11/6 Art Every Day Month–Freewrite, Home Sick from Work
I can feel the cold, coming in off the walls, as I watch the last yellow leaves cling to the tree two yards over and one yard back. Ain’t it odd how we can measure distance by fence lines. I hear the lilacs with their dried seedpods chatter, and the old rose I did not trim back scratches the side of my blue-gray home.
I browsed photos today, looking for an image that fits the word “soft.” I almost settled on some images of fog in the Lower Harbor. But I was distracted by the “sharp” photos. Ice photos. Hard lines. I thought how winter, even at its coldest and longest, does not afford me the time to sleep-in. I thought how I really wanted to linger in bed today. Stay close-up against Mike. Keep in the warmth.
But even on a sick day, there are animals to let outside feed and water. The boss to call. So on and so forth. I slipped back into bed with the intention of staying put. But the animals needed in and a co-worker called so, I settled on the loveseat, heating pad and afghan as Mike headed off to work.
The shed door flaps loose in the wind and the crab apple beckons with its red orange leaves and red, red waxy fruit—it’s the brightest spot of color I can see from the kitchen window. I step over the old dog that moves for no one, anymore. She is so still that I watch for her chest to rise. She’s breathing so I return to the keyboard, thinking I’ll load the dishwasher when bending does not mean dizzy gray dots in front of my eyes.
A day off, sick, is not a day off well. It is not a day to take photos in the wind. No dramatic dark gray snow clouds with yellow morning light. Just Smart Wool socks on ice cold feet with spazzing arches that I try to soothe with peppermint balm to boost circulation. Today is a day for words in my head to release and flow. Leaves chatter across the road to my neighbor’s recently raked yard. And I think how full of apologies I am.
Soft. It is not how I feel. I feel sharp. But I want to be soft. I want to let go of feeling jaded and burnt. I want to bake apple pies and deliver them to people, like Sylvia. Gifts delivered in wicker baskets. A home smelling of cinnamon and nutmeg. A place where people gather around a wide sunny window in cane backed chairs sipping homemade chai, watching birds gather at feeders. But instead, I’ve been the Jay bold splashy color diving in forceful.