Currently {7.30.17}

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I find that I increasingly dread and actively avoid putting these “currently” posts together lately. I’m not sure why that is, exactly. To be quite honest, I love talking about myself and all the stuff I’m into, so it’s not like I’ve all of a sudden gotten weird and self-conscious about it. I operate under the assumption that my friends and acquaintances are a lot like me, in that they are curious about the lives of the people who they care about in some form or another (either on the internet or in real life), so if I want to know all about you, is it so hard for me to believe that you might want to know about me? Nope! For whatever reason, as anxious and uneasy as I feel about other things, sharing without feeling uncomfortable or awkward, or precious about it, has always been a thought process that’s come naturally to me (even when someone might actively try to squash it).

So what’s the problem, then? I suspect my low level dysthymia (undiagnosed, but that’s what my counseling-for-a-career sister tells me, and I guess I can’t really sue her if she’s wrong) really amps up in the summer time; I lose all motivation and energy, I stop taking care of myself and participating in the activities and passions I love, and it’s just a vicious cycle–I haven’t got the energy and life to do the things that give me energy and life.

So, yeah, here I am. My heart isn’t in it, but I’d be cross with myself if I skipped my monthly installment of talking about myself. Also, I will take this opportunity to show you my bangs-growing-out-progress, as well as the sparking new addition to my earthly meat suit: my new nose piercing, which I have fondly dubbed “lil crusty”.

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My youngest sister has been checking in with me via email every day. I think she’s realized that for mental health checks, phone calls actually stress me out even more (although Melissa, I hope you know you should always feel free to call, I don’t mean to sound so singularly shitty about it) and so email is the way to go. This daily correspondence has been very helpful; it’s comforting to know that there’s someone out there who realizes I am going through …whatever…and who takes time to say hello every day, and shares with me little links she finds that will interest me, or maybe gives me a piece of advice that she finds helpful in her own life.  Early in the week, when I told her that it was a struggle to even get out of bed,  she urged me,  “…just do SOMETHING to break the cycle. Some activity, to get the momentum going.”

So, I took her advice. I made a list. I did not get to the big stuff. But I ate a goddamn apple, and it was a start.  I shared the imagery on instagram, and it was heartening and encouraging, all of the positive feedback I received, all the kind words and helpful sentiments. I won’t say I was surprised, because I am surrounded by thoughtful, generous, compassionate people. I always appreciate these wonderful souls, but to say I’m surprised by their reaching out to me in kindness? No way. Never surprised. That’s the kind of people they are. You all make me better for knowing you. Thank you. /end cheesiness.

quilt

So, that’s a lie. I have some more cheesiness for you. I received some wondrous gifts in the mail this week, from two incredibly special people. I was utterly moved to tears (and finally in a good way this summer!) at their generosity and the sheer amount of talent and astoundingly hard work that went into these treasures.

My sweet friend Lisa, who I began chatting with online during (I think) the final few years of my time up North, is thoughtful and clever, and very, very funny. I remember us poking fun dumb inspirational memes, and coming up with ridiculous ones of our own, and thinking “yep, Lisa is my people for sure.” Lisa is a quilter who creates the coziest, loveliest patchwork pieces and had apparently been working on this quilt for me since 2015! Accompanying this masterpiece was a beautiful note detailing her inspirations for the project, information on the fabrics used (one was from a collection called “spellbound”!), and the pattern, which is called Storm at Sea and interestingly involves sewing the pieces of the fabric directly onto paper templates and then tearing the paper away when it’s all put together. Lisa also included a marvelous poem which she noted had provided the “narrative underpinning” for the piece, The Plantation, by Seamus Haney. I finally read it in its entirety this morning, curled under the quilt in the dim glooms of my parlour, as the rain outside pounded against the windows–while I was warm and dry and feeling very, very loved.

At any point in that wood
Was a centre, birch trunks
Ghosting your bearings,
Improvising charmed rings

Where ever you stopped.
Though you walked a straight line,
It might be circles you traveled
With toadstools and stumps

Always repeating themselves.

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Friendgift #2 came from the the inimitable jewel priestess/sorceress-solderer, sisterkin and glittering heart, Flannery Grace Good. I had placed an order for a few treasures from her shop, and she included this extraordinary moonstone spirit moth, in addition to some sage for smudging, a floral hydrosol, various stone talismans, and other things for general good juju.

This package had a bit of an adventure finding its way to me! I’m still not sure what happened, but somehow it got lost in transit, somewhere in the murky postal ether, and floated frustratingly out of reach for a week or so. When it finally arrived, I took a moment to breathe a sigh of relief and then commenced parading around in my shimmering new jewels. Flannery Grace Good, in addition to being a wonderful friend, is truly a master of her craft, and coupled with her imagination, creativity, and intense drive, she creates some of the most beautiful jewelry I have ever seen. If you’ve not peeked in her shop yet, you should certainly take a moment to do so, and say hello. 

books

Summer reading! If you recall, my mini quest in my overall yearly reading challenge was to read twenty five books in the months of June, July, and August. Last month I managed six, and this month at eleven books read (one of them is not pictured, above) I’ve nearly doubled that, so I think we’re moving along at a good pace.  Six + eleven = seventeen, so by the end of August, I’ll need to have read eight more books to hit my goal of twenty five, and…uh…win? I guess? I never actually got that far in my planning, I guess.

With Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, fans are were probably like, “what’s this heartwarming crap about pet cats? I want grotesquerie and repulsion!”…but if that’s your initial reaction, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this fantastic read, and trust me, you’ll get your Juni Ito grossness, but just…in a different sort of way. I was finished with the book before I realized it, and was sad to see it end! He writes about having to adapt to living with his fiance’s cats over time, and it’s both adorable and creepy, and overall a fantastic addition to his body of work. Thanks for this little surprise, J-Kun!

Actually, everything I read this month was pretty good, with Gilded Needles and Monstress at the top of my list, followed by The Beguiled, The Graveyard Apartment, and Bleed (all three would make excellent beach reads, with Bleed probably being my least favorite of the three)

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu
Bleed
Monstress Vol. 2
The Graveyard Apartment
Southern Cross
The Lottery (graphic novel adaptation)
Rachel Rising Vols. five*, six, and seven
The Beguiled
Gilded Needles

 

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And now I’ve got just enough energy left for some one-word movie & teevee reviews…!

6/29 A Dark Song : yes
6/30 The Belko Experiment: yes (except for last 5 minutes)
7/1 From A House On Willow St: ugh
7/3 What We Do In The Shadows (rewatch): ALWAYS
7/4 Kong Skull Island: meh
7/5 Attack On Titan Season 2: fun!
7/6 Lake Bodom: skip
7/17 Split: sure
7/20 Logan: yeah (but for beardy, bespectacled Wolverine reasons)
7/22 The Killing, Episodes 1-6: yes
7/22 Martin: YES
7/23 Creepshow: eh
7/26 Dawn of the Dead (original): fantastic!
7/29 Zeder (thanks Maddie!): yesyesyes

What was your July about? Wondrous things? Terrible things? Middling-meh things? What have you read or watched or seen or done that thrilled you? Or repulsed you? Let’s dish.

8 Comments on Currently {7.30.17}

  1. Ivonne
    July 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I hear 100% on the constant getting checked in on. It’s nice that people ask but there comes a time where that pressure to deliver a progress report becomes really overwhelming. Man do I get that shit.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      July 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Haha, yeah, I get that can happen. If it were anyone but my sister I’d probably cut it off after a point, haha! As it is, it’s really just her: “what’s up today?” me: “I hate everyone and want them all to die.” her: “cool, cool.”

      Reply
      • Mel
        July 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm (3 weeks ago)

        Hahahahaha! Ima be giggling about that for a while.

        Reply
  2. Anton
    July 30, 2017 at 3:59 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I always feel awful in the summer. I refer to it as my reverse SAD – it’s the long, hot days and empty skies that wear me down. There’s just something awful about it being so hot when it finally gets dark. (I went to the grocery store at like 8:30pm and it was still 103F.)

    I was so mad about the total garbage that Valerian turned out to be, but Atomic Blonde was everything I wanted. I just want to live in a movie theater for the next month or two.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      July 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Yes, being hot after dark is the pits! It should be cool and shadowy and comfortable. You’ve got the right idea about the movie theatres…too bad there’s not more interesting movies coming out right now (at least I don’t think there is…is there?) I had high hopes for Valerian, but somehow I knew it was going to flop…I am super excited about Atomic Blonde, though!

      Reply
      • Anton
        July 30, 2017 at 8:56 pm (3 weeks ago)

        Atomic Blonde might be my favorite film of the year. I saw some amazing previews. I am super, super excited for Ingrid Goes West. I’ll probably go see Dark Tower because I am a sucker for the leads. Beach Rats looks melancholy and weird and I’m already in love. The trailer for Good Time was super kinetic and I did not recognize Robert Pattinson at all!? Which makes me think I want to see it. Finally, Logan Lucky looks BANANAS and RIDICULOUS but that cast holy moly.

        Reply
    • Mel
      July 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Anton, it’s nice to know that I am not the only one with reverse SAD. I lived out in the deserts of Southern California–so, no rain, no seasons, so much heat, much sun. I’d get so frustrated and unhappy and depressed every summer, and it was made worse by the fact that everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Ugh, it was the LITERAL worst. Too much sunshine and monotony of weather just made me so…*cries* No other way to put it.

      Reply
  3. Mel
    July 30, 2017 at 9:44 pm (3 weeks ago)

    My July has been sweetly gentle, and quiet, as I ease back into the comforts of routine and known elements. I don’t know if I mentioned, but in June I began re-gorging myself on Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’ Morland Dynasty series, which served the dual purpose of keeping me hidden in my bedroom and re-engaging my rather sad, anxious mind with things that interest and entertain me. Other than that, it’s been a very low-key month, and after the upheaval and sickness and shittiness since last November, this has been a welcome change.

    It’s funny…I originally started emailing you at rando because I’ve got the kind of job where I can do that now. But then it became a little happy routine of its own. If it makes you feel any better, it wasn’t really meant to be a mental health check until recently. <3 And I did and continue to hope it's a pleasant diversion in your days. I love you, Eldest!

    Reply

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