Friday, November 15, 2013


After school today I built a fort.

Tomorrow is the biggest football game of the season, our match against our rival school. We (the band) are going to march over, and during half time we're premiering our field show. This will be my fourth field show; my third as a euphonium; my second as a member of band staff. I should have been anticipating this week, should be living in it fully. But it snuck up on me.

Building the fort, I was struck by how disconnected I've felt from time for the past...month and a half. I don't feel as though I've had space to breathe for that long. Last week was sort of a respite, but that was midstream recovery. I need to go out of session, like Congress, and I won't be able to do so until the end of the year.

I know I keep talking about how busy I am--but, well, I'm busy. I just keep looking at the stack of work that awaits me and it doesn't shrink. Three of my classes have laid out the schedule until the end of the year, which helps me pace myself, but--you know, college essays. And all that.

Back to my point: I've gotten disconnected from time. The autumn has passed me by without me noticing the leaves, or the phases of the moon, or even the changes in weather. Halloween used to be the most evocative holiday for me, and I spent it working on--you guessed it, college essays. Time passes; seasons change (I say "seasons" but remember I'm a Californian); all of a sudden I haven't gone for a long walk in the neighborhood in a month and a half because I just could not justify taking that amount of time for myself.

Events that happened mere weeks ago feel far away. I read my EA college essays and can't remember why they took so long to write. I think about the all-day music program fundraiser, which was only three weeks ago, and it's as if I'm looking through a filter of sepia sunlight. Was that really the end of October, and not the summer?

I've been reading more about MBTI recently (it's a cyclical thing--for weeks at a time I'll get obsessed, then think myself foolish for having been so) and given that I'm an INTJ it doesn't seem strange that I could so easily lose track of the senses. That I could disappear into a fort of necessary work, a fortress built of deadlines and word counts, of bricks formed by paragraphs I've crafted carefully that need to be yanked out and reused in new structures, broken up, shattered…

The sky never looks more beautiful than when I'm driving and I can't look at it properly. How does it look when I'm sitting at my desk, typing and deleting and glaring at the screen and wanting to break something because everything I write sucks? I don't know. I don't look at the sky, then.

I don't think I'm good at certain kinds of parallel processing. When I need to live in my head, I can't tell what's going on outside. The entire countryside could be going to waste but there I am in the topmost tower or--as it feels sometimes--the deepest dungeon, but more importantly, locked into myself. The world doesn't exist.

Do I need to break out of my tower? I will be out of it for almost all of tomorrow, will be out around other people and responding to them and on, depleting my precious introvert energy source but perhaps gaining something in return (memories, knowledge that I'm earning my keep on staff). Homecoming is tomorrow, also, and the last time I put on my dress was when I wore it for formal in January. Time happens and I'm not prepared.

I've been focusing too much on the far future to notice the present, the short-term. As for the past--all I think about with relation to that is, why didn't I start ____ sooner?

I can't leave my fort, not just yet. There's too much work to do. But I'm thinking that maybe it can't hurt to take a day--as I will tomorrow--to walk along the ramparts, and breathe the chilling crisp air, and look at the sky.


Over Your Head - Shaman

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