It just occurred to me, perhaps because I’ve been maundering about the mansion lately with more than my usual melancholy, to think upon the old phrase “a shell of her former self,” which of course is always said with a sorrowful shake of the head with a kind of doomy delectation. My maudlin state is only self-indulgent pity that will soon pass, as it’s clearly related to my recent bout of battling some sort of ugly internal germ warfare, and I am surely the patient for whom “im-” was coined as a prefix to the category. Why, I hate mooning around feeling like last week’s boiled cabbage even more than I hate getting up early in the morning or other forms of socially correct forced jollity, and that is definitely, in the vernacular, ‘going some.’
I’m quite willing to admit that my present case of strep throat, Black Plague, or common-head-cold-with-flashy-tendencies is not going to kill me, and that it will likely pass before I take up my unlicensed weapons and go rampaging. (You do not want to know what I might think of doing with a hot glue gun outside of my craft cupboard when I’m feeling cranky!) But this knowledge has in no way impeded my crotchety tendencies and air of martyrdom as I’ve slouched about the homestead.
Yet I will concede that a shell is not always the least of one’s components, so perhaps I can allow a certain latitude in my impatient-patient thinking. Maybe if I determine to think of the possibility that the homely exterior is not only armor for the meat of the matter, in a literal way, but possibly has its own beauties, too, I won’t so easily wallow in feeling hollow. I’m not going to produce any pearls out of my irritation, either of the nacreous kind or of wisdom, but perhaps if I can focus my scratchy, rheumy thoughts a little and work up my own little bit of shine somehow, all this grey-tinged groaning might become less pointless and frustrating after all.