Out of Sorts


The moment I saw them, the three baby turtles followed their mama’s lead, sliding off their sunny log and disappearing into the brown water of the small pond. Just because I rounded the bend. I searched for them- had there been two or three? Did I just imagine the whole spring sun-bathing scene? After a few moments I could see their small dark bodies scattered in the water, emerging closer to the surface where they could be easily mistaken for a rotten leaf or piece of wood. I was happy to see them, happy for the sun on my face, happy for the masses of jelly-ball frog eggs I found in the shallow water all along the shore. But I am not happy.

I am out of sorts. I seem to be trying to find my way. Me, who’s way is so clear. I am predictable, reliable. My life is an open book. I remember struggling to come up with “One Little Word” to reflect on this year and choosing ‘drift.’ I worried it wasn’t a good word and maybe that’s true- I don’t know, yet.

So, I allowed myself to drift today. I started to go one way (downtown) then chose another (the suburbs.) I drove by myself to the park where we scattered my parents’ ashes. But before taking the path along the swiftly moving creek that had carried their ashes to the river, to the ocean, to the cosmos, I went the other way- to the pond.

And the frog eggs were good, the sun was good, the turtles were good, but they hurt my feelings. Disappearing, they made me feel like I didn’t belong. Likewise, the little frogs making a cacophonous racket in the weeds until I came close- then silence. I know they do this. It is ridiculous to take it personally. But then, I am out of sorts. Or drifting. You see, I cannot even choose my metaphor and stick to it.

To get to the park I took the longest possible route. (Did I really want to just keep on driving, into the unfamiliar?) Once there I napped in the warm car before getting out. I ate saltine crackers I found in the glove compartment. (Did I really just want to be somewhere not my home- anywhere?)

Walking, I thought of what to write today. I did something I hate- I self-edited, before even writing. Write about nature? Oh, she always does that. The beauty of new life in spring? Oh, her writing is always such “goody-two-shoes.” And then I find myself tossing idea after idea, rather than being where I am and actually sensing and living my day. I feel trite.

So here’s a little pathetic honesty. Don’t mind me, I’m just out of sorts. As I drift, ha ha.
I suspect drifting takes awhile. Before you can see where it’s taken you.

So many frog eggs! That’s a good thing.

6 thoughts on “Out of Sorts

  1. You express your feelings well, whether you are happy (in some other posts) or out of sorts (today). I appreciate your describing the contrast between the lovely spring moments and the difficult inner thoughts. I definitely can relate. Hope you feel better tomorrow!

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  2. Love your openness here. I love when you say “I seem to be trying to find my way. Me, who’s way is clear.” I relate so much to that. I wish you lots of adventure and joy as you drift!

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  3. Fran, this is beautiful. I never find your writing trite or goody two-shoes, I always see nature in a new way when you write about. But I understand the conflicted feelings, the questioning of ourselves, the days that feel like they are just drifting by. You describe it so well in such an unusual way.

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  4. Fran, this is such a beautiful post. My favorite section: “I know they do this. It is ridiculous to take it personally. But then, I am out of sorts. Or drifting. You see, I cannot even choose my metaphor and stick to it.” You share humor even in an out of sorts mood! I have definitely felt this way before – from drifting to taking nature personally. Hope you find what you need to feel rejuvenated!

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  5. Being out of sorts is a natural phenomenon that sometimes is just that – we can’t quite figure it out. This is a truly reflective slice. Thanks for a peek into your thoughts.

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