I was saved today, by a little blue book.
Everything has been swirling out of control for me. If I was to count the number of days I have been out of commission in 2013, it would honestly equal about half. Those days are wasted, gone, as is a lot of my confidence.
And just when I had a glimmer of hope, the rare 60 degree day (a break from freezing temperatures and lukewarm functioning), a selfish co-worker comes in with a fast acting virus and the rest goes down in history as the Worst Day of 2013.
If I said I felt alone, I am not entirely sure that would be accurate. It is more like a disaster zone. And everyone is rushing around trying to accomplish different objectives: get to safety, get food, lead the group, find the nearest hospital, start rebuilding…and I am standing here, just another stunned, name-less face in the crowd. Not a priority. And hardly distinguishable from anything else. With nothing to hold on to.
But yesterday, during the Worst Day of 2013, a package arrived for me. My passport. In June, I’m going to Ireland. (It’s kind of the only thing I am certain of right now.) I didn’t really acknowledge this package until today. I opened the stiff blue cover and flipped through the pages. I marveled at the colors and words. Ten years worth of unknown adventures lie in wait on these pages, the soonest happening in five months. For the first time in a while, I felt giddy. And insatiable.
I needed more words.
Words are my greatest comfort food. Of course, my preferred dish would be the full collection of W.H. Auden’s poems, but I don’t quite have that at my disposal. Neither does my local library, but that didn’t stop me from visiting. I left with probably seven books. I have already finished one. There is such an immense comfort in the written word for me. Actually, when things were at their worst a few years ago, I promised to let myself feel as terrible as I needed to feel, instead of just rolling over it or masking it. Then I sat down at my computer and started writing. My motto was, “Write until it sucks less.”
Perhaps my passport was just a sign that I need to get back to that. When all other gravity fails, I have the heaviest and lightest of words by my side.
The passport was like a life raft amid my personal disaster zone. The hope of that blue passport couldn’t be taken away from me any easier than the actual book itself could be pulled from my hand.
It is mine. The words are mine. The time is mine.
Here’s to it sucking less. Let’s start in February.