Muck and Muddle

I hate hormones.  Why anyone would want to replace estrogen once she’s finally lost it is beyond me.  The moods and emotions it produces are so murky.

I feel like I haven’t learned a damn thing about who I am, and I’m almost 50 years old.  Aren’t I supposed to get this right, eventually?

Annie Dillard writes about awakening to her consciousness when she was about 10 years old.  How do you do that at ten?  And remember what it felt like decades later?  The woman must have a brain six times the size of mine.  Here’s a passage I read this morning, from An American Childhood:

“I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years.  I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again.  I woke at intervals until, by that September when Father went down the river, the intervals of waking tipped the scales, and I was more often awake than not.  I noticed this process of waking, and predicted with terrifying logic that one of these years not far away I would be awake continuously and never slip back, and never be free of myself again.

“Consciousness converges with the child as a landing tern touches the outspread feet of its shadow on the sand: precisely, toe hits toe.  The tern folds its wings to sit; its shadow dips and spreads over the sand to meet and cup its breast.

“Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool.  Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms.  The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.”

Why do I feel like I never achieved this perfect fit, this awakened consciousness, not as a child and that I’m struggling to find it still?   The idea of ancient grace that began this blog seems as ethereal and unattainable as ever.  The clumsy truce I’ve maintained with myself wears thin.

Time to cocoon under the blankets and let the snow fall.  Perhaps I’ll emerge as from a chrysalis and feel differently by supper.


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