Day One & The Key to a New CHAI

Yesterday was Day Zero (though I hadn’t known it for sure till the end of the day) and today is Day One.

I woke at 05:45 after a phenomenal eight hours (I said eight HOURS!!!) sleep and felt gratefully amazing, with a particular joie de vivre and clarity of mind. I did not feel mild guilt nor mild shame nor indecision nor malaise nor self-loathing even of the gentlest kind, nor any kind of anxious wondering about what stupidities I’d typed in online nor uttered on the phone to friends and relatives.

Many of those non-negative feelings I’d had many other days, in recent history, all save the clarity and joie de vivre. I’d had a taste of those as well but it was for a specific nearly-five-month period commencing in the early spring and ending in the late summer of this old year.

When the leaves began to fall I drifted downwards as well and yet I believe all falling down is part of the journey and a chance to return to mud and examine the delightful earthworms and brightly-coloured beetles and magical dry-backed-toads that are hiding there at the base of the rose bushes, rustling amongst the fallen against the stone wall. So I’ll give thanks for that.

I woke feeling marvellous for the first time in ages this morning, as I said, and Captain Awesome had just left the room to go downstairs in the still-dark morning, so I was free to do my calisthenics and yoga as I had firmly promised myself I would do. I had set up a thick mat downstairs in case I woke up very early as I had the night before and Captain Awesome would then still be asleep, but he was gone already, so I did my sit-ups in bed, pushing the thick duvets aside to brave the cold, then continued to brave the cold to get down on the mat beside the bed, to do the back crunches, push-ups, leg-lifts and the sun salutation that I like to do when I have planned things well. By the time I get to push-ups I’m never cold anymore and by the time I’m doing the sun-salutation I feel fantastic and accomplished. It’s all done in under 10 minutes. The key is to do the first small thing which is the sitting up in bed and pushing the covers off. Then keep going from there.

I had left my laptop and coffee supplies downstairs for a change, having decided the morning before that I was going to damn-well get my act together the following morning and do things well from the get-go.

So I went down as I had planned and set the kettle to boil and filled the press with boiling water to half-way full, hearing that thick and delightful sound of the dark dry roast becoming murky.

And I took my laptop and, for the first time in ages, at this lovely hour of the morning, instead of sitting in our attic bed or bath to write, as I have done most mornings for the past year, I walked out the kitchen door into the dark and peaceful night and I went down through the crisp darkness to the caravan, where I would have less chance of being disturbed.

And here I am now. And though at first it was bracingly cold and my fingers felt as though they might go numb, the heat-pump which I switched on upon arrival has done its job and my fingers are quite warm.

And I had expected to have written a few different things of a deep and emotional nature, but instead allowed myself, after typing in the word “Zero” to become side-tracked by half-heartedly researching Base 27 integers (because yesterday, the 27th, was Day Zero, and my father the mathematician was/is a proponent of the Base 27/septemvigesimal numerical system) and then getting absolutely fascinated by the concept of “wints” (word-integers)  and then finally forcing myself, instead of trying to find out what ANTI + WINE or ANTI + (god-shaped) HOLE might equal in wints and hoping for something wildly poetic such as GODS or GOAL, to instead return to this page and write these five-hundred some-odd words.

And then I decided to copy-paste them from ViJournal into WordPress and hit “Publish.”

Having re-read it and attempting to title it and having so many beautiful phrasings such as “The logological implications of SV” and/or “visualizing a suitable odometer” from the Base 27 article to choose from, and having tried to apply the Blackout Poetry Generator bookmarklet to the text but failing, since it (perhaps?) does not work for .cgi files, and also not wanting to sound like a pompous ass, especially considering the fact that I’m a complete dunce at mathematics (Notes to self: 1227/27=45.444444444…), I instead decide to make a “found poem” with the options. Here it is:

Visualizing a suitable odometer
The logological implications… now begin to unfold
Life is short and so is space.
Once [ _ ] was brought in everything fell into place.
Sematria offers enormous opportunities
Difficulties…should not be underrated.
Semantic cohesion lends charm to some.
Contrary to cryptarithmic superstition
Solution counts diminish rapidly beyond 4-letter words.


FUCK. They (Captain Awesome  & The Boys) have cranked the techno music LOUD, up at the house (they are shovelling tons of sand outside), and it is not even FULL light yet. I FEEL annoyed. But I shall attempt to remain CALM. 


xo n

p.s. I will also try to work on the swearing. But not for a long while yet.

“You never learn anything, you only get used to it.” — Laurent Siklóssy quoted by Lee Sallows



  • All words/phrases in “found poem” are from “Base 27: The Key to a New Gematria” by Lee Sallows, published online by Butler University, Indianapolis, USA (from the May 1993 Word Ways).
  • [Edit 2018-12-30: Post title final word changed from Gematria to Chai.] Gematria (a word whose meaning won’t seem to stick in my brain, no matter how hard I try to stick it there; so I stick it here, instead):  “/ɡəˈmeɪtriə/ (Hebrew: גמטריא‬ or גימטריה‬, plural גמטראות‬ or גמטריאות‬, gematriot) is one of several methods of assigning a numerical value to a Hebrew name, word or phrase based on its letters. Gematria originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of alphanumeric code or cipher that was later adopted into Jewish culture.  […] A well-known example of Hebrew gematria is the word chai (“alive”), which is composed of two letters that … add up to 18. This has made 18 a “lucky number” among the Jewish people. Gifts of money in multiples of 18 are very popular. […] Although the term is Hebrew, it may be derived from the Greek γεωμετρία geōmetriā, “geometry”, which was used as a translation of gēmaṭriyā, though some scholars believe it to derive from Greek γραμματεια grammateia “knowledge of writing”. It’s possible that both Greek words had an influence on the formation of the Hebrew word. … Some also hold it to derive from the order of the Greek alphabet, gamma being the third letter of the Greek alphabet.” — Gematria, Wikipedia, 2018

Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. If you wish to contribute and/or show appreciation, please recommend/like and/or comment — or send a quick email via the contact page. Thank you for reading. 🖤

7 thoughts on “Day One & The Key to a New CHAI

      1. I have, and I loved the photos. Also the 9/11 post. Really good. And this line, in the midst of the crappiness of racism, made me laugh: “I couldn’t tell [my parents]… because I didn’t want any unnecessary heart attacks.”


  1. Once, after a deeply depressive three days, going to bed with eyelashes dampened by secret going-to-bed-tears, I awoke free and revived, my biorhythms firing on all cylinders and the sun shining brightly through the back window. Your post reminds me of that morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Being Aware, Making Plans & Finding What Was Lost – Bloomwords

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