textiles · exploration · misadventure

Fuck September


I hate September.

September starts out fine, but progresses, inevitably, to a deep depression towards the end of the month.

For twenty years, as it deepens, I wonder at it, try to pry it apart, examine my life and feelings, try to probe what is getting to me so viciously. And then, mid-month, I remember.

My father died at the end of September, a painful, slow death from leukemia, which I witnessed, helpless. I held his hand when he died, finally, and my childhood ended.

We weren’t close, my father and I. I was very angry with him. I loved him so.

It sneaks up on me, this depression. Year after year I put it behind me, forget about it, tell myself it will fade with time. But as soon as the sun begins to bend around to Autumn’s angle, it starts. It’s been twenty years, and it’s only become worse.

This year has been very bad.

Perhaps it’s because I’m out of work, and despite loving it, I still carry a weight of anxiety about it.

Perhaps it’s because, despite happy adventures, I’m unhappy where I live, a middle-floor flat surrounded by kids just out of college who are transforming my neighborhood into a giant dorm, running around in the middle of the night, over my head, in hard-soled shoes, slamming the door, playing music, hooting drunkenly on the street, throwing parties. It changes, but it’s endless, and I haven’t slept well in months. I cannot afford to move, and stay in San Francisco.

Perhaps it’s because my back is so very bad right now. It’s been ever so much better since bellydancing. I was riding my bike again, which I haven’t done in yonks. But the trip north, driving on very bad roads for hours, sleeping on the ground or on a wooden platform, running from elk, packing and unpacking the car, putting heavy boxes on high shelves… it was too much. I thought my kidneys were going to land on the floor behind me, and I ended up in the emergency room. I’m still fragile, not dancing, not riding.

I have not been answering personal email or calling friends and family. I’m ignoring obligations and opportunities. I’m sheltering in my house, trying to play with textiles, and waiting for fucking September to be OVER. It can’t happen fast enough.

Next Friday, I’m off for Lambtown, a two-day textile festival in the small town of Dixon, California, less than two hours from San Francisco. Just the name of this festival cheers me up. So easy to get to, such a charming place. I’ve gone almost every year, for the past six years.

I’m signed up for three textile classes, and staying at the quite fantastic Super 8, where I’ve stayed three times. It’s owned by the kindest family.

I’ll walk the neighborhoods, peek into lighted windows, enjoy the unspoiled early-20th-century architecture, dream of owning my own home someday, and try not to let the pain of not having that get to me too much. I’ll try to be patient.

I’ll eat juevos rancheros at Shaw’s, if it still survives, where the neighbors stop by to chat with the staff, all sitting at the large table in the center of the room during breaks in business.

I’ll shop for treasures at the local thrift stores.

I’ll hear and see and breathe and touch and eat sheep for two days.

I’ll sleep alone. No one will stomp over my head with hard-soled shoes.

And it will be October.

A rescue, Lambtown. A celebration that I’ve escaped from the depths of September. Fuck September.
childhood’s end

28 thoughts on “Fuck September

  1. Ouch. Holding you in the Light and am so glad you’re off to Lambtown. (The name sounds like it should be the title of a soothing lullaby; just what you need!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joanne, so lovely to hear from you here, and thank you, most sincerely, for the light. I swear I can feel it, and it helps. I’ll respond to your sweet emails re: Oakland soon, I promise! Short answer is yesyesyes how fun!


  2. My sympathies. It sounds like you have a handle on it though and Lambtown will rescue you. I deal with S.A.D. which begins at the end of August and drags through until March. I’m grouchy and out of sorts and want to isolate and hibernate and just be alone. I’ve found that to be the worst thing I can do. I’ve discovered that thinking about something or someone else and DOING SOMETHING (like your Lambtown event) makes it impossible for me to dwell on the fact that I feel grouchy and crabby because sometimes I’m too busy or too tired. I’m trying to learn to think that way (using the moment) all year ’round, not just when the blues start calling. And this year September wasn’t the horror its’ been in years past. Perhaps one day you’ll be able to say that too. Our journeys are so individual and what works for someone might not work for someone else but in the spirit of compassion I offer the advice anyway. And know we’re reading and you’re not walking through September by yourself. You have companions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your compassionate comment. You are right—doing something always helps. The textiles help, they keep me busy. My boyfriend helps; he is a wonderful companion, very kind and supportive. Probably calling my friends and asking to hang out would help; that is always the hardest thing. Maybe next year I can be proactive and make plans with people ahead of time. Blessings on your head for telling me you’re reading, and I’m not by myself.
      I get a little bit of the S.A.D. myself, and know of what you speak. Take care of yourself this winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmmm. I don’t know why I thought you lived in a country setting.

    Glad you have your festival to look forwArd too.

    I do not want to sound overbearing etc. Etc. BUT….your remark just brings back how I/we are dealing with MY PARTNERS vehemently always saying he hates our home province (where all our FAMILY live
    incl. Grandbabies etc. I am close to my family and sone of his while he nit so much. Anyhow I try to tell hom it isn’t the province he hates but the circumstance of what happened there wuth his children …he has become so embroiled in these thoughts I do feel he is depressed but willnit see long stiry short..pls try not to allow what hhorrible things happened in sept. And try to push out the hate and see the good things this mth has. Only cuz I care….Not like u need a mommy figure annoying you lol
    and on the ither hand For some reason I see you in one of those tiny house type caravans enjoying nature and doing your thing..take care

