#160: The Antidote

It’s hot as hell right now. Hot and weary. Hot and weary and dour and humid. A storm is churning to the southwest and this mood, it’s been my mood, for much of the week. I write to you from the center.

Last Sunday I used the words “post-deadline loosening” and that in no way does justice to the feeling. It’s much more of a limbo, a bardo state between two existences. It’s disaster in the original sense of the word–dis aster, the loss of one’s star. David Whyte, in Crossing the Unknown Sea, writes,

Human beings seem to have the amazing ability to turn any sudden gift of freedom or spaciousness into its exact opposite. The mantle of possibility descends upon us and instead of warming and emboldening, covers our face and our eyes.

But I draw on this, or I try. Try to see through the mantle of possibility. Try to feel for my friends across the Atlantic, try to touch the fullness of their shock and sadness and anger and regret. Try to find the energy to get out of the apartment, do the work that needs to be done around the novel but is not the novel. Mid-week I read this, in the same book:

The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest … the antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.

I fall asleep repeating it. I start saying it about everything. The antidote for confusion is wholeheartedness. The antidote for regret is whole-heartedness. The antidote …

A couple days later, the novel comes back. The manuscript returned early from copy-editing. And soon it will go back into copy-editing again and then, not long after, the text will be final.

And then I get to try again. Try again to remember. The antidote …