I’m sending this a day early. Tomorrow is so busy.
Excerpt from Mind Without a Home written by me, Kristina Morgan
When my hands are locked at the knuckles, I cannot plant alfalfa. It is things like this I think about in the psych hospital. What alfalfa has to do with anything, I’m not certain. I think about the goat my grandfather bought to eat the grass and weeds in the corral. The goat refused to eat these things and instead wanted to eat only hay. My grandfather wasn’t about to keep the goat as a pet and pay for its food. The goat got sent back from where it came. I was sad. I liked the goat.
It is cold in my skin. In two hours my shadow will appear obvious. It will reach the outer door before I do and find it locked. I send my shadow in to meet the doctor. I do not want to appear too bright. Too bright, and he thinks I need to lessen the amount of Wellbutrin they give me. The antidepressant has saved my life many a time. I would rather my mind be too stimulated than have to deal with depression. Depression is a blanket that folds itself around my head making everything muffled and far away. I cannot see to walk forward into a life that is worth living. Depression will steal life every time. This I know.
I have little to nothing to do with the other patients. I don’t know how to talk to them about picnics on the lawn. They embrace one another. Share feelings back and forth. My feelings are a Frisbee I don’t throw but keep clutched close to my chest.
I sit at my post, in the chair at the table to the left of the nurse’s station. I write with pens my doctor said I could have. No other patient has a pen. They have little golf pencils. I wonder it they know they too could ask their doctor for a prescription to have a pen. It is good they trust me to not write on walls or stab someone with ink.
Every time I check into the psych hospital they take my pens from me until the doctor writes an order. I cry every time. Once, Charley, one of the case manages, came to my rescue as much as he could giving me full-length pencils. His gesture was kind. I still wanted my pens.
I hear the wind in my home. It was a cyclone of activity in preparation of my niece moving in. Now it is a whisper like tissue landing on table tops. My niece will move in in September. She is 18. I expect the walls will buzz with her presence. She has already hung a poster in her room that says Charlie in glitter with her basketball shirt number.
Life without Guy is still odd. His presence is as real to me as the poets on my shelves, beginning with A and ending with Wright. I imagine I hear the commercial from the other room advertising eating Shredded Wheat as a way to increase your sex drive.
My next lover will not be a television addict. My next lover will opt for reading. It is good that I even think there will be a next lover. Somewhere in the distance there is a man who will reach to touch me and will come away with clean laundry smelling of sandalwood. My life with be clean of Guy and I will be able to reach forward.
My brain is not getting sick over the devastation of losing Guy. I am amazed at this. My schizophrenia hangs in the rafters of a beautiful cathedral with lots of stained glass windows. It is not wrapping itself around my chest, causing me to lose breath. I have never been healthier.
I am glad for the things in my life that I do. Glad for cardio on a treadmill. Glad to have workout with a friend. Glad to read and write. Glad to work at the library. I love watching my kittens play. They are losing their feral identity and actually coming up to me. Grams, named after my grandmother, played for an hour in my lap.
Live may be moving slowly, but it is moving on. I can delight in small things again. I bought a bouquet of flowers with one bent sunflower in the middle. It reminded me of light bowed in greeting.
…and breathing. It was a challenge getting out of bed this morning. Like all mornings. My meds make me really tired, but the alternative to not taking them is worse than tired. So I take them. To help get up, I think of the bagel with butter and orange marmalade that I am going to eat. Food is a great draw!
I’m too tired to think of ink. To think of word. To think of pen, scratching its way across freeways, between cars deadened to their role in pollution and war. So much depends upon concern for the squirrel that just got flattened on Route 10.
Just off work from the library. I am tired, but I brought three books home about word press and blogging! I learned I have 34 books checked out. I have no idea where they all are. It will be a treasure hunt! Hope all enjoyed the 4th! Below is an excerpt from Mind Without a Home. It is kind of long. Hopefully it won’t bore you. Someone once told me that any writing was okay as long as it didn’t bore people!
