Rabbit-hole days / by Christina Rosalie

I’ve been feeling empty word-wise, and it almost feels like a betrayal. Flat screen, flat words; the keystrokes brittle and familiar as I pound out paragraphs. Especially here, I feel a new emptiness. The recent combination of less comments and more visibility has made me hesitant to write about the small mundane things in my life that I’ve filled posts with before. I’ve started to wonder if people care what my days consist of, the moments packing in one after another until the bushel basket of each day is full to overflowing. Maybe it’s a feeling of overextension. I’ve written so much from my point of view, I feel like I have nothing new to say. It’s the end of summer here. Leaves on the first of the sugar maples are turning fire engine red and burnished orange. We’ve had a few damp days, humidity hanging in the air until afternoon thunderstorms send the moisture raining down in sheets.

When we walk in the meadow, insects scatter. Fat grasshoppers, praying mantis. I’ve been looking for monarch caterpillars to bring into my classroom and at first thought they’d made cocoons early and had already metamorphosed and flown south; no sign of them on the milkweed clustered along the edge of the lane down to the pond. But looking closely I found some, so tiny they were barely visible at all. Just as long as my pinky fingernail is wide. Little horns and stripes, eating holes stained white with milk on the fat green leaves.

I gathered them up, a dripping milkweed caterpillar bouquet, and carried them home. Now they’re eating their way through leaves and leaving poop at the bottom of a glass jar on my windowsill. Tomorrow they’ll travel to school with me; and soon, they’ll grow accustomed to the eager eyes and hot breath of children. So will I.

See? This is all I have to say. Summer has done me in. I’m languorous and scattered. In my studio I’ve started a new canvass, several feet wide. I have more energy right now for color, for wild brush strokes and the haphazard following of whimsy that paint provides, than for the record keeping of my days. I’m thinking though that with this exhaustion of my own perspective fiction will come easier. I find myself looking forward to when I can sit down to write through another lens, a different window. To hold open the doorway to another person’s heart, though invariably, it leads back to the corridors of my own. But I haven’t had time yet to sink into even this.

My new routine hasn't taken shape yet. I need a week, or two, to fall back onto the trampoline of early morning writing and jam-packed days. Until then, I’m all over the place, trying to get other things done. Stacking a woodpile, replanting azaleas, buying paint to redo the livingroom in sunny acorn.

And because I’ve been lackluster about posting and even more so in commenting on all of your blogs, there’s been a lull in this small corner of the interweb and I miss your comments, your snappy, snarky, encouragement. Perhaps all this to say, I’m ready for summer to be over? Ready for a shift. A new direction. I’m not sure. I love the sun-drenched days, and I feel nervous about winter. But I feel like I’ve slipped down a rabbit hole, having sunk so entirely into the present of my days.