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It's been a long week, filled with wild, unpredictable storms. The sun has largely vanished....apparently tired of being obliterated by dark clouds that look thick enough to pierce with a lance.....clouds that require the Hubble telescope to find the end of. Nobody seems to be on their game these days, stuck somewhere in limbo between the supposed end of a pandemic, and its inevitable reoccurrence due to manic cosmic dumbness. Currently a tropical storm menaces from the east, while yet more record breaking heat out in the southwest is like a screeching car alarm for climate disaster. Nerve endings have been rubbed raw. Savage gun violence is bubbling up in many US cities, and the long promised 'return to normalcy" has proven anything but. Half are pulling one way, and half are pulling the other. Covid variants lick their chops at the thought of classrooms filled with unvaccinated children mere weeks from now. What once was, is irretrievably broken, and something new must be erected in its place.
But first this fog of depression must lift.
In times like these our suppressed fears return like an unwanted, drunken relative. Our imaginations grow wild as we lay in bed at night, way too exhausted for sleep. What if this happens? What if that happens? Nothing seems too outlandish at 3am. You enter silos and take a number. Finances? Relationships? Kids? Job? Health? The end of the world as we know it? Check. Take a number. Each one is like a trip to the DMV. By morning the alarm clock sounds more like a braying hyena than anything else. The best we can hope for at times like these is that we don't pass along our own fears to our children.
They're getting older against my will. There's a part of the parent brain that refuses to recognize that kids age into adults. I still have their crayon drawings hanging on my office wall. The pictures of them in my wallet are from previous decades. I will still sometimes peak into their rooms when they are home, just to look at them as they sleep. They're both adults now, but intellectually I cannot fathom that. I want to protect them and hide them out here, forever. I don't want them out and about in this fucked up world alone. The place doesn't deserve them. If I'm to let them go, I need to fix everything that's broken first. I need to carry them on my back, or drive them where they want to go. I want to hold their hands as they cross the street, and be waiting for them when they need to come back. Their lifelong crossing guard.
They know I'm a little bit crazy, so they humor me. They love me and always make me proud, and so far they don't seem to mind me hanging around like Salinger's catcher in the rye. But they have their own roadmaps. They have their own dreams. What they are trying to shed are my fears. And for once, I wish them Godspeed.
I'm not good at much. I can't fix or build anything. Sometimes I can string some words together that folks enjoy reading (or singing along to) though, and that seems to somewhat make up for my practical shortcomings. At times I wish I could drive a big truck or fix my own car or replace my own roof or venture into the great unknown without being medicated but my wires have been fused together and they ain't moving. In a few days I'll be 55, and while it's all downhill from here as they say, it's kinda like thinking the descent of Mt Everest is easier than the climb because you can always slide down on your ass. And then you check the stats and find out when most deaths occur. We're more tired on the way down. Which is now. It's when we make the most mistakes. And the worst ones. In retrospect, the climb was easy.
And so much for all that. Sometimes a clear, blue sky is all you need to kick-start healing. Maybe we'll get a few days of that this summer, or the next, and we can look towards the sky for reasons other than to see what is ominously threatening to fall on our heads, or rip our favorite childhood tree out of the ground. Maybe a steady diet of the sun can dry the tears from fears.
In a bit..