Often I wake to a cluttered conversation carried on by people I can’t see. Guy has left for the morning, leaving his side of the bed in an open yawn. I look to the little dogs. Their bodies lay like thick socks at my feet. They don’t hear what I hear, or at least, they show no interest.
I can’t make sense of the air but rise away, my naked body a shimmer of life. The six feet that I am dresses in shorts, a T-shirt, and rubber flip-flops. It is the dogs that motivate my movement. They must be walked on leashes. This ritual spills me into the morning like the sun curling around dawn.
My blogs only color comes from the words posted on it. I don’t know how to add purples or blues or pictures of chipmunks eating bread at my feet. I am meeting with a friend on Friday to try and remedy some of this. Her blog is great, Emilyism.com. Her conversations with her audience are lively and she has pictures. So, please hang in there with me…I am working on making the blog more visually interesting. Below is another excerpt from my book, Mind Without a Home.
Three is not a good number; it is a chair missing a leg.
I’m too tired to think ink. To think word. To think of pen, scratching its way across freeways, between cars deadened to their role in pollution and war. So much depends upon concern for the squirrel who just got flattened on Route 10.
Another Sunday. Guy and I were going to see The Man of Steel but the show was sold out and we didn’t feel like standing in line for two hours to catch the next one. Two hours is a great deal of time to me. I savor time. Gertrude Stein said genius required a lot of time. Maybe one day I will establish genius! Would that mean I would be able to finish cross word puzzles and have a meaningful conversation with the professor of religious studies at the local university? Ha….and then I want to believe what Flannery O’Connor said, “Nothing you write will lack meaning because the meaning is in you.” Beautiful, isn’t it?
Excerpt from Mind WIthout a Home–
The line goes dead. It is three in the morning. I don’t know what to do. I softly return the phone to its cradle and turn on the television. Mom will be in a coma and placed on life support within the hour. Her liver quit working. Everything quit working.
I’m sitting in a Starbuck’s with a great cup of coffee, noise, and song. I like it here; the energy is vibrant. I stopped coming for awhile because I wanted to be available to my 95-year-old neighbor. Her daughter was paying me money to clean and keep an eye on her. Well, the neighbor fired me! She said I wasn’t worth $60 a week. I know her statement wasn’t meant to hurt. I know not to take it personal; it is just a matter of budget, which I understand. I am still available to her, just not all the time. The $60 was going to pay my Starbuck’s bill…oh well!!
I’m amazed at how often I mention birds in the manuscript.
The sun has not dreamt itself awake yet. I cannot hear through the window the excited nature of birds announcing dawn.
The skull he becomes with the use of cocaine leaves him with no expression although inside he feels he is bursting and all drives are heightened. He wants to do things he is incapable of doing like jumping off the fifteen story high Bank of America, migrating with the birds heading north for a place of safety.
Gladys was thin and frail, swimming in a night coat the color of salmon with a voice as large as the Liberty Bell at noon on a clear morning of quiet birds.
Hunter lifts her head, slowly, its weight apparent. It is possible for a head to weigh more than a few pounds on a disenchanted day when even birds stay in the limbs and droop.
I’m entering a couple of excerpts from my book. If you want more excerpts please let me know, or less, let me know that too. Yes or no, it’s all good.
It’s the nature of night to be dark, but then the moon gets thrown in to pull at our bellies, to pull us right out of our pants before we become lost like a black ant in the bottom of a black bowl.
As for mental illness, I struggled. The plague had yet to catch me completely. I thought of it as a Stephen King novel. I knew it was there, I knew something was happening, but in the first 150 pages of a 500 page book, it had yet to reveal itself. I still had time before my heart was cut out and my mind completely poisoned.
Today, I will go to the movies; something I couldn’t do when my mind was wrapped in sickness. It feels lovely. And I will of course be accompanied by the love of my life, Guy. We have been together for eleven years. Amazing. Thank all of you for being out there.