21 November

I Was Tired Today

by Jon Katz
I Am Tired

“I am somewhat exhausted,” wrote Arthur Conan Doyle once, “I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?”

This afternoon, as I sat by my computer, I felt like a drained battery, I knew what he meant. My head nodded while I was typing – that never happens to me –  and I felt spent and weak.

For a moment, I thought I was sick, I wondered if I had the strength to get to a doctor. I wondered if it might be emotional. I was tired, but did not feel sick.

Was it Connie? I don’t know, Maria thinks so.

I have doing therapy work for more than a decade now, and have seen too many people die to count, I believe I have learned to compartmentalize loss and death, these are not my people, not my family, not my friends.

They are just people I have come to know and care about. Am I being macho? In denial? Disconnected from myself? Maybe, it has happened before.

I have suffered from mental illness at different points in my life, I am not always aware of how I feel. I have worked hard these last few days, Connie’s death was powerful for me, an opportunity to capture an experience, this is what writers do.

I could barely lift my head, which was spinning, my arms and legs felt week, I wanted to lean back in my chair and sleep. Instead, I got up and walked in the crisp fall air. I sent Red out to work the sheep. I took deep breaths, and came back to life.

Something had happened, it either entered my  body and soul or left it, I don’t know which.

I wanted to do justice to this week. As Aristotle said, excellence is a habit. And excellence is made constant through the feeling that comes right after one has completed a work that is satisfying, even awe-inspiring, like the death of someone who is special, who reaches into one’s heart and soul.

This does not often happen to me, I guard against it, that is the only way to do this work. But I am no robot, I am all too new human. I don’t know about excellence, but I felt good, I thought I had captured the special moment.

Isn’t that what I do?

I sometimes think I only want to relax until I am ready to renew such a feeling all over again because to me, everything else becomes trivial at the moment.

So this process was either emotionally exhausting, or perhaps I am sick in some way which has not yet revealed itself. My fatigue is complete, is encompasses my whole body.

I admit to being driven, rest does not come easily. Tonight, I’ll listen to music when I get into bed, perhaps watch a British mystery until dawn, and the spinning whirlwind that is my head cools down.

Tonight, I am feeling energized, as if I have completed a work and am satisfied with it. But I am still spent. I’ll see what the morning brings.

Thanks for reading. Much love and good wishes to you. I guess I am tired, but also in awe of life.


  1. Today I am going to the funeral of an old friend, with whom I went to college in the late 1950’s. I’m feeling down. His wife is also my friend. So often you put into words things that I feel. Thank you. Pat

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