Indigo Feelings

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I’ve been reluctant to write lately. Not because I lack material; that, it seems, will always be plentiful. But rather I have lacked the desire to contemplate my subject. I’ve started to feel a little better and I just don’t want to return to the bleak places that provide fodder for this writing.

What I also know is that feelings left unaddressed fester and keep you down. Those blues go from a deep, bright-day sky blue to royal, to indigo, to midnight and navy, and you haven’t even noticed the transition.

Tonight I’m feeling a little blue, a bit indigo, for a couple of reasons. My kids are out for the evening and I’m getting a good taste of what it will be like when they leave for college and every night is like this. I don’t mind being alone; in fact, I *love* doing what I darn well please most of the time. But on an every-night basis? I’m not sure.

Also, since Thanksgiving is now officially over I’ve updated my iPod and phone to carry my vast library of Christmas music. Lots of this music was added over the last few years and doesn’t carry any particular sentiment. But there’s one album, bought originally on cassette tape–A Winter’s Solstice, the very first of that successful series of instrumental offerings of carols obscure and familiar. I bought that cassette the winter that I met Adam. We met in the fall, and each went to our own families for Christmas. It was wretched. For me anyway. I spent the whole time at home playing “Merry Christmas Darling” on the piano.

Last Christmas I really dreaded playing that album for the first time. Amazingly, the music didn’t elicit anything wrenching, or even sad. Phew. Dodged that bullet!

This year has been a little different. And it’s been a surprise. Whereas I thought this music would bring back memories of when Adam and I were first dating, what one looks back on as a magical time of pleasureable anticipation, I find it holds for me feelings of uncertainty, anxiety. Not feelings of loss but of fear of the future. Just like now.

So I guess this can continue to be my favorite Christmas album since its reflective sound, beautifully framed tunes, and my emotional response to it are still the same, all these years on, for much different reasons.

Bzzzz!

Busy, busy, busy. College-application year is a busy time in any household, and I’m using that as my excuse for not having written in so long. Topics tease me, but I can’t seem to get thoughts to gel. Just now a clip on CBS This Morning inspired me and revealed a thread between a couple of things I’d been wanting to share with you.

The clip, from this week’s Sunday Morning, profiled a band of amputee soldiers assembled by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. Waters brought in professionals to teach the soldiers to play an instrument and then put on a concert. In this clip, a couple of the musicians characterized the experience as a release, an antidote for their depression, so needed after losing limbs to war. They had a purpose again.

How on earth does this relate to my recent experiences? Like these veterans, I learned a couple of new skills lately that returned to me a sense of accomplishment, contribution, achievement, self-worth—skills that showed me I can take care of myself, can learn new things. I’m not done yet.

The handy among you may scoff at my new skills, but for me they were hard-won because they involved electrical wires. Bzzz! I removed and replaced a dead battery in one of our cars, and I replaced the thermostat at the beach shack with a wifi version that allows me to control the thermostat from home. Have you seen the number of wires feeding a thermostat? Good grief! It took a while but I got the new one wired up and connected to my wifi network. Thrilled! Now if I can just learn to change a light fixture.

I also hooked up an HD antenna to the tv in hopes of dropping my cable tv service down here. Although it worked well, it was hugely obtrusive in my little room and had to sit on the sofa in front of the window to get any reception, so it will be going back to Amazon and I will continue to pay the inflated price demanded by my cable provider for channels in which I mostly have no interest. Oh well. Waiting for better technology.

So get out there and learn a new skill. Prove to yourself that you are still the capable, self-sufficient person you’ve always been. If you’d like to watch the “Band of Brothers,” here is a link to the clip.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50158847n