Sunday, June 10, 2012

Obsession: What if you just own it?

Sherlock in Añjali Mudrā

OK, I’m obsessed with Sherlock and I’m feeling some symptoms of withdrawal--moody, edgy, sad.
There are only 6 episodes (so far) and I’ve seen all of them twice and the pilot.
It all started when I was just wandering through TV channels, which I hardly ever do, but this show caught my eye.  I jumped in and out of the last half of the last episode of the first season in a re-run on PBS.
That night I dreamt about his hair, the luscious dark curls in my fingers, against my lips . . .
I awoke with a start and realized that I was remembering someone from 30 years prior who bore a striking resemblance to the actor playing Sherlock and someone with whom I had been in an off-and-on correspondence of late.  Oh!  Are kisses what I’m wanting, what I’m hoping for with 30-years-ago guy? 

Gah, so, yes.  And I get to watch myself doing it.  I had already told myself the reasons for contacting T. (30-years-ago-guy) was that he reminded me of my college years, those dreamy and unreal four years when I got to be immersed in the heady pursuit of literature and my confused approach to boys.  And a few years back, when I was feeling dissatisfied with my life, I Googled him and found that he was teaching English at an Ivy League college.  I read an excerpt of a book he’d written and heard his voice through it again, funny and erudite. 
I cried. 
He also had reviewed some poets I didn’t know and as I began to read them, that old feeling that I had set aside for so long came back, that excitement of deciphering the meaning of language, the flowing power of a wash of images in verse, the tones, the colors . . . .
At that time I was on the edge of joining MySpace and a circle of supportive writers.  Finding T. again helped me realize the direction that I wanted for my life, what I had been missing.
I contacted him.  We hadn’t been lovers, but I had fond memories of him.  We were friends.  He liked my poetry.  I loved hanging out with him and listening to him talk.  That may sound odd, but he was extremely smart and I liked to have him explain philosophy and literature in ways that were quite foreign to my brain.  I thanked him for indirectly encouraging me to write again after a decade or so hiatus.  He had fond memories of me as well, but that was the end of it.  I could see that at that time, I wanted him to help me, to be my editor, perhaps, or somehow help me get published.  I didn’t ask him directly, but I sent him some of my poems and then heard nothing back.  I let it go.

Then my boyfriend of 7 years broke up with me, my mother died, my dogs died.  I tried to make a relationship happen with an alcoholic with whom I initially thought I could just be a friend.  I think I may finally be over that notion, but I’ve started up this little thing with someone from 30 years ago.  In December, I found some art he had done and sent me on a postcard from 1983.  I scanned it and sent it to him.  I had to wonder about my intentions and I decided that he would either decide that I was a creepy stalker, or be thrilled.  He was thrilled. At that time I was just starting to teach myself to draw and very enthusiastic about it.  He wrote back and told me that he realized that abandoning his Art was a mistake and he wanted to get back to it.  I said yesyesyesyes!  And then nothing for another 4 months. 

In April, T. sent me a short email that he was in his garden and thinking about me.  What?  I let three weeks pass before I responded.  I wasn’t doing so hot at the time.  My back was out and I was having an unhappy spring.  I sent him a longer message and some drawings.  And that flirtatious energy came up. Even though I knew I had a good chance of being very foolish, it still felt good.  T. had been kind to me in the distant past.  There was no enmity between us; he had rescued me from a verbally abusive relationship when I asked him.  Did I wish to be rescued again?  

And then Sherlock showed up: tall, thin, pale, dark curls, incredibly smart.  I got psychologically confused.  I knew that I was making up a fake romance with T., almost as I had with the online alcoholic, with even less;  I was just working off a couple of emails this time.  What are you doing!?  But Sherlock as a doppelganger to T. was a lovely distraction.  I could come home from a crap day at work and know that he’d be there in a blue dressing gown, or Saville Row suit, petulant and dark and dashing, challenging me to think, observe, figure it out. I shifted my possible obsession with T. to a TV show.  But now it’s over, well at least until new episodes come out next year. And, by owning it, my obsessive nature, that need to make up romance, I just get to say:  Yes!

