Wednesday, 17 August 2016
The Mug That Said "Embrace Change": The Aftermath of a Meltdown
I wipe down the counter. After putting away the things that don't belong there, I stop and look.
What's left? A grapefruit. A folded blue cloth. A fat mug with words "Embrace Change" written on it.
I feel a sudden irrational rush of resentment.
I feel, unfairly, that those words failed me, owed me something and let me down.
I am a happy embracer of change, I really am, I want to say out loud to someone. My adult life has been spent adapting to all sorts of changes. I am good at change, I think stubbornly. I don't resist it, I roll with it.
This time though, my heart contracts and the words on the mug become blurry. I think, rather unreasonably, Stupid mug! What do you know about change? I glare at it and its pretty flowers and calm color.
I step back. One physical step only but much further away in my mind.
Until all things large and small become distant.
There has been another tornado. My palms turned upwards in dismay. It's left miles and miles of damage and debris. Things got broken. Time seemed to stand still. For awhile we just existed in the eye of the storm.
A gentle question. How was it? Were you afraid?
It was...unspeakable. Inconceivable. It seemed to come from nowhere. The sky had been calm for a month. Nothing! I had looked out my window, there were no small funnel clouds hovering menacingly over fields. There was no darkening of the sky. The wind didn't even pick up. There were no alarms ringing in the air, telling us to run. Get somewhere safe. To be somewhere safe.
I live where this sort of thing happens sometimes. But even so, I forget pretty easily. Second guess myself. After awhile, when all evidence of the storm is gone, I go about my day, I smile to myself. Maybe... it wasn't so bad, that last time. It takes on the quality of a dream...of something not quite real...
But that's the weather for you. That's life for you. Isn't it?
Later, there's a lot of discussion. A lot of explaining the details. A lot of words on paper. A lot of change on the horizon.
In the aftermath, everything feels suspended. Tender.
There is a little, still so little really, black haired boy skipping down the road ahead of me, a lopsided backpack half the size of his body, hanging off his shoulders. Turning, peering at me over his shoulder.
"Mommy? Do you still love me?"
"There's nothing you can do that would make me stop."
And silently I think "I've got this. I've got you. Don't worry. We are going to take care of this somehow."