I woke up this morning sick as shit. I don’t know where it came from, but it felt a little like several essential parts of my body got together and decided to put me in time out. You’ve been doing too much, they said, and it’s time to stop. I ignored the message for a while, but when I looked in the mirror at work and didn’t really recognize myself, it was time to go home. I took photos with my phone to prove the point; when I checked just now, they’re not there.
Last night Erin and I saw David Byrne and St Vincent at the Chicago Theater. We both had to temper our slight disappointment with the knowledge that this was David Byrne AND St Vincent, not Talking Heads. But the sound was fantastic and Chicago got on its feet and danced, and when they closed with Road to Nowhere, it was like something out of an old revival, hands in the air, voices united.
I’ve fallen into that city-dwelling habit of eating out too often while observing evolution in action in my crisper. Every couple of weeks, I buy a bag of produce from Edible Alchemy and dream big dreams about what I’m going to make – and then I devour the fruit while letting the zucchinis go soft, the potatoes grow eyes, the onions shed their dusty skins.
A week submerged in The Diaries of Anais Nin. I’m not sure that I can neatly summarize it. It’s been a complicated, emotional year, and so many of the things she described resonated with my experience while also being completely foreign to me. Perhaps this, from November 1933:
Allendy took pains to delineate my character, my true nature, my human attitudes, but it was by a process of oversimplification. The mold into which he tried to fit me came to a climax the day he suggested I should take love more lightly, give it less importance, to evade tragedy. That I should take a playful attitude towards it. It should be sweet and casual, easygoing and interchangeable…This was the natural conclusion to the formation of my human self, to normalcy; and if he was right about overcoming tragedy, par contre, he overlooked the deeper cravings of an artist, for whom deep full love is the only possible form, no simmering life but a boiling one, no small compromise with reality.
Fall has arrived right on schedule. Last night the thermostat dipped low. It is 6:45pm in my living room, and my space is illuminated more by my laptop than by the waning sunlight. Laurie said that we’re losing 2 minutes of daylight each day. But still the ice cream truck sits on the corner, and I dream of swimming in the lake and of all of the summer things that didn’t happen amidst all that did.
Six months in Chicago, and Jeremy said that it sounds like I’m home. Two and a half years in Ann Arbor. Two years in DC. A year each at MPub and Kresge, two years at Gelman. Five years in this goddamned profession. Six years in a relationship, seven months out. I love Chicago. Chicago exhausts me. I’m envious of friends who have recently moved to quieter places. I worry that my life here will burn me out. I don’t know.
6 thoughts on “no simmering life but a boiling one”
What I’ve found that I love about this city of ours, is that you can be quiet, whenever you want. There are so many moments, so many places to simmer. And when you want to boil, it’s all around you, at any given moment.
Feel better love, some good sleep will do you good.
One key to not getting burned out is learning what to say “no” to.
I’m working on this in my professional life, I’ll let you know how it goes.
#6 – I have many friends with this same sentiment towards Chicago. They love it there, but it is exhausting and can be overwhelming. Hang in there!
You are where you’re supposed to be, E. Embrace the diversity of options and run to life. You can sleep later.
I read those diaries in high school, when I thought they resonated with me but was being overly dramatic. I should return to the series…
I relate to point 3 – my motivation for cooking comes in waves. We have an every-other-week CSA share this year, which is WAY more manageable for me than every-week, but I still don’t always manage to cook/eat it all. I am not a very good spur-of-the-moment cook, so I find it helps if I a) write a list of all the stuff as soon as possible after getting it home and b) as soon as I do that, start looking at recipes and deciding what I want to make with what. Also, I use delicious for recipe bookmarking and try to save notes about ingredients (if they’re not in the recipe title) so I can search for “eggplant” or whatever and find what I want to make.