Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What a strange day I had

Today was an interesting day. It was stressful and meeting packed. By all accounts it should’ve been a “bad day”. Three interesting things happened. After saying that, it’s a bit unfair of me to put a disclaimer on this that the following will be both depressing and sentimental, but I feel like I must warn you. I don’t want to put a dejected spin on your day. All too often my own empathetic tendencies have caused me to pick up on another’s unhappiness while reading their words. I’m just saying. You’ve been warned.

While sitting with my boss and the director, on the fourth hour of contract reviews, my stomach was growling, my attention to detail was waning and my motivation to behave was gone. I wanted to be anywhere but in that room with those two women, discussing grace periods, service fees and invoices. Suddenly, I remembered a smell, something like musty cardboard. The smell of the box of Christmas ornaments from December 1987 or 1988. I hear Anne Murry and childrens Christmas carols as we/they, Mum and AP unwrap each delicate orpiment from the tissue paper it had been carefully packed away in the year before. I feel serenely happy as I lay on the couch dangling my feet staring up at some treasured handmade ornament. I can’t quiet recall which ornament it was but I can feel those emotions as those it were all happening right now. Sounds of Mum & AP laughing and singing echoed through my mind and I know that that was one of the happiest moments of my life. Not a care in the world with two of my favorite people. I smile and drift back to the contract possessing more patience and feeling content.
This was so strange. Usually only a half hour of quietly knitting can bring this sort of calm to me. Perhaps it’s those theta brainwaves. It felt somewhat meditative and very surreal.

Later, after rushing through the afternoon flying from issue to issue, I am suddenly filled with the overwhelming urge to hear the Johnny Cash song hurt. A week ago I heard the Nine Inch Nails version and recalled that Johnny Cash had also done the song. I hadn’t thought about it again until today, until 4:39 to be precise. I felt as though I had to find it and listen. Oddly I didn’t just find the audio track on the net, I found the video on Utub. I plug in my headphone and listen to the lyrics of this incredibly sad song about hurting one’s self to experience any feelings. I was humming along, as I typed a work email. No, I need to watch the video, there’s a reason I found the video. So I click over to that screen and there is a very mature Johnny Cash, with gnarled hands and white hair. The video flashes to photos and clips of him in his younger days, then him now singing in profile. Shots of the Cash museum intermixed with a decaying feast and his deep moving voice. I feel sad. Then he turns towards the camera and I notice his crooked nose and that he seems to be singing out of the side of his mouth. I notice that he looks remarkable like my Pepere. I begin to cry. What am I doing, sitting at my desk crying? Why am I remembering the grandfather I barely knew but who loved me with his whole heart? He finishes the song, closes the piano and it fades to black.

Finally, the day ended and I drive to knitting group. I spend 4 hours in what seems like 15 minutes. I feel like a teenager who has fallen in love for the first time. I have feelings for this group of women that I’ve never felt before. While I can be heard to jokingly say “hey, I love you guys!” In many ways it’s true and it shocks me. I’ve had friends before, life long friends whom I treasure. I’ve been part of cliques and teams and felt like my work friends were more like a family than coworkers. But I’ve never felt as relaxed with a group of people before. With them, I am myself. I am a knitter, a sympathetic ear, an organizer, a flake, an opinionated food critic, and a friend. I am all these things with my family and with The Boyfriend but they do not have the same resonance as they do with my fellow knitters. Perhaps it’s the comfort of knitting combined with laughter. Perhaps it’s knowing I am with people who share my all consuming passion for this “craft” and speak my language. Perhaps it is because I’ve never had sisters, or known so many people with so much in common. Perhaps it’s those theta brainwaves again. Whatever the cause it astounds me that I’ve found these souls and that I feel so connected to them in so short a period of time. The realist in me cautions myself to savor our time together, savor our happiness, as all things are transient and the group will not last forever.

And so I end with the same feeling of awe that prompted me to commit these thoughts to paper. What a strange day I had. What odd thoughts. Is there a greater meaning to this? I do not know but I needed to get this down.

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