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Undone, if I die today

December 18, 2014

Note: I’m not suicidal; this was a thought exercise. Following through on it until I (temporarily) ran dry of ideas proved to be rather illuminating in multiple ways.


Presented in the exact order they occurred to me:

  1. All of my unknown “Life’s Work”, in the sense of the profession / vocation I’ve been chasing after for several years;
  2. poetry about my synesthesia;
  3. developing an in-person relationship with Chesapeake Bay;
  4. writing about that relationship;
  5. a book relating to Chesapeake Bay, containing my poems, prose, photographs, possibly illustrations;
  6. published poems of any sort;
  7. “a name for myself” that anyone outside of my usual social circles has even heard of;
  8. haven’t earned money doing anything since I got fired from last regular job in August 2009;
  9. none of my tapestries are “finished”;
  10. I’m not sure that any of my paintings are “finished” either;
  11. I have more paintings I’d like to do;
  12. the tapestry on my loom right now, last worked on circa 2010, wouldn’t make any more progress;
  13. transforming my studio into an oasis / portal to a secret world;
  14. I believe my most prestigious public achievement to date would remain winning the University Fellowship for grad school. Alas, the 2003 version of me was barely creative at all, not a writer, and someone I barely remember being;
  15. I never went on a residency for writers or artists;
  16. I never felt accepted in a larger community for being a nonbinary writer or artist;
  17. Of the non-cento poems I’ve written (which are the vast majority of my poems), I know of exactly 6 people who have liked at least one. There are a lot more than six people who have read more than one, and haven’t liked any of them. No one has ever asked me to write more of what I write (in the way I have enthused to my favorite writers);
  18. I have never celebrated one of my own milestone birthdays exactly the way I would want to;
  19. I can’t even remember the last time I danced;
  20. I never got back to Europe;
  21. I finally renewed my passport this year, but I’ve never used it;
  22. My last solo travel was in 2013;
  23. So my last visit to New Mexico would remain 2013;
  24. I never did get to the Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque;
  25. the poem about the lost bee;
  26. figuring out sculptural poems;
  27. figuring out the Great Lakes project;
  28. figuring out spatial poems;
  29. figuring out fractal dimensional poems;
  30. figuring out visual poems;
  31. figuring out modular garments;
  32. no garment that I still own in 2014 has been embellished, although I’ve had many ideas for such;
  33. no serious surreal poem I’ve ever written has been liked by anyone but me;
  34. no additional numinous experiences;
  35. no poems about any of my numinous experiences;
  36. no poems about my inner aspects, nor my childhood;
  37. no more human friendships;
  38. no one besides Spouse has found my postmenopausal appearance attractive;
  39. fluency in Spanish;
  40. poems I translated;
  41. learning a third language;
  42. responses from any of the poets (besides Evie Shockley) that I wrote to;
  43. no mail received at the new place has been interesting or unusual;
  44. any winter holiday cards received at the new place;
  45. no freely picked out houseplant friends;
  46. Spouse would have to return all of my library books, unread;
  47. updating my driver’s license with the new address;
  48. my suitcase and one box from my Silent Retreat are still packed;
  49. fooling around with metal, tools, wood;
  50. figuring out what use I could make of the vintage wire egg basket I bought last week;
  51. my photographic self-portraits have never been organized;
  52. no one but me has seen my erotic photographic self-portraits;
  53. I always meant to do self-portraits in fiber art, mixed media;
  54. since I’ve changed over to gluten-free, I never cooked anything;
  55. further unscripted playful experiments with food;
  56. being Zun Mea to any child [nonbinary version of aunt, uncle];
  57. my last time in the Sandia Mountains was probably 1982;
  58. my last visit to Lake Superior was 2007;
  59. my last visit to Inis Fada was 1980;
  60. attaining a deep understanding of what I’m really good at;
  61. I haven’t played a musical instrument since circa 1977;
  62. writing fiction;
  63. designing fabric;
  64. reworking my failed first painting into a mixed media collage;
  65. driving a really fast car;
  66. getting acquainted with Puget Sound;
  67. getting acquainted with the Mobile-Tensaw Delta;
  68. seeing whales in the wild up close;
  69. talking to any of the foxes at the new place;
  70. walking amidst the woods of Loch Raven in spring;
  71. being recognized as an expert in anything;
  72. Winter holiday gifts for Spouse still exist only in my mind;
  73. Did/do the winter holiday cards I mailed to Australia, NYC, Quebec, Kansas, ever arrive? Does the box of gifts arrive?
  74. writing about terroir;
  75. figuring out what the wasp witch was trying to tell me;
  76. a sustainable way to brew tea in the new place;
  77. pain from health issue 1 an ongoing concern, rather than managed well;
  78. health issue 2 never resolved;
  79. ceremony to marry myself;
  80. coming up with a dressy outfit for my nonbinary self that I really like;
  81. wearing a dressy outfit as a nonbinary person in public, and feeling good about myself;
  82. blue hair.

I could have kept going.

I found it interesting how few of these items are human-social in nature. I would guess similar lists for any of my friends would be much more oriented toward human-social items.

I let Spouse know every day that I love and appreciate him, so nothing of that nature appears on the Undone list. Anyone else I care for, I say what’s in my heart early and often; you never know when it’ll turn out to have been the last time.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2014 18:43

    Ooooh i need to write this list too. Also i need to get on writing you a Yule card!!

  2. December 18, 2014 22:06

    I also like this list; I mean, I like lists in general, but this one in particular is especially drawing. Makes me want to write one for myself. Also–Puget Sound is lovely. I grew up there, and have lived my life there, and hope to live there again. (Though I am content with Oregon.)

    • December 18, 2014 22:46

      Glad you enjoyed the list, felt inspired by it. I hope we both get to Puget Sound!

  3. December 19, 2014 16:33

    I can so relate!!!!!

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