Wednesday, February 2, 2011

At My Desk

Sitting at my desk.  It's a mundane thing.  The view never changes, although the details come and go.  The mountains mark the edge, and today the clouds are pulled up like a blanket, like the soft gushy blanket old friends sent my way, the blanket TBG pulled over me that first night at home, the blanket that put me to sleep for the first time in days.  The blanket that marked the first night of the rest of my life.

But these clouds are angrier than that blanket will ever be.. They have grey spots and black spots and I know that they are leaving rain and snow and a cold cold wind on the people of Summerhaven, Summerhaven because it is cooler than our desert in the midst of summer's heat but which is now filled with people who wish they had my blanket.  It looks ominous and scary.

There are hummingbirds at this time of year, dashing and feasting and making me smile but the sun is behind those clouds and the birds have taken refuge wherever they go when the gray skies don't beckon them to strut their stuff.  There are no quail or mourning doves, no coyotes or bobcats or lizards to amuse me.  And I don't care.

The cacti stand stiff and still as the palo verde and mesquite and oleander (my neighbor's oleander, because mine is still stubbornly refusing to grow) take the wild swings of emotion TBG described at his first press conference.  His first press conference?  What is that?  Who was he?  Why were we suddenly in the public domain?  The plants don't care; they are relishing the escape from the relentless sun, reaching up to the moisture, the potential, the rain held in the the clouds which are refusing to share.  

It's tones of tints of hues of colors, except for the heavenly bamboo with its bright red leaves.  Everything else seems to be waiting.... for spring.... for the rain... for the sunshine.  The Nandina domestica is having a great time, though.  Each individual leaf and each stubby plant has a life of its own, and they are dancing to the music of the breeze.  I don't know if it's a cool wind or a harsh one, if it cossets or annoys.  I'm inside, safe behind my windows, protected from what is now a scary outdoors, a place of unexpected consequences.  

TBG stops in his car, home from mailing photos to family and friends, leaning out the window and collecting the mail from the box.  And then my heart stops, as the yellow school bus passes on his right.  The bus that carried Christina to and from her friends and constituents at Mesa Verde Elementary School, the bus that her brother rode with her, companionably watching her from a seat in the rear.  My tears are for both of us, for him alone on the bus and for me, alone in my house, watching the world go by.  

I need tending and caring and company.  TBG doesn't like me to be alone; he knows that bad things can happen and he is on a mission to protect me from them.  Hangnails be gone!  My guy is on the scene.  I know that my rastra-block-construction will keep me safe and secure, but it's hard not to imagine the three little pigs.  The first two must have thought that they were safe in their straw and stick enclosures, too.  No one voluntarily puts herself at risk.  But you can't protect yourself from everything from anything from something from someone from fury and madness and rage.  You can stand under a sunny sky and hold a little girl's hand and giggle at the thought of touching a Congresswoman and then BAM you are on the ground staring into her eyes and feeling incompetent. 

So, I sit at my desk, messy with the detritus of 3 weeks of ignored bills and insurance forms and recipes and notebooks, crossword puzzles and tops and lip balm and blank cd's and I look out the window at the clouds.  They are moving over the mountain and I can see blue sky peeking through and I am desperate, I am longing, I am willing a rainbow to appear.  But I ache and sitting is a chore so I wheel away, back to my throne on the love-seat end of the couch.  

Some days are better than others.


  1. my heart aches as I read this. No one will ever be able to forget the horror of this moment, but you were there. You saw the horror and felt the fury. Looking out the windows at the beauty will heal you, covering yourself with the love blanket will heal you and I hope that the concern and well wishes of fellow bloggers will help too!

  2. I echo what Joycee has said. Hold on to that blanket and your memories of a beautiful child. They will help you in the dark days. Just as clouds sometimes hold rain and must release it, let yourself cry. It will make you feel better getting it out. If you need to scream, scream. Do what you need to do to cope and try to get to a place where it doesn't hurt as much.

    Sending loving thoughts your way.

  3. Well in my opinion, considering you just went through one of the worst experiences someone can have, and knowing what we do about post-traumatic stress, I think what you are saying is exactly what anybody would be feeling if they weren't curled up in their bed fearful of getting up at all. It's healthy to tell your truth and not deny part of it. You, who helped others with various kinds of tragedies, you know all that well but now you just have to give yourself permission to go through all the healing-- including the emotional and it won't happen instantly. It's healthy, I think, for you to write about it and also the good days that come along where it all seems wonderful again. It's part of the whole.

  4. If love and well wishes from fellow bloggers and kind strangers can in any way shelter you, buoy you, ease you and help you, may you be wrapped in that protection for as long as your heart longs. And then, even longer so that you know a surfeit of safety.

  5. Sending love and strength, but wishing I had a magic wand. Laura xo

  6. Yes. Some days are better than others. Then you will discover that the better days begin to outnumber the others. And then you will redefine what makes up a good day, and they all begin to get better because you will be getting better. I hope this process is a speedy one.

  7. I'm with Megan, do whatever it is you need to
    If we could just stop the world, make it go backwards.

  8. You write so beautifully, describing nature and your feelings with grace....thank you. Writing helps, I think...

  9. Thanks for the love, denizens. Writing helps. Giving myself permission to grieve and mourn and scream at the heavens is harder, but I am working on it. I wish I had your magic wand, Laura, or that I could turn back the hands of time, Helen, but I don't and I can't.

    Please know, though, that your encouraging words work wonders on my aching psyche.... it helps to know that I am not alone :)

  10. A/B
    You write so exquisitely that it fills my heart with such beauty. I can actually visualize your natural surroundings in the desert just by reading your postings. You are a truly gifted individual A/B. Thank you for sharing. God bless you A/B and family.

  11. I always enjoy reading your posts, prior to everything changing, and you continue to write beautiful, colorful posts that really do have one visualizing your surroundings and your feelings. Love, Elizabeth

  12. Ah, the crazy courage of those who head on out into the world as if nothing bad could happen. Doesn't necessarily mean that nothing ever has, but they've been blessed with a precious forgetfulness that, if it could be bottled, would sell for a fortune. An endless demand, because somewhere someone would give anything for it right now.


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