Something in Gillian has changed, but an increase in happiness doesn’t seem to be it. She does seem more solid, as though she were porous before and is now achieving weight. Her constitution is not as floaty. When she eats fruit at the table she is really there and she is really eating fruit. When I say she doesn’t seem happier I mean that she doesn’t smile, or laugh, or perform any other signifiers of a carefree nature, but she does seem to be more in the moment. -- from the draft of The Long Work
This seems to be true of myself these days. I feel newly determined. By which I mean --
Determined: (from the OED) (italics mine)
3. Decided, settled, fixed; decided or resolved upon. 5. Defined, definite, exact; distinctly marked or laid down; fixed.
The edges of myself being distinctly marked. Having resolved to actively move forward. I may not see it in myself all the time, but I'm becoming more sure of myself. This shows itself in a physical sensation of rootedness in my chest, which is the opposite of the mental instability that I'm accustomed to, which is physically loose, frightening, and wild.
Last night Chris went out, and I stayed in. I read the Fiction Issue of The New Yorker. Answered emails. Read some old and familiar stories by old and familiar writers. Wrote in my notebook. Sat in the quiet, and did nothing.
A rare evening -- rare in that I could live in such quietness, and not feel desperate to fill it with noise.