Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Treading Water Part I

I have a friend who lives near me and we are pen pals.  Our letters are long and crammed full of stories and information and points of view and I love them.  I pretend I'm Elizabeth Bennett and carve out a decent chunk of my afternoon with plenty of paper and ink and the letter to refer to.  My friend shared with me her feelings of discomfort this summer at the whole world having gone down the crapper, as Elizabeth would say, (or I guess Charlotte, if I'm Elizabeth. Sucker, friend!) I wrote in response:

I feel you with the treading water feeling. Like, ok? I guess I can do this? But I'm getting tired?  What do we do to give ourselves a sense of stability? I think we may be in it for the long haul, but perhaps we can do things to expedite the process of adapting.  "Surrendering to the uncertainties" is really great. Because it's either surrender to it or be crushed by it. But it's really hard to feel the crushing weight of it and then just... not.  Because you know what it can do to you. How could it just suddenly change what feels like its very physical properties one day? I'm pretty sure there's an applicable law of physics here. But-- I find that sometimes, somehow (and I don't know how) --it does. A few nights ago I felt myself feeling the weight of it all -- the intensity of it feels so permanent-- and when I woke up, it was gone. The facts remained but the effects were gone. I think my brain just hit its max capacity and pushed a little reset button while I slept.  While I cannot explain it, I call it a gift.  And it's happened before. Fighting along day by day sounds about right. Not every day is a rose but the thorns might lead me there. 

When I feel this way I like to watch movies about people, in their total and absolute solitude (because that's how I feel) problem-solving.  Like Cast way or Gravity.  And I am shocked and increasingly reassured that, like Tom Hanks says, "the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide will bring." (Keeping in mind that sometimes his problems to be solved were just getting through another day--for years)  And Sandra- I mean, she could only go from air source to air source, having to forge an impossible path with only the most immediate steps somewhat available to her.  And look how strong she stands after fighting through all these forces pushing against her. 

So, what I do:  I try to live more in the moment because I can predict nothing, control nothing.  Two days ago I was writing a short blip in a 5-year journal. Hang on, I will go get it.  July 21.  The prompt reads: Do you have a view of the sky?  I wrote:  "Yes. Praying it stays blue and pollutant-free. But I wouldn't mind a rain cloud."  And then do you know what happened?  Yesterday, July 22 it RAINED.  Rain clouds came out of nowhere and gave us a baptism.  

There's a spot on the back patio where I like to do yoga, but it's hard to get out there early enough to beat the heat and morning sun.  But yesterday the cloud cover and misty air let me do it and it felt SO GOOD.  Restorative.  Isn't it interesting how after days and days of sun, we yearn for rain?  


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