The tides wash in and they wash out. Living on a peninsula, I'm very aware of the motion of the seas. Far enough away where I don't see them daily, but they pulse and thrust around me. They affect my life. Bridges, tunnels, ships, ferries, wharves, jetties, docks. Beaches. Things change. The ox is slow, but the earth is patient.
Is it possible to become tolerant of bad news? Like living in a war zone, is it possible to stop noticing when the shells are raining down? So much bad news on every side that even I am avoiding the paper, the radio, but when things do come through, I can't even get very upset about it anymore. A WWII veteran frozen to death after the electric company shut off his heat due to an overdue bill. A woman going back into the Army because they'll provide healthcare for her premature son who has serious physical disabilities. People standing in line for hours to apply for part-time jobs. Soldiers back from Iraq who are committing suicide because they're not getting the help for PTSD that they need. I see all these things, and I worry. And my worrying parts get worn down, until I just can't do it anymore. It's not that I don't care. But if I cared any more, I'd go mad.
Kizzy is curled up next to me in the bed. He is sleeping the sleep of the exhausted because he spent all day at playcare chasing other dogs around. I should be so lucky--I'll probably take a sleeping pill to ensure I get a good night's sleep. It's nearly midnight. I need to get up in six and a half hours.
The world is sleeping. My favourite time of day. Just me up now, writing, thinking. The world is turning. The sunrise is getting nearer. I wish I could stop for a moment--not for me, but for all the other people out there who are hurting. Just a few more hours of sleep, a few more dreamless hours when you don't have to worry about bills or mortgages or...or anything, really. How funny is it--me, with my degree, with my dreams of a tenure-track career, here I am weathering the storm at my hourly job. Barely weathering, mind you, but we're doing okay. And the tides wash in, the tides wash out.
Next summer, when it's warm, Kizzy and I will spend our Sundays on the beach, enjoying the ocean and the sun. We'll absorb saltwater and avoid jellyfish and eat ice-cream, if we can afford it that week. I'll get a chart of the tides, to make sure that we're not going at a time when the waterline is low, the sand is long. Maybe by that point there will be good news on the radio again, there will be positive signposts to give people hope. Not everything the way it was. Not good times here again. Things change. But movement in a stable direction.
In the meantime.
I am going to New York City this weekend with an auld friend from London to see Michael Cerveris in Hedda Gabbler. I'll be back Monday night. I'm sorry to leave with such a downer post, but I wanted to write something before I left. And I'm just tired. Good, but tired. It's been a long week. I'm so looking forward to just taking off and enjoying myself. Have a good weekend, everyone.