Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spiral Notebook Sunday: Monday, June 5, 2006

"I thought I understood what he was doing, it was the kind of thing I would do: force myself to look at something painful in small doses until I got to the place where I could look at it steadily without it breaking my heart."
~~Gail Godwin, Father Melancholy's Daughter

Tonight's selection from the spiral notebook journal is from an entry inspired in part by a friend's reaction to hitting a deer with her car. She casually mentioned a day or so afterward that she didn't feel she'd "processed" it yet.


Monday, June 5, 2006

...It's a huge difference between us--and I'm not really sure I'm on the "better" side of it.

I don't really understand the process of "processing." I'm not good at it. I mostly kid myself that I don't need it. But really, even if I did need it, I'm not sure I'd know how to do it. I mean, yeah, the writing helps, but it's more an end than a means to an end--if that makes any sense--and, honestly, the time and energy to write about what I might need to process is often used up by just surviving whatever it is I might need to process. Again, if that makes any sense.

I sometimes feel like I'm skimming across the surface of my life without really getting wet. I'm flitting from moment to moment without having time, energy or inclination to "process" it.

At other times, I think the complete opposite. I imagine myself harvesting bits and pieces from moment to moment, sometimes without even noticing, and then planting them in hopes they will grow into something--an insight, a lesson, a plan.

What happens is often a combination of both. I ignore it, I ignore it, I ignore it until I can't ignore it anymore and then I try to process it for a little while until I get distracted or tired or overwhelmed.

And all the while, it's still there.


  1. I have prattled on about my seven visits to the therapist, eighteen months ago. Not until I wrote it out in "Six Days A Week," did I begin to even remotely be able to sort it all out, or process it. Whatever it takes. Normally, for me, life does not require processing, but when it does, I stop to listen to the voice of reason. Then pick up my pen.

  2. Dear Masked Mom:

    I just love your notebook entries.

    That is all.

    Love, Red Dirt Kelly

  3. Don't look now, but I think you were processing when you wrote this. And re-processing by revisiting and then posting it. One can't write on a topic without thinking about it, and thinking about it, for however long it might be, is processing. I don't think it's possible to do one without the other, personally. But I know what you mean, too- I often don't really take the time to just stop and focus on one thing... who says we have to?

  4. Interesting. I often don't process because I think it might hurt too much. I might need to change that....

  5. "I ignore it, I ignore it, I ignore it until I can't ignore it anymore..." Resonating across miles and years.

  6. This made me snigger for the completely unrelated fact that when we cut and grind and wrap a deer that Jason has harvested, we call it processing. I sometimes regret not asking if we could have had the elk that I hit two years ago to "process"... Yum. Sorry, I couldn't help the pun. By the way, our family generally does not eat roadkill. As a rule.

    1. Your comment made me giggle. I come from a "processing" family that way, too so I totally understand and, listen, eating roadkill you killed is a whole other thing than picking up random roadkill, right?

      Your comment reminded me of a case on Judge Judy I happened to see a few years ago. One sister had borrowed the other sister's car without asking and had hit a deer with it so the car-owning sister was suing for damages to the car. The car-borrowing sister's defense was "I offered to split the meat." HILARIOUS!!!!

  7. I think there was a time when I too was skimming across the surface of my life - barely able to keep it together (if I did even that). Now things have slowed down a bit but so have I.. I think I am taking more time to process my life - I suppose that's appropriate, though too late, at this time in life.

    1. I often think about how at some point, I'm just going to start sifting through all of the emotional crap the same way I sort out the stack of junk mail on my desk (once a year or whenever it becomes a fire hazard). Maybe I'll eventually get to the bottom of it. Maybe it's all just better left alone...we'll see.

  8. I am still processing this post. Honestly, I am. I'm not sure how I choose what to "process" or not. Well, definitely not roadkill, but I wonder if in figuring out how that decision is made, I could lighten my mental load a little.