I’ve had three mandarin oranges this morning. They came in my vegetable delivery from a local farm, and they all look so squashy. My eyes want to see oranges from 1950s magazine ads, shiny and perfectly round, but these are puckery. If my eyes had their way I’d toss these oranges out, but I haven’t. Instead I’m feeling this orange to see if it’s soft, or too soft, or not soft enough, and it seems like that’s the way everything is lately. I pick things up one orange at a time. Everything is deliberate in my fingers, which have always felt so long and not quite right, but which are fine for feeling oranges. I’m not wearing any rings. That’s ok for feeling oranges too.
Abby has this Wednesday blog series called Dress for the Day, about letting your clothes do some of the work in carrying you to your best possible day. It’s lovely. Two Wednesdays ago I watched tweets roll through my phone with the hashtag and I looked at my pink owl pajama pants and oversized sweatshirt, and the fingernails caked in dirt from sanding. It was cold outside and I was painting and crying because it had been a day with hard conversations and snot dropped into the gravel next to my old, worn out running shoes. I imagined how I would write a Dress for the Day post, or even a tweet or a picture, and I cried harder. I felt so cold, so alone and outside. Last Wednesday I didn’t want to get out of my yoga pants or bed even, so I did the next best thing and put on leggings and a cotton dress and all my layers at the same time. Then I cried my way through more hard conversations, and conversations about hard conversations, and when it became dark I drove home from work and got into bed again. I’m not sure I changed my clothes first. Tomorrow I will wear I don’t know what. My laundry mutely begs to be done and I have important adult meetings and adult things to do. But the sun rises every day and the world has warmed up and I believe I’ll face those things with a smile. We’ll see. I guess I’m taking things Wednesday by Wednesday. I will feel my way, bit by bit, instead of telling myself all about it beforehand.
I’ve eaten all three oranges. It turns out all three of them were ok. Not because I like pat metaphors. Just because that’s the way the true story happened.