Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Long Day 

It started out with a trip to the bus depot to send Robin off to England (via Vancouver for a 24-hour visit). Then I drove to the north end of town to go to work, but I didn't quite make it. About four blocks from my destination, I had to slam on my brakes to avoid T-boning a woman who turned left right (ain't English grand?) in front of me. I avoided hitting her, but then there was a great thump as I was rear-ended by a brand-new (1 1/2 wk old) Subaru. The Subaru's air bags deployed, and its driver got a bruise on his forehead. I've spent the rest of the day talking to the claims adjuster, getting intimate with a bag of frozen peas, downing Tylenol, sleeping, then going to see the chiropractor and the m.d. to see if I can keep this soreness/headache from turning into a major whiplash event.

When I came out of the doctor's office, I turned on my cell phone and found that I had a message from the young man who hit me. He was calling to check up on me, make sure I was okay. I'll call him back tomorrow and do the same - at the scene, he seemed more concerned about his car than about his head, but that might change over the next day or so. Several witnesses came forward, and we all agreed that it was the woman who made the scary left turn who caused the emergency situation. They said she looked in her rear view mirror and kept going, leaving the young man and me crashing in her wake.

I must be feeling better, in general, because this whole episode has left me feeling strangely calm -- not to mention grateful for that telephone call. I want to find the young man's parents and congratulate them on bringing their son up so well. Unfortunately, he is legally responsible for the accident, because he did rear-end my car (which may be a total loss, according to the firemen who attended.) One of them said that because his air bags had deployed, his car would be a total loss too, but I'm not sure about that. Maybe it's the Tai Chi that has enabled me to relax about it all. Whatever it is, I'm glad of it.

Meanwhile, I am sitting here with my neck enveloped in a tube of frozen gel. I've booked Robin's seat for his flight. Having finished that, I took the muscle relaxer the doctor prescribed, and I'm waiting for that to take effect.

One more thing. Every time a car drives by, I think "Robin's home," but he isn't. This is going to take some adjustment.

And yet one more thing. Before he left, Robin nagged a bit about how he would really like to be able to read my blog while he waits for me to arrive in England (that's five weeks from now). I'm afraid I snarled at him, because I wasn't ready to write, but now I am. Maybe it's the shock of the impact, but suddenly I feel quite chatty. Go figure.

Monday, March 08, 2010

To celebrate International Women's Day,

I have posted Maya Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman" over on the sidebar - and there's a new flower over there, too!  Baby steps.

Not long ago, I received a gift from my little sister - a string of jet beads from which hangs a pendant called "Simple Joy." The pendant is hand-painted, kiln annealed fused glass - (so advises its creator, Lisa Orr.)

The design on the pendant, (mostly) black on a white background, features a nude woman squatting on the ground under a red umbrella.  All around her, black rain is falling, but she is sheltered. From her safe place, she reaches out with one hand to feel the raindrops.

The necklace has become a symbol, for me, of my fear of exposing myself -- a lifelong problem, not one that arose in the last few weeks -- my tendency to reach out and feel the rain on my hand, then hurry back under my shell. This is a major problem for anyone who aspires to write. I know that there is nothing to fear in the rain, that it nourishes the ground on which I stand, and that -- when it comes right down to it -- the shelter I think I have is illusory. I am still naked, still visible under the bright umbrella.

The pendant also symbolizes, for me, my renewed effort to come out into the rain, however hesitantly. I've been wearing it a lot of the time, to remind myself that the woman holds the umbrella and has the power to raise or lower it at will.

My sister's pretty smart, eh?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Is anybody out there?

First of all, thank you for the comments that I just found in my inbox.  I do appreciate your concern. What finally made me put fingers to keyboard was a call from Angel May, who was seriously worried about me, especially since I hadn't answered her e-mails.

For the last couple of days, as I clawed my way back to the Land of Blog, I've been planning what I would say, but I have no idea what that was, apart from the obvious groveling and apologizing. Now that I'm here, my impulse is to keep the apologizing to a minimum, lest I bore you all to tears.  So -- the short version:

While I was away, my working life got rather complicated, which meant that my sleep patterns got pretty strange, and my emotional state followed suit. In short, I've burned out. I recognize the symptoms because I've done it before, on a much larger scale. I have an unfortunate tendency to bite off more than I can chew and an even more unfortunate unwillingness to acknowledge the problem until I'm turning purple and somebody is performing the Heimlich manouever on me, so to speak.  That's what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks -- choking.

(Can you say Crazy as a Bag of Hammers?)

I'm attempting to counter the stress by doing more Tai Chi  -- which means I have several extra appointments added to my weekly calendar. I am counting on the relaxing quality of Tai Chi to outweigh the stress of the added activity. Hope springs eternal.

Meanwhile, the rest of life goes on, and I have to find a point of balance. I don't want blogging (which, honestly, I enjoy -- usually) to end up on my list of Things I Used to Do, because that list is too long, and I truly miss some of the things on it.  At this point, I have to kind of sidle up to the computer and type a little before the panic sets in, so obviously I'm not going to be writing a daily post right away. All I can say is that I'll get here whenever I can, and I'll try to visit your blogs more often than I write -- I've missed reading about your adventures.

Speaking of reading, though, I've got John Hayes's The Days of Wine and Roses!  It arrived a couple of days ago. I'm sipping at it, glad for the comfort of a familiar voice.

That's it.  Enough wallowing. Hi, everybody - I've missed you.