Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Today was a bad day. A really bad day. I woke up this morning and I was scared that it would be a bad day. And then I was mad that I was right; that’s how bad the day was. It sucked. Nothing went right. No one seemed right. I didn’t feel right. It was one of those days. The ones that you’d probably rather be prosecuted in court for witchcraft in 1690s Salem than keep on keeping on to see if tomorrow is better or just as sucky. The ones that rob you of any remaining will you had from the last really bad day right out of your soul. And at the end of the day, your sources feel totally depleted.
All the sucky wrongness of the day exhausts the hell out of you and there’s no energy left to contemplate dealing with the consequences tomorrow or what part you contributed to the vortex of shit that was that day. There’s no energy to think of what you might have done wrong. There’s no energy to think of how to make things right. There might be a teensy bit of energy left to begin plotting revenge against other wrong-doers of the day, but not if that means that you have to exert yourself physically or mentally in any way (revenge-plotting comes rather easily to some people—like me).
And sometimes, when I have days as bad as these, I start to feel somewhat suffocated in the sense that I want out of the current circumstances of my life but am resignedly devoid of the ability to escape them. I start to feel like I need to just get the hell out. And right now. Like I’m losing control; like I’m no longer the captain of my own ship.
That is the worst feeling. Ever. It can drive you to do crazy things. It can take you to an undeveloped place most people wouldn’t care to be. Insanity takes over and you do things you don’t like and say things you don’t mean. You do these things just to prove that you can. To prove that you are the captain of your ship and that means that you can run it in to the ground if you’d very well please. And the worst part is: it mostly just hurts yourself. And after the bad day… you guessed it: only you are left to pick up the pieces. It’s self destructive and it’s ugly.
It was a pretty bad day today.
I hope tomorrow is better.
PS. Regarding tomorrow: it will be better.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
There is this incredible view just down the road from my house. The visibility of the distant landscape is unhindered by houses or trees or any other obstruction. I like to go there sometimes when the clatter in my head becomes more that I can manage. I sit on the curb facing an empty, house-less lot and watch the sun set against the perfect blue sky. I give my worries to nature as the light breeze soothes my anxiety. I’m too young for this anxiety.
When I go there I can see the reds and oranges and blues and purples that grace the sky just as the sun prepares to sink beneath the horizon; I can see three or four clouds, all with their silver linings, that I know must separate us from God’s kingdom; I can see the way a strong beam of light escapes the protection of a cloud in front of the gradually descending sun; I can see the way the whole scene reflects onto the calm Hudson. With this vision, I know I am experiencing one of God’s daily miracles. I know that the panorama before me that is sprinkled with life, emotion, and the depth of love cannot possibly be incidental or the product of science alone.
I can very clearly see the face of God reflecting in this sight, his masterpiece, which is one of those majestic commonalities that our fast, mundane world so frequently misses. If it hadn't brought me such great joy to be a catching a moment by my hands that seemed to be so tangible, the kind that greats like Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Whitman wrote about, it might have brought me sadness and pity for those not seeing what I was seeing on a day like that. When I looked at the sky, I knew that there was more up there, just beyond the clouds. I knew that the light pouring out of the break led directly to the Heavens.
For a moment, all of the noise in my head was dulled and I felt the most beautiful silence. The din was completely sedated. And for the expanse of this wonderful moment, I stopped being angry about things happening halfway across the world, I stopped being angry about things that happened fifty years ago, and I stopped being angry that my mother doesn't take me out driving as often as I’d like her to. I realized how angry I always am. How tense, bitter, and cynical I’d become.
Just then, for the briefest time, I became the sort of optimist that I usually belittle. I looked up, and I was looking at infinity. It’s important not to get lost in the endlessness of the sky. It’s meant to motivate and inspire, not engulf a being like the black wave or the means reds. If I don’t forget that all of this exists for the love of man, then I feel comfort in knowing that the force of the universe is on my side. I would never dare to tread on its toes; I wouldn’t last against such a formidable opponent. For this moment, we were quiet together in perfect coexistence. My mind was at ease.
When the silence finally left my head, I yearned to call it back to me just as God calls his children back to him. But I could not.
It was part of that day, and that day was now over. The moon that was but a faint outline for several hours prior to sundown had at last claimed its reign over the great night sky and was emanating its brightest glow. Its light touched the city in the South and the mountains in the West. And although I could not find the North Star and I could not spot my favorite constellations (excluding the Big Dipper, as that one was still visible) because of the city lights that extended into my small suburban town, I knew that they were still there. And although the sight of the magnanimous sky can have the effect of making a small girl feel lost in a big world, I knew that I was still there, too.