Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Notes of a Panic Attack

Only connect. – E.M. Forster
The experience of separateness arouses anxiety; it is, indeed the source of all anxiety. Being separate means being cut off, without any capacity to use my human powers.– Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Seeing patterns, playing with combinations – usually great fun for me, rapturous even. But over the weekend signs suddenly shifted character, became portentous, collectively bad omens. I became frightened and upset. I am alright now, but have learned that sometimes the frequencies can be too much.

Wednesday (or is it Thanksgiving Day?). Along the westerly path a robin. It is so insistent and close by I think it might be someone hiding, playing tricks on me. The trill is unmistakeable - seemingly pointed - four distinct notes. I instantly recognize the Mendelssohn. My thoughts are an incoherent muddle of disbelief. No way, stop it, get out of town.

I keep wondering if I'm reading too much into things.

(May 2005, from my abandoned blog, Hidden Clapboard. Outside the birds - robins, I think - are singing... Sometimes the first few notes of Beethoven's Fifth, only in a higher key (C-C-C-A flat!!!!!!), other times a variation of the Imperial Margarine commercial I remember from childhood (F-F-F-F-F-F-F-high C!!!!!!). The final notes are prestissimo trills that I can't begin to approximate.)

Am I reading too much into things? Yet those were the notes.

Friday, late afternoon. I set out for my walk. Vast winged migration swarms overhead. Too cliched to think of Hitchcock – more Tim Burton. Also, The Omen: it's quiet by the church. The starlings have stopped short of it.

Birds swirl in a din as I walk. I’m not frightened – I refuse to go there, too silly - but am overawed to bear witness – moreover, to be in the very midst of it.

What wicked wind this way comes?

The Voice of Robert Desnos.
... tornadoes revolve in my mouth...

28 November. What a wind last night, like a freight train. In advance of it, in late afternoon on my walk along the road where I live, clouds of starlings appeared, thousands of them in massive swirling parabolas. The air was filled with their cacaphony. Hundreds of them alighted on one bare-branched tree after another, momentarily leafing each out in black.

An elderly woman at the hairdressers this morning was the very image of Queen Elizabeth II. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?


The Voice of Robert Desnos.
... The one I love does not answer...

Not like him.
Have a little faith in me...

29 November. I alternate between joy & despair. I think something terrible has happened and that I’ve been ignoring/dismissing/denying all the signs. I feel that I will not be able to bear it.

A single young brilliant red cardinal waits for me, greets me near the approach to the picnic table grove. That better not be you, I sternly admonish. It’s too much. The bird flies off.

I am upset. I continue on my way circling around the fields. I start down the grass path that bisects the park. Two rifle shots fire, too close. Echo. Oh wouldn’t that just be the final irony if I’m shot like a deer. My voice will echo in the mountains forever.

I turn around and don’t take that path.

Where are you? Worried. Tweet.

I drive into Hudson, walk up and down Warren. In a shop window winged Eros flies over an ancient house; an antique birdcage is in another.

I stop at Mignorelli’s. Apples and pears, but no peaches. Comfort me with apples. No, I really need a peach.

That evening, while vacuuming the aerie, the image of Giovanni DiMola’s il primo capitolo appears of its own accord on the computer screen. You’re not visiting me this way are you? Please don’t let that be you. Maybe I opened it by accident when I moved the baby picture into my blog folder. The photo of the vampire’s freshest victim had similarly “revealed” itself to me.

All this time, the wrong John. (How Jane Austen.)

Plus: my jeans belt finally breaks.

I am unhinged.

30 November. Worried, erased.

Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment