16 January 2008

The truth is

I've fallen and I can't get up! I mean, I am so far behind in reading my favorite bloggers that I'm afraid I may never catch up again. That possibility depresses me. What sort of phase is this I'm going through?

A while back I started wondering, as most bloggers do from time to time, if I ought to shut down my spot—move away from Bright Street. As 2007 reached its conclusion I received some strong impressions about the new year, and so I entered 2008 fully expecting that it would become a revelation of creativity and a year of at least a few long sought after hopes reaching fruition. Not that I know what any of that means yet; I'm still just going on feelings.

My energy is different this year. Sometimes it crosses the line into seriously manic territory, and that's not so good for me, but when I'm not at that agitated extreme, I am filled with ideas and feel a huge sense of urgency about a number of projects, a few of which are necessarily time-sensitive because they are for the press, and we have some deadlines. Others are just pressing down on me because I'm crazy, I guess. Or possibly inspired. But probably just crazy.

So in this flurry of aught-eight activity, my connection with the beloved blog world seems to be weakening. I said I had new energy, but the trouble is I'm no more fast or efficient because of it. I've run on one speed all my life: S-L-O-W. It's true. I was usually the kid in P.E. finishing up laps around the track in the highly uncoveted position of last. I type slowly. I read slowly. I don't think slowly—my brain moves recklessly fast at times—and sometimes my heart races when I'm stressed, but really, that's about it for me and speed. It takes forever to write one measly blog post, and it takes me longer to mull over what friends write and formulate my comments. I could be a gold medalist in the Slow Olympics. I do housework (if at all) slowly. I walk slowly. Give me any job to do; I can make it stretch beyond the limits of good judgement. I used to want to beat myself up for this kind of pokiness; I thought I should force myself to change and keep up with the world. Then I made friends with a woman from Jamaica who made me look like Speedy Gonzalez and eventually I realized that some folks just naturally move in their own separate time, and that's okay.

But. Warm fuzzy self-acceptance aside, sometimes I get so aggravated with the restraints of my own inborn speed, of time and energy reserves, and of the need for sleep. After the introduction of a bundle of new projects and ideas, my life has begun playing out like Rock, Scissors, Paper; something significant gets trumped in every round. Blargh!

I'm not going to abandon Bright Street and I'm also not going to abandon reading other blogs, but my habits have to change. They've already had to. Thank heaven for Google Reader; it keeps me in the know about just how far behind I really am. That's painful but helpful. For example, I see that I am now 36 posts behind on i i eee's blog. And the rest of you are also in that sad queue. Can you feel my pain?

(By the way, I just went to i i eee's place to nab that URL, and found she's posted one of my favorite giddy Bjork videos. To my great amusement, it pretty well sums up my gut feelings about 2008—"Something important is about to happen" and "It takes courage to enjoy it.")


Well, enough of that. Here's something else. I am still using Sitemeter to track some of the ways random people are finding my blog. This is called Free Entertainment. Here are some of the roads that apparently intersect with Bright Street:
how much is lortab on the street [this came from someone in a neighboring town]
lionel you have been hurt that much is clear who hurt you
surviving the applewhites:about the book [Korea]
"annual history" ward lds
talking to my friend about his terminal cancer
can you grow avocados in georgia
nigel wadner
Living Snow Globe
names for Grandmamas
foot pedal transcription+honolulu
The Proclaimers
back on the change gang lyrics [Peru]
Camp Mia Shalom
agnes mae [Netherlands]
praised redemmer bring welcome lyrics
brian kershisnik woman walking dog
bright street pictures
"zone 3" "gang"
Miss you love letters to husband [UK]
when the earth begins to tremble
chair chicken wire paper mache [UK]

I am also keeping a tally of the special areas where Bright Street ranks #1 in the search engines:
epiphany snow globe
"hudson's geese" recording [the ONLY result on Google]
bed bath and beyond azucar
goofy sweater
What is Yammit?
daffodils safe sheep

And what would this list be without the perennial global favorites:
street pee
street thong

(I kid you not, these two referrals turn up all the time on Sitemeter, from a dozen and a half different countries. I am convinced there is some kind of club out there that I don't want to know about.)

And to clear that pleasant thought from the air, I will give you a quick list of 3 Beautiful Things and then wish you a grand day of finding your own small beauties.

1. I looked out the kitchen window this morning and saw shining fairy dust floating slowly downward all around the fig tree. I called Rob to come and look and he said, "This only happens when it's very very very cold." I'm not the princess sort, but I swear the stuff was magical and I was completely enchanted. I stood at the window and watched it sparkle and float till the sun shifted and stopped making the wet air gleam.

2. Yesterday in the doctor's office, another woman and I were waiting for our appointments. A third woman who'd just finished with the doctor unsteadily joined us on the couches while her able-bodied daughter paid her bill at the counter and made follow-up arrangements for her ailing mother. A young nurse stepped into the room and called, "Donna?" And the third woman responded with surprise while the one who was still waiting for her appointment caught her breath and looked up, also puzzled. Turns out both the women were Donnas. We all shared a laugh and Donna Ready for Attention went back to the examination room with the nurse. Donna Finished turned to me and asked, "Are you a Donna too?" I answered regretfully that I wasn't, but wouldn't it be perfect if I was? "It would be perfect!" the cheerful but very uncomfortable Donna Finished replied. When she left, I said, "Goodbye, Donna!" With a beaming smile, she asked me my name and said, "Goodbye, Georgia!"

3. I was at Macey's buying groceries two mornings ago. While I was unloading my cart, the bagger walked all the way up the counter to quietly slip in behind me and ask, "Paper or plastic?" "Paper, please," I said. I didn't see her name tag, but I recognized her. She is a thin, pale, older middle-aged lady who seems very shy, even mousy. She was slow with her work, but was painstakingly careful about the way she bagged my food; I noticed the way she deliberated and rearranged. I thought to myself, I could be here a while, but at least I won't go home with banged-up produce, as I sometimes do. (This is one of my pet peeves.) She seems like a person who feels embarrassed as a rule, and to let her know I was okay with her pace and style, I said, "I'm so glad you're being so careful with your bagging. I appreciate that." She stopped and looked up at me with a shocked face and went back to work, muttering a little self-consciously about the cheese and the eggs. A bag or two later, she looked up at me again and said with what seemed like a little unaccustomed pride wobbling in her voice, "Well, I've had this job for nine years. I guess I ought to know how to do it by now!" and she smiled like it was a new experience. We passed a few small pleasantries, I promised to look for her next time I came shopping, and as I left the store I was overcome with unexpected emotion and a sense of that woman's worth. Several phrases turned around and around in my mind: "A daughter of God just bagged my groceries!" "Someone very important just bagged by groceries!" "Someone noble, someone royal, someone divine just bagged my groceries!" It was astonishing. The feeling stayed with me a long while.


AzĂșcar said...

I love the blowing fairy dust snow.

Jennifer B. said...

I love to find friends through blogging. Even though we may go awhile without crossing virtual paths, it often feels like we can pick right up where we left off. Hope 2008 is a great year for you!

Am'n2deep said...

Geo, I just get you. I just do.

Geo said...

AZUCAR. I hope you got to see it this morning!

JENNIFER B. Thanks, and I hope it's a good one for you as well. Seems like i've talked to quite a few people who share my feelings about this year's potential. I wonder what if anything that's connected to—elections? magical fairy dust?

AM'N. It's not an easy job. You amaze me.

Kalli Ko said...

I love how self aware you are, it makes me wish I was more in tune with myself (instead of off in la la land).

I have been feeling the same way about my blog, but I love hearing it from your point of view.

Thanks for being such a gem.

Jamie said...

Aw, thanks for sharing, Goergia. I reeeeally missed you tonight. I drove up the steep, snowy hill to the church (just 5 blocks away) to watch another one of "my former" YW receive her recognition award, I put in a CD my SIL, Amie, made for me last summer that I have never listened to all the way through. I'm sooo glad I did because one of the later songs was an OLD recording of "Georgia On My Mind" I had never heard before. I thought what a beautiful song for you...I have a crazy Weezer song, or--much worse--a Van Halen song with my name in it! I thought of lots of lovely things that keep Georgia on my mind, like finding one of your enclosure cards, which Rich had stolen from my stationery basket to leave me a love note seven years ago. Or Bjork songs. Or the veggie smoothies I lived on for a week. And all the happy memories...keep Georgia on my mind...(PS: I totally had a moment like yours tonight at the YW thing--just a little glimpse at who all of us the room really are--and the thought that we were MEANT to be there together "for such a time as this" kept going through my mind--we are SISTERS...it was cool)


Emily said...

"my life has begun playing out like Rock, Scissors, Paper; something significant gets trumped in every round."
I love LOVE that line. And I think the principle of letting things come and go in their turn is good, we have to be okay with letting our priorities rotate through. (well, some things should never get too far from the top, but you know.) Like for me, right now, that laundry that's been sitting, folded, in the baskets for three days, just needs to wait for me to feel healthy, to finish my editing project that has to be done by tomorrow morning...and then it will probably have to wait some more while I infuse my child with the love and snuggles and stories that he's been missing while I've been sick and stressed.
Hmmm, maybe I should write about this on my own blog instead of oozing all over your comment page about my rotating priorities. ok, but one last thing, I just love the way you process life, Georgia, my whole soul nods in agreement when I read your posts.

Katrina said...

You have a remarkable gift for finding the beautiful in life. Thank you for sharing. That last story of about the bagger was so touching. I have a feeling your kind words have not been forgotten by her.

eclecticentertaining said...

Wow. Now that's why you don't need to stop blogging. I have just started and I sometimes think about stopping. Every time someone leaves feedback, though, (which isn't that much but is enough to keep me going) I decide to keep going.

I love love love your perspective on the woman bagging your groceries. It tells me more about you than the woman.

La Yen said...

I like that bagger story. It made me a little weepy. But in a good way. And I like you.

compulsive writer said...

Me too on the fairy dust.

And the bagger lady (close to my heart because next time it could be my kid squashing your produce).

And really your whole post. I hope you find that balance you are looking for. (To be honest, I hope I find some balance, too.)

Lois said...

Nigel described that same snow as "glitter snow" and asked me if I had seen it. Alas, I missed it because I was at work. Glad that you two took the time to notice its beauty.

The bagger at Macey's that you're referring to is Rachel. She's one of my favorite baggers (she and Nathan). Yes, I'm one of those crazy ladies who knows all the baggers by name.

i i eee said...

The bagger story also made me a little weepy. Thanks for sharing that.

I get behind on blogs all the time -but sometimes it's nice just to let the Reader fill up for a rainy day, instead of keeping up to date all the time. So many blogs, so little time. :) Thanks for being a reader, and such an attentive one.

I also think too fast for life sometimes. But if you're able to enjoy the fairy dust -noticing blessed little images here and there -I think those little moments give us relief from all the fast-paced thinking.

By the way, I'm so glad Bright Street will remain lit up.

(My comment seems to be heavy on the cheese, but I'm going to hit publish anyway!)

andi said...

Geo, I read every single word of this post. And in exchange I think I deserve to know just what exactly is a Yammitt and does Zina Nibley Petersen have any in her fridge? Just curious.

Geo said...

KALLI. Hey, La La Land is a very nice place. I vacation there often!

JAMIE. I'll never forget the birthday when I got in the car to go someplace and Ray Charles was just starting the first notes of my song.


EMILY. Ooze away. I enjoy your oozes.

KATRINA. Thanks. I know I could be a lot more generous with my kind words. Got to work on that.

ECLECTIC. Does it tell you that I can tear up faster than a pregnant lady watching a schmaltzy phone commercial?

LA YEN. Back atcha.

C-DUB. Not that it's my goal to avoid it, but if I were to find balance I might actually cease being me. Maybe I'd just vanish!

LOIS. Glad Nigel saw the glitter snow with us.

And OF COURSE you know my new bagger buddy. It's because you are COOL and you pay attention to VIPs.

I I EEE. Most of my favorite dishes feature lotsa cheese. I've got a high tolerance for cheese. I love cheese. And I love my cheesy friends. So there.

ANDI. I don't know about the Yammit, but if you find any Scrapple in her fridge, DON'T TOUCH IT.

liz said...

slow is why you are one to appreciate and see little things like careful baggers and fairy dust. you're supposed to live a life at your pace so you can see things other people overlook! So we get to read about them and remember how to take a breath and notice little details.

i am glad you are still writing. in fact, the pace of you comes through your blog, it's a nice break to read and even the long ones (which i admit i don't read in many other websites) are always worth the time to read because of the detail and careful thought put into them by you.

i sometimes think to stop writing too, but enjoy capturing where i am in life so in 10 yrs i can remember the day or 'place' in my head. my memory won't recall a lot about '07 but my blog will bring me back in color.
i love the exchanges at the bottom of your post. i have had little interactions like those in my life and I always hope the other person felt it too. the genuine and happy of it.

Elizabeth said...

I loved #3, and the fairy dust, and, I beg to differ, you are not just princess status in my book...we're talking QUEEN.

I'm glad you've decided to stay on Bright Street. I think all of us wonder from time to time if we should continue blogging or stop. I know I do.

Geo said...

LIZ. Your comments are always so validating and happy-inspiring. Thank you for your kind, kind words of encouragement. If YOU ever stop blogging, that will be a sad day for me.

ELIZABETH. Me and Freddie Mercury . . .