Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shipwrecked Six Months Later

I am feeling like a castaway on Gilligan's Island.

What started out as a three hour cruise has turned into a six month tour. Not a tour exactly, more like a lay-over waiting for the next part of the journey to begin. Six months. Six months today. I never expected the waiting to be this long. I never expect to be out of work this long. I never expected to out of work in the first place. I never expected this. As Monty Python says, Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition.

The weather is cold, overcast, gloomy. And I am sure it is contributing to my mood. I feel like wallowing in my--I was going to say despair, but that's not the right word. What is it I am feeling? I am feeling impotent. I am feeling powerless. I am feeling Less.

Less than I did before, less sure of myself, less sure of my footing in this world, less sure of my place in this world. Less sure of my world. I am feeling Less.

I am feeling like hiding from the world that does not seem to want me to contribute to it. I am feeling like the world outside of my own walls is moving by me like an express train. I am on the platform waiting to catch that train, but the train has not stopped for me. I am still waiting. The train does not stop here. This is the express, and I am at the wrong station.

I had expected to find work within a few weeks. I had expected the three hour cruise. I had expected to be back on track. I had expectations.

Instead, I find myself six months later doing the same thing I did on the first day of my lay-off, or lay-over whichever you prefer, watching Film Noir movies and knitting. I have an extensive collection of Film Noir movies and a craft room full of yarn, but because I was working so hard and such long hours, I never took the time to sit and knit while watching a movie. I thought after the lay-off that this would be the perfect time to get caught up on both. I could now take the time.

I learned how to knit from my Grandmother when I was 10 but then didn't knit for a long time afterwards. I was inspired to take up knitting again a few years ago after going to a Film Noir festival sponsored by the Film Noir organization, The Danger and Despair Knitting Circle. Everyone has their comfort movies, perhaps, like my sister's favorite, a Spencer and Tracy screwball comedy. But for me, nothing says cozy like the dark, shadowy fatalism of Film Noir. When in doubt, put on Shadow of a Doubt.

So it seemed fitting that I would spend that first day of my lay-off watching The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity,  and Act of Violence.  I didn't realize the symmetry of watching old Film Noir movies and knitting today, on this the six month anniversary of the layoff, until the day was almost over. Today in honor of director Fritz Lang's birthday,  I was looking for films of his I hadn't seen before. I found a new favorite, House By The River. Not a typical gritty urban noir, but the story was there. A murder, the wrong man accused, poetic justice in the end. As Arthur Lyons would say, It's all in the story.

I was watching these movies and knitting because I felt like wallowing. Because it was cold outside. Because I wanted to be comforted. And nothing says comfort than murder and knitting. (On film, that is.)

I am sure that this mood will pass. But it is a tough reality to face-- when you signed up for a three hour cruise to find yourself shipwrecked six months later.

© pranaknits

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