My New Plan

cx5-150x150As I immerse myself mutely insensate in my daily escape into my Facebook addiction, answers suddenly appear in my mind. Answers to why I am so unable to focus, to concentrate on all those things on my list…things I want or need to do.

Yesterday I was discussing this in the midst of bleak desperation with my friend John, how I have all these things I want to do and yet can’t seem to get to any of them. My friend said that I am just overwhelmed, making unrealistic demands on myself, and yet…

It’s true, I lost an entire year after that fourth breast cancer surgery and the resultant eight weeks of radiation therapy, although I did turn lemons into lemonade when I wrote about the experience. I just began to feel like myself again this spring. Last summer, I never even got to go into the pool, my favorite thing, and for all these months had not the energy to lift myself from my bed, barely did those chores that were necessary, like cooking and eating. It’s true, the fourth book was just completed and published in April…there was a lot of concentrated work involved.

Maybe that’s the answer. Writing; I have spent the last four years totally focused on the writing of my memoir, which evolved into a four book saga. I had given myself a dictum at the time I turned my attention to the necessary completion of the project; I was to involve myself in nothing, not my art, not anything else that might interest me, until the book was finished. And that is what I did.

Now, attached still to my laptop as if by umbilicus, I am unable break that self-imposed, self-perpetuating habit, and have transposed my attention to other computer and cyber related functions. I am promoting my books, I tell myself, sharing my interests with like-minded folks in cyberspace, as garden and studio beckon futilely.

Instead of creation, I have managed to tear myself away from my sacred cyber world and spent large blocks of the last months reading thrillers, my favorite book form, on the patio, in the midst of garden profusion, watching the burbling pool and pond, swimming in the warm waters of my pool. Yes, I have created a garden of sorts in pots, a profusion of floral and vegetative wonder, but not like the old days. My friend Christina tells me that it is cancer PTSD that assails us both; that along with John’s theory that I expect too much of myself, may be the answer.

Well, someone must have planted those pots, someone is keeping the pond clean and the waters of the stream going, the fish fed. Someone is cleaning filters, turning on pumps and heaters and watering systems, watering flower pots by hand daily. But that was stuff I used to do before I even began my work. Projects have been arranged and ordered in the studio, lists have been made in order of importance, yet nothing is done. I am reading, swimming, cooking and eating, looking after Joe and the three rescue dogs one of whom is not doing so well…

As I sit on flowered cushions on deep copper wrought iron seat at my table beneath the rollup awning, best purchase I ever made, reading, munching on cheese and crackers, Tostitos and salsa, Bing cherries…sipping iced tea, reading, I glance around at the forest primeval that surrounds us, check out the various shrubs and flowers that I have naturalized into the panorama, enjoying this three dimensional painting that I have created, I smile inwardly, feel a small whisper of self-praise that turns into a tiny kernel of inspiration, and yet, thoughts of those neglected art projects swirling in my mind remain sentient as I look down again at the words swimming on the page, continue my reading.

Later, I am compelled to pick the latest tomatoes that have ripened on my now seven foot high tomato tree growing in a massive terra cotta pot that is comprised of eight assorted plants, beefsteak to grape exploding beyond the confines of its hand crafted bamboo cage. I add them to the blue Meissen foundling bowl that sits on the kitchen counter, piled high, overflowing, pop a couple into my salivating mouth, try to devise yet another way to eat tomatoes besides the ones I have already done…