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This page is for posts mostly about my life. For fiction, see the "blog" page in the site menu. 

Travelling Light

April 16th, 2024

 

Here we go. 

Hang in there with me, okay?

I'm writing in a heightened state of anxiety. Like there's a trapped ferret in my chest. A small part of me would like to declare that my life is falling apart. By my life, of course, I mean all four of our lives: the two children, the man, and mine.

 

We have a house to live in, and it's nice enough, with wood floors, and close to the beach. The trouble is that we have to leave soon, and the money to start over isn't going to just appear. It's one of those, you know,  "landlord-tenant conflicts" that nearly everyone faces at some point. The age-old dilemma... and isn't it strange that in the twenty-first century we're still so enthralled by ownership, and blind to its evils? I know it's vile to pity oneself. The floor isn't going to cave in. We can find another place to live. Everything will be alright. 

How did we get here? Well, we had security and took it for granted. Something about pulling the weeds. Leaving the shared back door unlocked? It's definitely not turning to shite now because we duly paid the rent on time every month. It's just that we forgot our place. Little people like us have to remember that we are essentially property too, and we'd better not forget who owns us. This is where our daughter was born, where we got married, where we grew pumpkins and tulips, where we decorated for Christmas. But it can't ever be ours, and the niceness and the wood floors and the beach aren't enough to make the constant harassment and diminishment tolerable.

 

Enough about that now, I've said my peace. Hopefully it was comprehensible. 

In spite of this particular setback, I actually have the sense that our lives are about to get better. I feel, in fact, more optimistic than I can ever remember feeling. Maybe it comes with getting older and knowing that given all that's hurt you before, there isn't much good flesh left for the crows to pluck. I feel strong now. Even capable of carrying this family by myself. Certainly enough to withstand the ugliness of this situation without letting it harm my kids. We have so much to look forward to. We just need a new place to dwell in while the future is happening.

 

Nevertheless, it recalls me back to childhood, which consisted of more moving than living. Do you remember? Tension building, eviction, explosion, yelling and crying, packing and unpacking, driving off into the unknown, et cetera. Old pain. I think I was brave when times were hard, like kids naturally are. Again, I'm not the only one. Many of you have been there as well, and you know how little prompting is needed to bring you back into that nightmare, no matter how grown you are. So I'm searching for some value in these recollections, trying to summon a molecule of wisdom to share in this present moment. Are you feeling my urgency? How will I pack it all in time?

Fear has been a force in my life for a long time. It might have something to do with the insecurity I experienced growing up. Maybe it's just my personality. But I've grown, and there is a bigger place out there for me to fill. For better or worse, I know that I can't act out of fear now. I've come too far for that. It's a substance that interacts poorly with my chemistry. So fear, I decide, must be overridden and replaced with something else. 

 

I realize that sometimes we are presented with opportunities that aren't immediately obvious. Do you see them in your own life? They might come disguised as a waking nightmare, or a re-traumatization of the fragile inner self. Rare chances, when the insight is available, to put down that old baggage and walk through a new door. Fear is always in the way. If I focus in and forget the million things I'm supposed to remember to bring along, there are a couple of elements that become quite essential. Those things are (first), a child's courage and (second), a grown-up's sense of self. They are essential because from these things it's possible to build a new life that is recognizable, and livable, with room to spare. Fortunately for me, neither need to be put in a bag. 

 

This was the first blog post I wrote, almost a year ago. I gave up on publishing it for a while and only returned to the idea recently. Funnily enough, my subject for this post was essentially the same: the struggle to envision a "successful" future and a lack of control. Going back and reading this has helped me to pick up on some unexpected growth... of fungus.

July 21st, 2023

 

I have to take a break from caffeine (and alcohol). Tiredness descends on a late July afternoon. My body is in rebellion. A tendon screams on the side of my knee, a fibroid stabs my uterus. 

We, my son and I, are laying on his bed in the pink sunset ombre-painted bedroom. I am trying to coax him to take a nap with his baby sister. He fights a little, but I can feel him drifting off, in spite of his jerky, excited movements. Speaking of excited... I can hardly describe what is happening in my belly. Flutters? Contractions? The possibility of a few free hours, without the children in my hair, is unbelievable, and, strangely, more than I am prepared to handle. I'm tired too, I could sleep here with them. What should I do? The room becomes still and quiet. Their breathing is feather-soft. I nearly follow them away to their dream-place.

Wary, the house an air-conditioned tomb, I find my way to a notebook and start "brain storming" (brain drizzling?). So much of my writing is just complaining, tedious, self-serious horse shit. I cross out this and that, set new parameters for what is acceptable, bemoan my lack of originality. The time ticks by, and the one big anxiety, the snail shell spiraling out from within, has completed its revolution. The free time will never be enough, the pep talks hold no sway, and it all means nothing, because I? I am just not good enough. This is one of many ways I waste time, in fear of what could happen if I really tried. 

I sense that some transformation is almost complete, that I am getting closer to who I am supposed to be. It's frightening. Believing that there is some artistic calling awaiting me, in writing, photography, whatever, seems dangerous and foolhardy. I have a reason to feel this way. It's this: whenever I get close to living my life the way I really want to, something goes wrong. An obstacle arises, usually in the form of another person, but sometimes as an event. My life has, really, been characterized by constant interruptions. For example, earlier this month I was involved in a pretty mortifying car crash, just as I was seriously preparing to publish my blog. Ha ha. It all makes sense to me, but of course there are ways to explain failure, and you know now I have those. 

"So what?" is the appropriate response. Doesn't everyone feel thwarted sometimes? Even the unflinchingly positive don't get everything they want. Fear also mars self-reflection. So while I comb through my memories looking for an explanation for chronic unfulfillment I fail to see myself, front and center, sabotaging everything with a self-effacing grin and twisted-up guts and excuse after excuse. 

About this blog

This is a blog about me, Kira Dalton, very ordinary person. It is also going to be a platform for my stories. They are loosely based on stories from my own family. In my fiction, the characters struggle with poverty, mental illness, misogyny, and generational trauma. I hope to one day compile them into a novel, or a series, but for now I will publish them here. They are my own original work and should be treated as copyrighted. 

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