Fast Breads

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It has been difficult to divorce myself from work today. I stayed home because of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of our year. It’s a fasting day, and except for a late start last night and water this morning, I’ve been honest to the day’s demands. (I usually don’t fast because of the threat of massive headaches, and this year I thought to try fasting with water, which by tradition is still considered improper—mother forgive me—but might be enough to let me last the day.)

It’s also a day of introspection. It has been difficult for me to focus my attention internally, however. My head is full of job worries, opportunities, and plans—change is pounding at my house, and, not for the first time, I’m excited to see it done. Ripping me away from work has been difficult. I know of at least one mail I want to respond to—I snuck a look while setting the phone’s alarm clock for Doolies last night. This morning, I threw my phone into the nightstand drawer haven’t turned on any computer. The tiny voices that share my brain haven’t stopped chattering, though. They remind me that responding to the mail now instead of tonight would be better. When did I become such a workaholic, and when did I start enjoying this servitude?

As I spend creative energies at work, I seem to have less and less left to spend elsewhere, my supply feeling finite and fragile. Lately, even when I have had the energy and time to sit and scribble, I find my voice sapped of its wild energies and my focus and desire not cooperating. Similarly, when I have (clever) ideas, I can’t summon the necessary words to do justice to the imagery or thoughts. I’m pounding my head against a locked safe even though I know that somewhere in my skull—even before the rattling began—is the safe’s combination, and finding it would be a much better use of my gray matter.

I don’t know what the answer is. Sure, I’ve thought of tearing this place down, using it as a repository for my photographs and quick tidings, returning to the moist warm embrace of cable television, video games, and Distractions, taking back my free time and accepting the leisure—escaping from the consternations, disappointments, and the constant senses of failure that makes me want to holler in disgust. It won’t happen, of course, I was just saying.

In keeping with the spirit (if not the traditions) of Yom Kippur, I’m going on a walk now. This writing—also prohibited—is in my Moleskine, a prophylactic against the siren’s call of work.

The walk was difficult and tiresome. I managed to read a bit when I returned home to wait for Doolies. After arriving home in the late afternoon, Doolies twisted my arm (most painfully and irreverently, I should say), and forced me to break the fast well shy of dusk, when the holiday (and fast) officially ended. I don’t think I missed much as my introspection did not improve, and I couldn’t think of much except worrying about work.

Usually, I learn something on these days. Today, I’m happy to have survived and written a few words. This evening, Doolies again convinced me to start working on our wedding website. I have to get past the terrible taste Chuck left in my mouth after I mentioned it to him. The website Doolies and I designed is rather busy and the interface is strange and probably unnatural, but it’s going to be fun to code. Except for the minor tweaks of this site, I haven’t gotten my hands dirty coding in a while.

I hope to return tomorrow to another story. With November looming its ugly head, I need much more preparation before the first day—but today, I’m satisfied having written even this small amount.