that blew our minds. And yes we had it framed.
I'm going to keep on encouraging (and signing her up for) art classes.
Harper found more money in her room and promptly bought a new toy. "I guess I still like dolls." She said.
Willoughby has been very affectionate lately. Not sure if she's forgiven us for Mr. Biscuit or if she's just softening me up to make it easier to murder me in my sleep.
More outside time for Mr. B and Willoughby. He discovered her in the tree but has not figured out how to climb it.
We went to the bike park on Saturday, just the three of us, just to get out of the house after being kept in by smoky apocalyptic skies for so long. No pics, but we had a nice time playing petanque (or bocce, whichever language you prefer). We were invited to a kid's birthday party for this coming weekend, but said no as it was going to be too many kids/parents. Even with the invite saying "masks and social distancing." Couldn't do it. Not going to tell Harper she missed it. Ugh. So tough, but after the last get together with some of the kids/parents and us being the only mask wearers, we just have to say no.
I also spent the weekend working very hard on sending texts out with the text group. We did a huge program on vote by mail education in Florida and Georgia. I also did a lot of hours working in the slack texting group, moderating and helping other volunteers. That felt good. Lots more of that this week as well.
I am healing myself with lots of houseplants. (The ones in the far background are fake, but make a lovely splash of green nonetheless.) I'm going to ask Kurt to get me another little plant (like the one in front here) today when he goes to TJs. They make me so happy and the peace Lily has TWO flowers on it now!
P E A C E.
Warning....slightly scraped and bloody kneed image below. Not as gruesome as you imagine.