Does it seem unsettling - this juxtaposition of happy weekend posts with a series of posts about free-floating dread?
It is rather.
For me, too. But it is what happens. It's what happens when I come home to the place where I am meant to be the refuge to others. When the weekend of Freedom from the Future ends. And present realities come home to roost once more.
It is actually the weekend away - mentally, emotionally, as much as physically - that gives me energy to turn and look at this shadowy and unnamed fear. To growl back at it.
I know that part of this cloud of anxiety is biopsy-induced. Though the news this morning is that Fritz's PSA count is down in the zero-point-somethings where last time it was two-point-whatever. This is good news. It gives me more heart to stand and take stock of my fear's characteristic disguise.
Fritz feels one should not entertain fears, nor make space for them. Do I really need to talk about these nebulous things in such a public place? "People don't really find others' neuroses all that entertaining, do they?" Which is why he reads meterology for fun.
And I consider Othello, The Scarlet Letter, The Brothers Karamazov, all of Chekov. It's such a good thing their writing technique is so good that it can compensate for all that nasty miasma of off-putting neurotica.
Fritz says, "And I just wonder, what does this free-floating fear have to do with either 'Imaginary' or 'Bicycle,' you know? Imaginary? Bicycle? Hmm?"
My dears, you have been warned. If you are looking for the bikely life please hie yourself over to the Dream Wheels. Plenty of happy cycling moments over there.
Though where would brightness be without its dark?
Here is my soul's bicycle, my darling Fritz, imagine it if you can: wobbling between the two wheels, Dread and Delight. I am balanced so long as I keep moving with both of them.
It's no accident that I walk many miles every week - more when I am working my way through loss or grief, less at other times, but always regularly. This past year I've walked most mornings in the dark with a friend. In addition to our usual eight-mile rambles over the hills on Saturday morning. For health and fitness, for talk and companionship.
Mostly for that, let us say.
But more than I would like to admit because the movement eases the flutter and tightness inside me.
So much of it, no doubt, just bodily maintenance. A lack of sleep? hormones? Erratic blood sugar, I sometimes think, vitamin B too low. Or vitamin D.
But I am never afraid when I'm out riding the roads, cycling alongside trucks and other traffic. Watchful, maybe. Vigilant. Observant. Aware. But the release from anxiety is part of what I find so exhilarating about cycling and hill-climbing. That, and becoming so physically tired that when I sit down to rest I can just breathe in and breathe out. What I find hard some days is that all my roads eventually must loop around and come back home - before I am worn out enough to just rest.
I can feel it - the inner sigh as of one re-assuming a heavy pack - as the worries creep back into their familiar pockets with their evil chuckles and abominable self-assurance, sharp fingers clutching through the fabric of my shirt as they climb back up on my back.
When we had just come home from our biking weekend, while the endorphins and oxygen were still coursing through my blood, my young son climbed into my lap and I felt all that energy turn to a kind of hovering, an ache to keep safe.
Which I cannot.
Which I hate.
Mostly safe. That I can do. But this world is not a safe place. And we are tough and resilient. We know how to climb hills and laugh at spills.