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nightmares of words and music

February 28, 2015

What benefit, and to whom, might there be to me (almost) “mindlessly” buying $60 worth of books on Lithuanian history and poetry, ostensibly so I can revise the (Poetry) Book Review? Even though I’d already pretty firmly decided that I don’t want to revise it?

I can tell myself my ancestors were trying to get me to do it — and hell, maybe they were! — but why? It actually feels more like a Mrs. Nocerino issue, somehow: “A good descendant would want to do this! You only think you don’t want to do it — if you make yourself do it, you probably could!”

First I’d have the read the books, though. And one of them was on the Holocaust in Lithuania, which I have ZERO desire to read about. A very important topic; glad somebody wrote about it. My ancestors, however, emigrated at the beginning of the 20th century, before WW1. No one in my family is personally implicated as Catholic Lithuanians looking the other way while our Jewish neighbors were carted off to Siberia, or shot in the streets. (Thank the gods.)


I wanted to like the book. I didn’t like the book. And I feel conflicted about it. I feel like I let down my ancestors . . . who were not, as far as I’ve ever heard, at all poetical, so why would they care that I didn’t like one book by a Lithuanian-born poet?


I realized a few weeks ago that all of this crazymaking second-guessing what my ancestors might want from me — a topic that I literally had never considered before in my life — might actually be a function of . . . homesickness? Not exactly missing a place, but missing having relatives who’d care if I lived or died. Dead relatives (especially ones I never met, so I don’t know what they were really like), unlike alive relatives, can’t tell me what a disappointment I’ve been, how I’ve never lived up to my potential, how I’ve disgraced the family name.

Could my Lithuanian ancestors really feel a “family” name was disgraced, if it was an Irish name that none of them ever bore? Seems unlikely.


I’ve been having a good month for the most part, with 2 days in a row really satisfying. And yet, I haven’t emailed the guy about the book review.

It’s likely going to be somewhat unpleasant, so I’m anxious about it. {I come from a long line of anxious people!}

Wait a minute.

I quit Twitter 151 hours ago. That was a really big way I was managing general anxiety and feelings of social isolation — now it’s gone.

I come from hoarders on both sides, and about the most pleasurable thing a hoarder can do is BUY THINGS. In the moment that they are buying, it doesn’t even matter in the slightest whether they need the thing, can afford the thing, whatever. All that matters is the act of buying it, which is utterly delicious.

I know all that, and I also know the sick feeling of dread when I can’t afford whatever it is I just bought. I’ve had nightmares about spending money I don’t have, where just thinking about them years later, I still break out in a cold sweat. {$7000 of cut fabric, anyone?}


Maybe I was/am on the verge of turning a corner by telling the guy I won’t revise my Book Review, and therefore my brainweasels/iguanas/Mrs. Nocerino/”my ancestors” want to prevent me from making that progress? Definitely if I bought $60 worth of books, I would then feel obligated to read them, and try to incorporate them into my BR, which would drag the process out even longer. After the entire month of February has already felt like Damocles’ Sword.

The more time and energy I spend on being anxious and off-balance, the more “normal” everything is.

Meanwhile, I have a letter I need to reply to, but I’ve postponed it because I need to be in a certain kind of positive mood, and I haven’t been.

{I did write/revise and mail out 2 not-as-difficult letters yesterday. But I’d been working on them in my head for months and months already.}


I realized just yesterday afternoon that I don’t like AAB. No wonder I keep postponing Thing Related to AAB. All the pieces have been there in plain sight for months and months, but somehow I kept not discerning the implications.

Some parts of my system move e x t r e m e l y   s l o w l y. That’s frustrating, but their caution is merited, considering how dismissively I’ve historically treated them.

So what have we learned?

  1. I don’t like AAB.
  2. I don’t want to revise my Book Review. (If that burns a bridge, that’s okay with me.)
  3. Without Twitter, Existential-Problem-Since-1968 is impossible to ignore. It’s uncomfortable and painful, but . . . I’m kind of starting to figure out things that make a difference/change my experience. {Does that mean I could’ve started solving this problem within a week if I’d just actually paid attention to it? Because Aaarrgggghhh.}
  4. I miss individual people from Twitter. I miss the constant stream of certain types of “news”. I miss . . . gods help me, I miss photos from Hi, We Are Spiders! {I can’t believe I just said that!!}But there’s lots of stuff about Twitter I don’t miss. I made the right choice for me.
  5. I really enjoy spending gobs of time alone. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Writing, reading, thinking. It is the best.
  6. I think it would be really cool if someone developed a friend-crush on me. Because I am awesome. But even if that never happens again, I’m still awesome.
  7. I’ve been noodling around with ideas for a super-groovy skirt since 2007. And I think I need to just . . . make it. Try everything I can think of until I end up with a Super Groovy Skirt in my closet, that I wear.
  8. Ceramics.
  9. Belly dancing.
  10. Expressive dancing.
  11. Costume making.
  12. Travel, solo.

Stuff I’ve held onto forever is . . . leaving. My spirit is unfolding itself.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2015 17:40

    Hi Mea, a quick question – by B, do you mean my B? It matters to me.

    • March 1, 2015 18:29

      Oh no, definitely not. When I refer to people pseudonymously (w initials), it’s by last names: you’re L, your B is T.

      I love both of you!

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