Around here when the mountain snow melts suddenly the icy water causes the rivers to run too fast and too full. The flood waters spill over their banks and seep into basements and living rooms, leaving thick gritty mud in their wake.
Our house does not sit in a flood zone, but I feel like I’ve been living in my own personal flood zone. The past weeks have been a frantic rushing of churning events. The events themselves have not all been bad, but their combined force has knocked me from my feet and left me grabbing for a solid hold.
Three weeks ago we celebrated Grace’s birthday. I had a writing deadline and three school Open Houses (on the same night in different towns). School began, a friend from Florida came through Seattle. My regular full-time job continued to be regular and full-time. Grace had her first soccer game.
Then I flew to New York on business. The night before I left I worked until midnight, made school lunches, packed and went to bed at 1 a.m., then rose at 3 a.m. so I could leave my house at 4 a.m. so I could arrive at the airport at 5 a.m. so I could depart on a Delta flight where I sat in the middle seat between two arm-rest hogs for over five hours.
I hailed a taxi-cab at the airport and settled into my hotel by 4 p.m. A few hours later, while walking down West Broadway alone, I ran into a movie set where they were taping a “Sex and the City” movie. I stood and watched awhile but did not spy Sarah Jessica Parker. Alas.
The next day was a whirlwind of meetings and events, starting at 8:45 a.m. and ending at 10:45 p.m. Sometimes I cannot believe that I periodically fly to New York on business. It’s surreal. Luckily I have a husband who can take care of the family when I’m away. Though no one washed a single dish in my absence. Seriously.
On Wednesday morning, I woke before 8 a.m. and checked my email on my iPhone. That’s how I learned that the young soldier I know was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, leaving his 5-months pregnant bride a widow. I cried sudden, unbelieving tears.
Later that morning, I hailed another cab and flew out of Newark to Seattle. I met a man from London embarking on an around-the-world trip which made the flight pleasant–and we had an empty seat between us so I did not have to share an arm-rest.
I returned home in time to work my 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. shift.
That was Wednesday night. Thursday was a blur, mostly filled with work. And a nap.
I am stumbling through today, so tired, so discombobulated. The laundry taunts me. My house is in a constant state of disarray. I cannot stop thinking about the loss of Andrew and his widow, Sarah.
The rushing flood of events sweeps me along and sometimes I lose my footing. When that happens I scarcely find time to think, let alone write. I suspect that writing would anchor me, though.
And an anchor is what I need about now.