Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Okay, I said in my last post that I was returning to battle because that's what I'm drawn to, that's what I know. But you know what? I am sick of doom and gloom.
I am tired of winter and clouds and ice.
I am weary of broken teenaged hearts and missing assignments and technoholism.
I do not want to see anymore burned out light bulbs.
I wish I could stop worrying about aging parents and pets.
I don't like backaches.
I refuse to read any more poems, for a while, about grief and illness and lost love.
And most of all, I want a break from all the bombardments of economic doom and gloom. It's in the papers, on the internet, and overheard in every coffee shop. Friends need jobs. Panhandlers need money. Creditors need bills paid. The government needs more taxes. Chickens are running in circles proclaiming the sky is falling, and I don't want to hear it anymore.
I want to stick my head in the sand, but I know I can't really do that. Still, enough is enough. I don't need this shoved in my face every day, day after day. I get it. I understand. Now instead of bitching and moaning, let's do something about it, people.
Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do. Just do something. I tell my son that the best way to get over a broken heart is to immerse yourself in other things. Distract yourself with activity. For arthritis, take some medicine for crying out loud. If you don't like the way bigger things are handled, like government spending for example, then get involved. Do something. Just stop whining and stop pointing to all the storm clouds on the horizon.
My father used to say it doesn't pay to worry about what might not happen tomorrow. I like that. He didn't mean ignore risk; he just meant don't drive yourself crazy with doubt. If there's a cloud out yonder, then close the shutters and take shelter, but also have patience and hope. It could be a deluge - that you're surely going to survive; we always do - or it could miss you altogether.
The point is that life isn't all doom and gloom. There are things, even little things, worth celebrating. The sun still shines on occasion, the dog still wags her tail. The birds still sing in the morning. The river still runs. And my coffee is still warm and smooth.
Posted by Gail Elizabeth Kretchmer at 8:32 AM
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I went away. Checked out. Got the hell out of Dodge for a while. We all do it, or at least we all need to. It was heaven: warm and quiet, a Hawaiian womb.
But now I'm back. And what I want to know is: why do things always seem to change while you're gone? The air grows cooler, damper. The list of to do's grow longer. Frazzled relationships are even more frayed when you return. Re-entry is impossibly hard.
I saw The Hurt Locker while I was gone and (spoiler alert) the protagonist found that he was drawn back to battle because it had become the only truth in his life. I wouldn't begin to suggest that my life compares with what our soldiers see, in reality, but as an analogy it's applicable. The battlefield at home has become my truth.
Like the moth drawn to the proverbial flame, and like some soldiers, I am drawn back to battle because it's what I know. The difference for me is that, unlike my winged or uniformed counterparts, I know I'll have the privilege of returning to my flames over and over again.