A rather blue still from "Third Star"


  1. Oh. Yes.

    I am into this you have written, the ideas of allowing obsession, letting it play, playing with it, and not resisting or denying it. I have been thinking along these same lines this spring.

    We just finished watching the last episode of Sherlock, which we DVR'd while we watched the first season. Heavens it's wonderful. This actor is totally amazing.

    I want to read everything I have missed here. I am so happy to see you have written several posts. I on the other hand am slowing, feeling the blogging thing ebbing away. Body sore. Socially wrung out. I dunno. But there are certain people I want to read, and you're one of them. So I will take each poem I've missed and relish them one by one.

    1. Thank you so much, Ruth.
      It was such an odd experience to have a vision of someone I had been thinking about show up this way. So I was rather berating myself and saying, Oh, here I go again, and it was my sister who challenged me to own it. It felt so much better to be in a place of acceptance, rather than bemoaning it.
      I let myself write poems inspired by how I was feeling, just ran with it a bit.

      The image of my old friend got a bit hazy in my mind because the Sherlock shows were so dynamic. I really love the scripts and the acting--so much happens in each episode. I also like that Watson isn't a bumbling idiot, that's he's more like us, the audience; and that Sherlock isn't always right, that John is a very useful and sometimes necessary partner. Love that Watson's blog is more popular than Sherlock's, too. Watson tells a story; lord knows what's on Sherlock's blog--a sterile, but imposing palace of facts?

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting. I love to read your posts, but I understand the waning interest.

      Be well

    2. Sherlock has a blog too? I didn't catch that! I really love the interact of the two of them, and I agree that it's wonderful having Watson be intelligent. I love the complexities of their relationship, and how they understand each other, silently.

    3. Well, maybe it's not a blog exactly, a website, The Science of Deduction, where he posts his findings. Moriarty is on it constantly, apparently, since in The Great Game, Sherlock posts the answer to each "test" on it and at the end of that episode, messages M. to meet him at the pool via his website. As the series goes on, it seems he becomes more popular and people post requests for help on his website. Thus, we get to hear about Bluebell, the luminous and disappeared rabbit.

  2. This is such a thick weave of stories. I LOVE the header photo of Sherlock! The poetry, the garden, the alcoholic, T., Sherlock, the dream, the dogs. I see grace in the way you have owned this seemingly untamable obsession. I love the erotic quality of trying to tame the obsession with varying levels of success.

    I want to do a field trip to the perfume counter at Macy's to have a sniff of Obsession by....Yves St Laurent? Pierre Cardin? Calvin Klein?


    1. Thank you, Caroline.
      Yes, we should go to a movie at Sundance, too!

      And with varying levels of success: I watched "War Horse" last night just because Benedict Cumberbatch was in it. What a waste of his talent and my time. At least the horses did a good job. ;)

  3. sounds like you had a pretty tough time lately..first i thought you're talking about sherlock holmes...smiles..i'm a big fan of mr. watson and him but..that's another father used to drink and that can be hell on just wanted to careful..

    1. Thank you, Claudia. Yes, I think I have a fairly good sense now of the chaos and destructive nature of alcoholism, enough so that I can steer clear of that in my life. It was useful for me to witness and now important for me to let go.

  4. your honesty shocks me and thrills me, as does your vulnerability.)))

    i'm beginning to think i should turn on my tv. but no.


    1. Thank you, erin. There's a saying in recovery groups that we're only as sick as our secrets. I'm finding it therapeutic to share this stuff, and surprising. It seems that after I go through the trouble of composing and posting "secrets," they shift. I can see the transference that I'm doing (well, I can see to some degree)and now I've let go of the worry over T and am more focused on the actor. Then, of course, I was worried that I would become a silly 50+ fangirl. So, I've decided that I will label this actor as a Muse for me because I am being inspired to write from this obsession while still allowing myself some silly fanaticism.
      On this subject, a friend of mine said something like, You've decided to own it, well, what if you choose to enjoy it, too?
      What a wonderful thought!