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment, Donna. Maybe you thought I lived in a country setting because I consistently talk about and post pictures of plants and the outdoors? Maybe you can feel my longing from here.
      I do love the neighborhood where I live—there are SO many wonderful things about it. It’s just the loud, unconsciousness neighbors that I loathe. And that’s a problem that’s been going on since I got here, not new. Just maybe worse in Septembers. I also miss my family. The closest are three hours away, and I am grateful they’re not further.
      I dream of a tiny house someday, you have hit that one on the head! Not the tiniest though, cause there would be no room for yarn and fiber and dye stuff. And then there are my boyfriend’s ten bikes. And camping gear. Essentials, all, for us. Take care, Donna, and thanks again for your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 2 people

      • So glad you did not take offense and it does sound like there is a lot if stuff. My closest family is 10 hrs away and like you I miss them all the time. My partner on the other hand does not seem to miss anyone

        Liked by 1 person

  4. *hugs* ♡
    I feel for you. That’s how I feel about August. But it’s been a lot less time since I lost my mother to cancer. But this year took me all of August and almost all of September to pull myself out of the depression. I blame the pregnancy for that.
    But what makes me smile is knowing there’s a song for pretty much every moment, happy, sad, angry.
    And this is the song that popped into my head as I read this post.

    I’m so jelly that you’re going to that textile event. I’m stuck in a place with lots of noise too. And my crazy, loud toddler isn’t making their noise any more tolerable. Plus, I keep getting anxious about how I’m going to be able to let me newborn sleep peacefully once she finally sees fit to arrive.
    So, I definitely feel for you.
    *big tight hugs* Bless you. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm…. the link didn’t show up. Weird.
      Oh well. The name of the song is Wake Me Up When September Ends.


    • Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I watched the video—the link totally came up here, no problem—and it totally got me crying, which felt good. I needed that. And I read a little bit it, how Billy Joe Armstrong wrote it about his father, who also died of cancer. I don’t know why I’ve always looked at this September depression as something that happens only to me. It doesn’t happen to my family, as far as I know, so I’ve felt very alone in it. Your comment has changed that, and I thank you. Thanks also for following my blog. (:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, sweetie(sorry, I talk to everyone like that. If it’s too much, let me know) I’m so glad you don’t feel alone anymore. It’s not something we want anyone else to go through but it still makes us feel better to have someone else we can relate to at least a little.
        And definitely no thanks necessary. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself so that this connection could be made possible. ^_^ ♡

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw that video for the first time 2 days ago. Left me in tears as well.


  5. I understand these words all too well. Two more days dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, K.E. Down to one more day, I’m feeling maybe a little less lumpy. Tomorrow I’m going to pack for Lambtown. I think the shift to that mindset will help a great deal. Thank you for checking in. (:

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry that not only have you lost your father, but you lose the month of September each year as well. With that said, we all handle our grief differently and this is how you do it. That’s ok until it’s not ok with you! I am 20 months post stem-cell transplant for leukemia. Fortunately, I am doing very well. I solo backpacked 156 miles of the 485 mile Colorado Trail this summer. I drove to Yellowstone from Colorado by myself to visit a friend. And I’m preparing to go back to work. I know I am one of the lucky ones, but don’t delude myself that the reappearance of cancer is not a possibility. I know the stats. In the meantime, I try to live each day without regrets. Not an easy task sometimes. The critic creeps in. I am getting a little better at quieting her.

    Whatever you do, on October 1 find something to celebrate. And enjoy that textile conference you’re going to. Sounds like so much fun!! 🙂


  7. Dear Lissa—My first thought on reading your comment was WOW, what a woman. You’re creating and having what sound like extremely happy adventures. Your backpacking trips sound STUPENDOUS. I can only imagine how being able to achieve them made you feel. Hopefully they made you feel STUPENDOUS too!
    Congratulations on your successful stem-call transplant, and all best wishes for continuing health and adventures. I admire you.
    Looking forward to shifting my mind to Lambtown packing tomorrow. Anticipation is a large part of the fun.
    And, before I forget, thank you for following me! All good wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Curvy,
    Oh How I understand S.A.D
    As you know, I fight it from April thru the end of October here in Florida.
    My worse month is May. My mom died last year. Her birthday is May 5, Mother’s Day is less than a week after that. Bobby died on May 19.
    Yeah, May is a hard month. So is December. I love Christmas and it’s my birthday month.
    Yet, without family around. Without my son. No Grand kids. It’s hard.
    Thinking of you.
    Sending love and hugs.


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  10. Oh, Lou! I just saw this and I’m so sorry–UGH!! Glad you’re doing better (saw your more recent post). I do hope you can anticipate it in 2016 and have some prevention strategies? And yes, my oldest daughter and fam live in southern Cal, and I empathize with the price of housing — GAG!! I have an idea–MOVE TO MISSOURI!! You can buy a house WITH A YARD, or space to raise your own sheep. (Just sayin’…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, sweetie! Thanks for stopping in. I’ve had a good day—not enough textiles, but other good things, and continue to feel better. The midwest sounds fantastic. I sometimes daydream about Detroit and a house for $10,000, but then I’m from LA and might die of the cold. Matthew and I both have family in the Denver area, and we daydream about that more seriously. Maybe some day…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Would love to have you in the Midwest….

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. I agree, only for me, it is March 28, 2015. His birthday would have been the 31st. When a parent dies, we lose a huge part of our childhood. March comes and goes, and the hurt remains. Stay strong, and know there is a group that no one wants to be part of.


    • Hi, Pursuing! Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply; I’ve been on a long break. You say truth; it’s something only people that have lost a parent understand. This September is quite gentle. I’ve spent super time with family, I have a new kitty I adore, and my life has changed so much in the past year that I’m overall SO much happier. It’s making all the difference. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes. I hope your March wasn’t too rough on you this year. Thank you for your comment! 🙂