Wednesday, January 10, 2018

No Mertz Today

The sky is clear even though the weather forecast is for rain. And today I go up into the loft and I get all my craft supplies and I sort them into Mason Jars in preparation for my move into the studio. I’m just a little excited about what I’m going to do today.
I’m also going to take my paper over and put it in the paper cupboard Darrell made me.
It’s a beginning.
I worked on Mertz Manor for most of the last three days and I chose to clean up at the end of each day. There was always glue all over my dining table, the stove and the floor and there were bits of paper everywhere — many in the mouths of animals an others stuck to furniture and varnished onto the floor.
I’m glad it’s finished. Well it’s not finished, actually, but I’m finished with it. I’m sick of the cleaning up. It’s something I won’t have to do once I move into the studio but it’s going to be a while longer.
Darrell’s wife, Elaine, has tracked down my tiles. They’ve been stuck on a dock in Vancouver for a week! Now they’re on their way to Nanaimo where a delivery company will pick them up and deliver them to me. Elaine hopes they will arrive by the end of the week.
But my worktable is done and it’s in the studio. It’s nice and high and it’s huge.  
I’m spending $200 a month on electricity. A lot of that has to be the hot tub but now I’m also heating the studio with electricity until the stove gets hooked up. Come Fall I may drain the hot tub and leave it empty next winter. It’s cheaper to buy water to fill it each Spring than to keep it warm all winter. On the other hand… Two grand a year isn’t a lot for the luxury the tub provides and energy consumption will go way down in the summer. I’ll keep thinking.
I also got my bill for service for my cell phone that doesn’t work here. My cell was such an asset in the city but here it seems unnecessary. Something else for think about as I work to slow the financial bleed.
Another thing is that I realize I’ve been burning too much wood at a time and refreshing the fire too quickly. I’ve been a heat hedonist, binging out on the luxury of a fireplace. Now I know and I’m slowing down. Lesson learned.
I watched a really interesting documentary about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on American Experience. It was really powerful but part of it hurt. Part of it deal with the sufferers’ frustration, anger and shame about being told “it’s all in your head.” They were sure they were somatically ill (and they are) and they resented the “dismissal” and shame that came with being dismissed as creating their own Hell. Being told their disease might be psychological was insulting to them.
Well I have a psychological disease and I’m not allowed to be ashamed of it or Dr. Shoja would disown me. My condition is all in my head and Dr. S. works hard to make me accept that it’s as real and serious as somatic disease so hearing all that was upsetting.
Then I watched a program called School for Stammerer (thank you Dana), an ITV production that follows six stutterers as they go through an intensive four-day program to stop stuttering. I cried through the whole thing.
The “I am not alone” feeling I had was overwhelming. I had no idea all stutterers have trouble saying their name. (I often spell mine instead of trying to say it.)
The announcer actually says at one point: “Most of these people have never met another stutterer.” Neither have I and it’s something I have always wanted to do.
I don’t know if I could do that course; it’s incredibly challenging but they all do amazingly well — every single one of them. It’s truly uplifting. But what the participants must do is super scary. But: I learned a lot from that show. This morning, using techniques I saw in the film, I could speak — not smoothly, but I could speak and much, much better than normal. A big thank you Dana.
And the leaders and coaches, all former bad stutterers, were always making me cry. They were so generous, so kind and encouraging, each one of them. People in the program each get their own personal coach. It’s amazing to see and terribly moving: Former stutterers freeing people locked in bad speech.
Seeing two young boys escape their linguistic chains made me weep.

No comments: