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In which TKH acquires tunnel vision and finds herself fascinated by bog people...
The current book is still in the writing phase, and it's finally on a roll, so I'm not answering email (I'm rarely answering the phone), and I'm afraid to leave the house in case I suddenly find myself lost in my world again and don't have a way to write it down.
Strangely, I'm still working on the fantasy at the same time, writing down notes and tiny scenes and piling them up for the time at which I really start writing on that book. I find it odd that my mind is still hung up on that story while I'm writing this one. It's almost as if they're parallel tracks in my thoughts.
My guitar is fine, my violin is fine, and my electric guitar is very, very fine now that I've had the frets smoothed down. I'm told I probably have the smoothest frets in the world now (my fingers thank my luthier), and I will certainly say that it is much more a pleasure to play without the sharp-edged speed-bumps tripping up my grace notes.
I'm finding myself fascinated again by bog people and mummification in general, or rather, more specifically, in sealants. Why the oils of the cedar tree are better than the oils of some other tree, how dessication occurs through the skin over time, etc. I have this fabulous book on carcasses that I daren't loan out in case it doesn't come back. I can't get another copy. And I'm fascinated suddenly by heavy metal pigments--where they come from, how the earth makes them. And what about what goes into a medieval cooking pot -- did you know they threw in pretty much anything -- flowers, bark, etc -- that wasn't poisonous or bitter?
I can't seem to turn off my mind. I never have been able to, except once, in a semi-comatose state after ingesting a sulfite. There was no thought, not a single image up there then, not for 36 hours. I mean, even when I'm unconscious, I still have dreams, images, sounds, words, stories -- almost all nightmares, of course. And then I stopped sleeping about two years ago. I've never slept well compared to most people -- my husband says I sleep four hours exactly -- but now I'm lucky to get 1-1/2 hours before getting up, bored out of my mind at staring at the darkness and listening to the night. My psychiatrist sister-in-law pointed out that I should be psychotic by now, and I'll admit I'm afraid to ask her if I'm showing any signs.
One thing has become clear: I will be getting glasses. Apparently, my age has prevented my eyes from healing back to what I used to have as vision. Knowing how ungrateful this sounds, I'm still going to say that 20-20 may be fine for some folks, but it's fuzzy to me, and it's really slowed me down. I want my 20-10 eyes back! I hate this tiny little oval of plastic clarity, edged in distortion, hanging off my ears, cutting out 90% of the world. I have to turn my head completely to see something, otherwise, I'm trying to look through the edge of a lens. The frames catch constantly on my hair so that I have to cut or tear them out of the strands. And I drop the stupid things all the time. My hands aren't good for anything anymore, not for holding onto a comb or toothbrush, fork or pen, and certainly not for hanging onto a thin pair of glasses. I suspect I'll be spending three times as much as the average Joe just to replace my scratched-up lenses three times a year.
I always knew I'd have to get glasses if I lived long enough, but I hadn't really understood what that meant. It's not the degredation that bothers me so much as the loss of the whole circle of vision. I was used to seeing the world all at once. Now I'm going to see only a binocular view in front of me, with everything else merely implied by movement and color at the edges, but not sharp or in focus. How odd to get tunnel vision after all this time in my field.
Copyright 2005 Tara K. Harper
All rights reserved. It is illegal to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, any part of this copyrighted file without permission in writing from Tara K. Harper. Permission to download this file for personal use only is hereby granted by Tara K. Harper.
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