Anchors and Metaphors, Oh My

anchor [ang-ker]
1. any of various devices dropped by a chain, cable, or rope to the bottom of a body of water for preventing or restricting the motion of a vessel or other floating object.
2. any similar device for holding fast or checking motion: an anchor of stones.
3. any of various devices, as a metal tie, for binding one part of a structure to another.
4. a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security.

What is an anchor? It is a device–typically with hook-like arms that bury themselves in a secure surface to provide a firm hold–that can hold an enormous amount of weight in place, it will stop unauthorized drifting, but still give a little leeway for small movement. An anchor and anchor line are essential to the safety and integrity of a much larger mass. Both are sunk deep into water, debris, earth, and/or ice, and are completely hidden from view at the surface while holding the vessel steady against storms, currents, external forces and other potential instability. In fact, in many ways an anchor is often forgotten until it starts to slip and the once safe and secure cargo starts to lurch and sway.

Let’s talk about the life of an anchor for a minute (yes, this is a metaphor). Anchors have enormous hooks and barbs to secure their load, they often get hurled onto and then dragged across treacherous surfaces while trying to find a point of stability. An anchor carries countless scars, is covered in grime or barnacles, and spends its existence clawing for security in order to exert all its integrity and leverage in order to keep the load steady. An anchor spends every important and worthwhile moment of its life submerged.

Sometimes we are the cargo ship.
Sometimes we are the anchor.

Right now, and for the last several months years, I have been cast in the role of anchor…and I’m tired. I’ve clawed at everything within reach to try to stay steady, I’ve scraped and scrambled to eliminate or redistribute weight, I’ve grimaced during the storms, hoping I can force them to cease and desist by sheer willpower (not possible). I’ve held on with my teeth, when necessary, exerted strength and determination I didn’t know I had, and, in a lot of ways, I’ve had success. But, I’ve also been slowly drowning.

I’ve been sinking for a long time, bumping along a rocky field trying to find something to latch on to, and several weeks ago I hit my lowest point. A few days later I had a massive panic attack in my doctor’s office and my medication that had been an “as needed” fix became a wonderful, wonderful daily lifeline.* I took a few days off work and tried to let go of anything that was dragging me down. I tried to float. I cannot be the anchor anymore, I need to be the ship, one with multiple anchors and lifelines.

Is this scary? Hell yes.

Hell. Yes.

Do I feel like an anchor-failure? In most some ways, yes.

Will I give up completely on being a force of security and stability? No. But I need to make some serious changes if I have any shot of coming out on the other side. And, for right now, that is as much as I can process. I need to be the ship, and I need to (re)identify my anchors.


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*Re: medications. Dude! I had NO IDEA people could sleep for more than 90 minutes at a time! I had no idea they could breathe without having to consciously think about it! I had no clue that nausea and panic were not a normal person’s regular bedfellows…and work-fellows…and gym-fellows…and lunchtime-fellows…and Tuesday-fellows (and marshmallows?). I really wish I had known all of this much, much earlier! Better Living Through Chemistry, man. That should be tattooed on my (out-of-whack) chromosomes.

Six Things That Are Ruining My Life Right Now

Today is April Fool’s Day, but the following list is absolutely no joke.

Six Things That Are Ruining My Life Right Now

1. My bra strap broke mid-morning with an audible snap and a literal sinking feeling in my bosom. I wasn’t doing yoga, or stretching, or prancercizing, or really doing anything other than tappity-tap-tapping away at a Very Important Email. I temporarily fixed my bosom situation with a savior safety pin that is pinned in my purse at all times, but I guarantee by the time I get home from work I’ll have a safety-pin shaped indent in my left shoulder blade.

2. I auspiciously chose a cute pair of strappy sandals to wear to work this morning, walked to lunch while carefully hugging my chest (see: broken bra strap), and was rewarded for my efforts by a sleety snow storm for my walk back to work. Drooping bosom AND frozen toes. Lovely.

3. Complete lack of a Girl Scout Cookie Emergency Cache.

4. I just suffered through the worst conference call of recent memory for which I was woefully unprepared (see: no Girl Scout Cookie Emergency Cache).

5. Three-thirty-o-clock hit and my hair has thrown up a white flag of surrender (see: sleety snow), of course there is not a hair elastic or suitable pen in sight. My hair is currently staving off being sheared completely simply with a rubber band and a few paper clips.

6. It is only Tuesday.


Anything ruining your life today?

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Macro Photography: my new obsession

Between Christmas and my birthday, combining gifts from my sweetheart and my (photography-loving) Dad, I managed to acquire some fantastic new equipment. I have a Canon SLR, and got this FABULOUS 50 mm 1:1.4 lens and a 12mm extended lens…which has basically put me in camera heaven. I am still putzing, a lot, and learning how to use these new UP CLOSE! settings, but I am really loving what I have so far. None of these photos are cropped, they are this close straight out of the camera. (!!!) *Click on any photo to embiggen.

Macro_Baby Succulent 2_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014

Baby succulent, this tiny little plant is only about 3 inches tall, I really love how you can see all those little bumps on the leaves!

Macro_Geranium Leaf 2_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014

Geranium leaf, complete with TINY INDVIDUAL HAIRS! I just, I can’t handle it!

Macro_Eye 1_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014

Mr. Blue Eyes, who kindly let me get all up in his face while I was taking dozens of pictures of his eyeball, his eyelashes (swoon!) and his eyebrow.

Macro_Oil Paints 2_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014

Pink oil paint, I mixed this for a painting that is almost done, I love how you can see the different colors of red and pink and white all marbled together.

Macro_Oil Paints 4_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014

Fiery oil paint, it’s amazing how the layers of red and yellow show up here, and also the ridges in the dried paint. Gaaaah, I am so in love!

Macro_Oil Paints 1_FeistyHarriet_Feb2014


Macro_Texture 2_Feisty Harriet_Feb2014

Green knitted blanket, i.e. texture texture texture!


Mr. Blue Eyes’ cajun popcorn, absolutely not my cup of tea, but the ridges and color variations are pretty!

I still have a lot to learn, but I am loving looking at so many things from a completely different perspective, and I really love that this new (dreamy!) equipment can capture so much detail. Check out the rest of my Flickr set.

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