Friday, November 13, 2009

now what?

I think I'll repeat that again as I literally have nothing else to say. Now what? It's a grey rainy day. Looking out my bedroom window the buildings, sky, and low hanging clouds are shades of the same color. Jon's away until tomorrow. The kids are watching Sponge Bob, a show that grates on my nerves and my soul. I have nothing to do.

It's not really that I have nothing to do. I could go get the laundry I forgot in the basement yesterday. And, I could always do more. I could put away the vintage ads and magazines that have been stacked haphazardly on my windowsill for the past couple of weeks—fodder for my last FLOW film that I haven't gotten around to re-filing. I have a couple of FLOW pieces to write, one for a very cool history website, another for an independent publishing blog.

I could take a shower.

I could think about breakfast.

I could clean up, trying hard not to resent that the apartment was sparkling yesterday morning but is now overrun with tufts of wool from Iz's needle felting project, yo-yos and skateboards and more pairs of sneakers than I realized we owned.

I could finish a book. I've gotten into the horrible habit of starting books with great enthusiasm, but never finishing. I must be in the middle of 5 or 6 books at this point.

I could plan out what to say at my FLOW party tomorrow. I'm in pretty serious denial about this one. I have no idea who's coming, if anyone's coming, how many people might show up. It's my first time talking to a crowd about FLOW and I don't know where to start. The studio owner suggested talking about how the book came to be and then reading from it. I spent some time yesterday going through, looking for parts I'd like to share. The problem for me is that Susan did the final polish of the manuscript so it's very often my words dressed up in someone else's clothes that don't fit quite right. To me anyway. I see my ideas, my structure, my process, my thoughts wrapped up in a style that's not mine.

The reality of this party, and the big fancy one at Rizzoli, hasn't sunk in. That this is it. The only concrete things left on the FLOW schedule. All the press we knew about it out. Plenty of reviewers, radio stations, websites, TV producers have copies, but no one's inviting. A few bloggers should be writing about it, but who knows. And that just about sums it up.

Who knows.

Plenty of people I know "know" FLOW is going to be big. Their enthusiasm and support is all that's keeping me above water at the moment. I'm drained beyond belief. It's almost like a post-partum depression settling in. I didn't realize I'd gone through that with Iz, until I read Brooke Shield's piece about it in the New York Times. I was afraid to sit too close to the window with her, or anywhere close to the perimeter upstairs on our roof, for fear I'd toss her out. I never told a soul—terrified there was something horribly wrong with me, that I was having a breakdown I wouldn't recover from. So, I sat in the middle of the room with her for months, until the darkness passed.

I'm not having visions of tossing out my copies of the book, or perhaps tossing them onto a bonfire, but there's a numbness right now that I can't shake. I can't cry. I can't yell. I don't have enough energy to really feel at the moment.

Post publishing depression. I think that's where it's at for me today.

Day 39 is lost in a puddle of greyness.

1 comment:

Lisa Adams said...

First and foremost, I am so sorry today feels like that. It reminds me of the feelings I had when chemo was over. Everyone thinks you "should" be giddy, happy -- after all, something GOOD is happening (chemo over, book launched). And yet, when your life has revolved around something for so long and then it's done, it just doesn't feel like that.

The concept of "anomie" comes to mind... a normlessness.

The fact that you "should" feel happy only makes it worse, because you know the objective reality is different from the subjective one. I wrote a piece titled "Why might cancer patients be depressed about living?" to examine such an issue.

But no matter the analytical reason, you are hurting, and I am sorry for that. I can only hope that the weather will lift and tomorrow will be a better day. In the meantime, know that you have readers who support you...