It suddenly occurred to me few minutes ago that I might be in a fugue state…I don’t really know why I thought that, it’s just that I feel so very odd and disconcerted lately, and that term just popped into my head. So I decided, YES!, that must be what’s going on with me.
But when I googled “fugue state,” the definition was a “sudden traveling away from familiar surroundings in an amnesiac episode.” Well, that really isn’t me at all right now. My surroundings are all too famliar, and my memory is actually pretty good, considering all the stuff that’s roiling around in my head. (I remembered earlier today that it was Chris and Cathy King’s birthday – they were twins who were my lab partners in seventh grade science class. So, in some respects my memory is working very well.)
So, if not in a state of fugue, what is going on with me these days?
In thinking about it, I believe it was the musical concept of fugue that felt appropriate to my state of mind…the idea of a theme that keeps repeating itself, but entering and exiting at different times. I even have some variations of the theme going on as well, which helps to keep things even more interesting (how proud Bach would have been!)
Here’s how it all plays out in practical terms.
1. The professional woman theme: That’s the one that goes into her office, turns on her computer, reviews and documents a huge pile of medical records, creates a summary of medical activites related to patients with all kinds of mental and physical disorders, sends a bill and report to the appropriate people at the appropriate times, assigns and schedules work hours, and handles employee disputes.
2. The “artiste” theme: Here’s the musician/writer who sits at the piano for a three hour rehearsal, takes a quick dinner break during which she drafts a letter soliciting funds for a scholarship in memory of a former student who recently committed suicide, and then heads over to a local church hosting a group of homeless people to provide an hour of musical entertainment;
3. The wife/mother/daughter theme: This is the variation that creates a meal, takes the two dogs to the groomer, stops at the grocery to pick up a carton of eggs for her mother, and pays some bills online at 11:00 p.m.
Somehow, these themes become integrated into a day in the life of a whole person – ME. See, I did all the things listed above at various times TODAY. And although part of my mind says, God, you are too old to do all this crap, another part of it is saying, God, you are amazing that you can do all this crap! So, do I want it to end? No. Do I want to have scads of free time to go out to lunch and go shopping, and clean the grout in my bathroom with a toothbrush? GOD, no.
I like being a fugue, one of the most complicated and difficult musical forms to master. It takes hours and hours for me to hack my way through one on the keyboard. But, hell, I can damn sure live one every day.