I’m eighty miles west of the ‘action’ called Hurricane Irene. Well, I’m eighty miles from home, and there is some pretty extreme weather there this weekend. I monitor the news, Facebook, text messages. At different points during the day, I went out on to the upper porch. Paced. Adjusted my phone. If I held it just so, I could get a signal—roaming, but a signal.
I called Chris, Jamie (at work!—who expects their employees to work during a hurricane?), JL, even my mom in Boston. I felt like Gandalf—is it secret, is it safe? Well, not secret, but please be safe. Irene, the hoards from Mordor. From a distance, I watched the gathering darkness, worried about people and places: Pippin looking out from Minas Tirith.
I photographed hummingbirds, and clouds. The sunset. I listened to Jimmy Buffett. Yes, I have enough Buffett to listen all day. He’s good hurricane music.
And now I must confess I could use some rest.
I can’t run at this pace very long.
Yes it’s quiet insane, I think it hurts my brain.
But it cleans me out and then I can go on…
I imagined JL in the kitchen, playing guitar, the sound echoing throughout the house, not competing with the hum of the fans, air conditioner, or refrigerator. Ian was likely sitting on his bed, checking the battery power on his laptop, unable to go online he’d have surrendered and picked up a guitar too. Competing guitars, with the emptiness of my space between. Writing wasn’t easy. Open Word. Wind gusts. Check the phone, check the net, call someone, pace, open Word. Watch the hummingbirds flit here—then there.
I could have canceled my trip. I could have stayed to help hold down the fort. I was the only writer to not cancel here this weekend. But to what end? So I could sit there and worry? Without power, without cell service, would it have been worse? Not knowing about kids in other houses. Would I have gotten any more writing done?
There wouldn’t have been hummingbirds. There wouldn’t have been worn banisters and wide-planked tongue-and-groove floors creaking under my worried walk. Second story porches.
The Universe gave me every opportunity to back out – earthquakes, aftershocks. I’m not sure what an aftershock is—an earthquake in response to the earthquake? Feels like an earthquake to me. It sounds suspiciously like the wind chill factor—not what the temperature is, but what it feels like outside.
At the end of the day, that’s all I care about, what it feels like. I know what a Category 1 hurricane feels like. I don’t need to know any more powerful forces of Nature. So, with reports trickling in of people and possessions safe this morning, I will do that one last writing project for the weekend … A letter.
The sun is shining, and Jimmy there’s still so much to be done…
Meanwhile back on our big round ball
Things are getting serious as cholesterol
Greedy piggies at the trough
Arrogance and ignorance
Just to top it off
I just can’t keep up with the Nasdaq
Who got sold and bought
I’ve got to take my lunch break
But I’ll leave you with a little for thought
Maybe it’s all too simple
For our brains to figure it out
What if the hokey pokey
Is all it really is about
What if life is just a cosmic joke
Like spiders in your underwear or olives in
My life can get as messy as a day old sticky bun
So I arm myself with punch lines and a big ol’
They say it’s not that simple but just maybe it
It’s time to change the subject, would you join me
in a cup of herbal tea?
Yeah, herbal tea, because it is that simple!