Sunday, January 23, 2022

notes & things | 1/23/2022

Thankfully, the universe decided to snow yesterday when I had nowhere to be, so this is a small blessing, as is some casual poeming the past few days, despite my "vacation" from daily writing. I am not far enough along to know just yet if this is a good route for the Eliot project, and not what I intended in the fall at all, but I am liking it. It is also loosely about the pandemic, at least as much as bloom and the plague letters were, which I am tired of writing about though, so I don't  know how long I can sustain it before moving on to something else in the hopper that's shinier. By the time this is over, we will all be sick to death of pandemic poems (if it's over, if we're not sick or dead.)

I continue to wrap things up in the library and think about my routines and schedules and what will work best once I am on my own. It's still going to feel like a browser with too many tabs open, but at least there are only 20 instead of like 40. And they are my tabs, which feels important.  The mental energy will be available for the important things, less so for the not-so-important. The productive hours of the day not spent loading ILL bags and answering non-important library e-mails. I think I've always had a bit skewed sort of life.  When I had the studio space, I was there as early as I could get up, then at the library til 10.  Even when I started working on press things at home, my schedule was similar, though sometimes I could make books and work on layouts in the middle of the night.  

I still never felt like I lived in my apartment until lock down, which was different (having time to cook actual meals and really clean and hang out with the cats.)  When I talk to people who work 2nd and 3rd shift, they all have similar things to say.  I don't know much else, having worked 8 hours a day since 1999.  You get going in a grind and it will grind you down til you know nothing else. Since I couldn't see myself being able to work an earlier schedule as a night owl, I was willing to accept most of my life would feel like I was working throughout, and I suppose we all feel this way. But increasingly (and covid may have much to do with it) there is so little life at all outside of working. And I felt like my best hours were stolen somehow. And yet, vacations were hard to take because we were so short staffed, and stlll the work waited for me when I was gone, which ended up being more stressful than just working all the time.  This was part of the problem. And then home was still all work that I couldn't do except during the time I wasn't there, which felt like always. 

So I take down the six million things on the board above my desks a and the cubicle partitions.  Slowly empty the desk and the shelves around me.  The feelings I have--excitement, terror, resentment, heartbreak--come and go like tides. I feel good about the future, though now I just need to get through the next couple of weeks. 

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