Reading over my previous post, it struck me straight up that it was not the post I meant to write. I don't know quite how that happened, other than to say that I sat down to write what I thought was in my head, and that story is what came out instead.
I have mentioned recently some episodes of unbloggableness. Or unbloggability. Or something like it. I have been dealing with more of it lately than I care for. Any amount is bad, really, but it has been piling up. Events like the shootings in Tucson only serve to make it worse, external stressors added to an already high-temperature internal environment.
Something that happened Saturday afternoon was the trigger for what I was going to write about. When I say 'write about' what I really mean is an attempt to deal with the triggers, not a description of the triggers themselves. The ways I have been attempting to deal with stuff lately is through writing and photography. Listening to music is a big part of it, too, but listening is passive in comparison to the other two.
So this is what was going on that afternoon. I had woken up that morning in a bit of a funk, felt the walls closing in and the beasts stirring in my mind. I have been writing every day now for a long time, but it had been some time since I had gone on a photo safari, so I reckoned the antidote to the Funk was an excursion with my digital and film cameras. After breakfast, I bundled up in some warm layers, loaded the cameras and tripod into the car, and headed out the door. I went to a favorite photography spot of mine, and set to.
My intuition was correct. A few hours traipsing around outside, chasing trains and cool shadows, did wonders for my mental outlook. Didn't make everything disappear or bloggable, but it eased the pressure. At home, while listening to some Uncle Tupelo on the stereo, I happened to look in the mirror at my plaid-shirted, scruffy bearded self, and it hit me: Things have changed tremendously for me in the recent past, more so than I have been able to handle gracefully...and things are still in flux. I don't do well with flux.
Of the many things in my aching headbone, two in particular stand out, primarily because they are proof that things aren't all heavy.
First, a cousin of mine is due to have a baby real soon. Second, my nephew is getting married later this year. Out of all the 'rocks in the pond' of my mind, these two have created the biggest ripples, and I'm sort of at a loss to explain why. They both have affected me more than I expected, and mostly to the good.
There is a bit of the "Well, how did I get here?" to all of this. Both my cousin and nephew are young (ha! They are 20-somethings, yet I'm thinking 'kids'...yikes!) which has left me wondering here did the time go. I think that is because the calamities of my own life, losing my twin babies and the disintegration of my marriage, have made me cautious and cynical about new lives and new beginnings. Achieving grace is the exception rather than the rule, and the risk of heartbreak is tremendous, as I so well know. When I think about my cousin and her baby, and my nephew and his bride-to-be, I do get scared. So many things rush to my lips, things I don't say, because they are grounded in my own harsh experiences.
But, then, I see there pictures and read their messages and hear their voices...and something melts. Something finally penetrates that lump of stone I call a heart, and I understand that good things do happen in this universe.
So I stared at that jaded fellow in the mirror while Jeff Tweedy warbled life lessons in the background. My mind was clear and bright, in a stolen moment when I contemplated that brightness remains, and there are few things more optimistic and joyful than creating a new life, or uniting two existing ones. Especially when those lives are your kin; no sweeter music than blood music, than love.
"So open up those curtains
And drink up the daylight
Just by the brightness
Open your doors wide
'Cause things don't get better
but some people do
There's darkness in this life,
but the brighter side we also may view
There's darkness in this life,
but the brighter side we also may view."
Lyrics quoted from "Flatness", on the Album No Depression, by Uncle Tupelo