23 January 2010

How is your life today?

The house smells of honey. I'm baking granola bars because I have a lot of honey in the house: A colleague has an avocado ranch and he gifted us with a rather large jar from the ranch's beehives. So, I found Ina Garten's recipe for these bars, which seems a nice way to use the abundance of honey.

(We've since broken into the granola bars, and they're very good, though I might cut back a little on the honey and add some cinnamon. I can never resist fiddling.)

Perhaps next I will make oatmeal cookies. Or butterscotch cookies. I have a vast amount of oatmeal around the house, too, because I frequently make muesli for breakfast.

The cat is curled warm and sweet and soft in my lap, and typing around his rear and his twitching ears is a bit of a challenge. I try to accommodate him, but occasionally, he sighs and shifts, and I feel an ear flick my inner arm again, and I adjust my posture accordingly.

The sun is out, really out, for the first time in days. My (unofficial) rain gauge registered about 7.3" of rain for the period beginning last Sunday afternoon, which is rather a lot for desert-y Southern California (average 15" total rainfall per year). The ground squelches underfoot, and I'm drying out the garage where we seem to have had water incursion under the slab. Next week, evidently, we get some more of the same. I am not ungrateful for the water, but the sheer volume, especially on denuded slopes, is wearing.

(I wrote a lengthy "why you need to evacuate when they tell you to evacuate" post that I didn't publish because it would seem unnecessarily harsh to those who don't know about the sort of work I'm often involved with. And those for whom the harshness was necessary would be unlikely to read it. The gist was that I don't want to read about what I already know: what happens to people whose bones are ground by Mother Nature to make her bread.)

Of course, it has been all disaster, all the time of late. The spouse is expert in interpreting remote sensing data, and he donated time to examine photographs of areas of destruction in and around Port-au-Prince. As he worked through his grids, he'd call me over to offer an opinion. I am not expert, and often, I see the image backward: depression in the relief that is actually elevation. I can adjust my vision to accommodate the reality when I'm told, no, that's a hill, not a hole in the ground. So I had to look carefully, to see where walls were gone, to try to suss out the origin of rubble. There is some small comfort in the intellectual. It does a little to mitigate the horror, gives me a moment to recalibrate my inner eye.

The last three months, I have not stopped moving. I have been caretaker, nurse, mother, chef, Santa, worker bee, all the million little pieces of motion that make up my daily life. I am ready for the shift. I am orchestrating it, adjusting each movement. Mid-March is set, the workshop confirmed, train timetables accounted for. I feel an interesting terror at the prospect of putting myself out there, far from the anonymity that I prize. But also an elation. It is a new direction. It's what I need as much as what I want.

And beyond? For April, I am toying with the idea of flight, the real thing, on a plane. Where, I don't know yet. There will be a concert I want to see in the Midwest; a promise made to go back to the District; a trip to New York that was put aside last year. Any of it can happen. All I know for certain is that it's time to take my life back on the road. Alone.

Go listen to some good music: "How Is Your Life Today?" from the album Lightbulb Sun by Porcupine Tree. All is well, and I am ready--past ready--to go.

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