Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I'm free

listening to: 'Photographs and Memories' by Jim Croce; 'Lady of Shalott' by Loreena McKinnitt
feeling: Ready for a holiday

For eleven wondrous days, I'm on vacation. I hadn't realised it, but I've been feeling worn down. Not just tired, or even exhausted. No, more like a marble gravestone whose carving has worn down until there's just a faint trace that the person ever existed. I don't mean to seem morbid; I'm not depressed. It's just been a strange year of ups and downs and it's wearing a little thin. So I think I'm overdue for a rest.

I feel like I've been running all day. First there was the late-night shopping, then work, then picking up the state paycheque, and more last-minute shopping with a friend before the stores closed, but everything was taken care of in the end, and I spent the evening with some of my family exchanging gifts.

I wasn't able to get the candles after all. The store was still closed due to a family illness (the flu, perhaps?), so instead I swung by the co-op and got a large package of incense, instead, which was probably a better choice. Believe it or not, I actually went into a mall on Christmas Eve, but it wasn't very busy at all. Even Joseph-Beth was reasonable--much better than, say, the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Even though I had a nice evening, I really felt like coming on home and just having some alone time. I didn't feel like I really got a chance to celebrate Yule properly. Since tonight is the eve of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) in the Roman calendar, though, I felt it would still be appropriate to do a little.

I picked up a rosemary bush that had been trimmed in a tree shape. It's evergreen and I have a good chance of keeping it alive (rather than those Norfolk Virginia pines, which I just don't have much luck with. The pungent odour is comforting. Traditionally, it's a protection against evil and is used to purify. It's used at liminal points within our lives, such as at weddings and funerals, is said to improve memory, soothe headaches/migraines, nervous disorders, and those of the stomach related to stress. Seemed a good choice. :) It also has beautiful, dainty small flowers when it blooms. I've also tested it on five cats and discovered they pretty much ignore it. Anything that looks like grass (spider plants, ferns, etc.) or is in the mint family (not just catnip) is pretty much dead if I bring it into the house. It becomes roughage. My three haven't tried a taste yet and aren't rubbing against it, or anything, so hopefully it'll live. It's very disconcerting to have a green thumb that is still inadequate in light of ravenous greenery-chomping cats, and I refuse to segregate my plants into one cat-free room where I can't see them most of the time. So, perhaps this will work. And if not, rosemary's in several natural cat foods, so it'll probably help their digestion. :)

I also have a spruce-scented candle to remind me of the rebirth of the sun and the evergreens untouched by winter. No ritual, just a couple of things to put me in a more calm, spiritual mindset. It also seems to keep the cats from trying to sit on the keyboard as I type. :)

Tomorrow I'm going home to Danville. After that, it'll be mostly spending time with friends, catching up on housework, reading for fun rather than profit, that sort of thing. I'm looking forward to it...I haven't had that sort of free time in years...even when I was in school full-time, I worked several jobs, sometimes up to 35 hours per week, so I'm looking forward to taking enough time off to get rejuvenated a bit. And I'm hoping to get out of Lexington and maybe take a short road trip, say up to Owenton or to the Newport Aquarium, depending on the weather.

Well, that's enough for now, I suppose. Happy Christmas, for those who celebrate it. Happy Chanukah, too, since it's still going on. Here's hoping for a peaceful new year.

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