Thursday, January 2, 2014

When the sky starts to fall

Well, 2014 certainly started with something like a bang. To fully appreciate this, I'll have to explain a little bit about where I live (which has very little to do with my training and my journey toward becoming an Ironman, I know, but indulge me. For a few lines, anyway.) I live in an 80 + year old building that was once owned by one of Reno's first medical doctors. It's got all the original windows (single pane with thicker glass at the bottom than at the top) as well as all the original plaster on the walls. I didn't think much of the crack on the vaulted ceiling above my desk, or if I thought about it at all, I decided it gave the place character and should remain as-is. After all, my house is old and houses are like people: flaws become apparent as the years wear on.

So there I sat New Year's Eve working on an essay (writing) because that's what I do now that I'm single and when I'm not training. When I could work no more (and the thought of the person I had shared my life sharing midnight with another woman was, admittedly, a bit more than my heart could take) I decided to go to bed. Not more than five minutes later, I heard a crash in the front room--or, rather, a large thud. It sounded like the cats had knocked my dried grass arrangement over again (which is displayed in a heavy glass vase.) Since it was late and I was tired (and sad) I decided whatever it was could wait until morning.

So imagine how shocked I was at dawn when I woke up to write my morning pages to find my desk chair covered in shards of bone-colored plaster and a gigantic hole in my ceiling! The plaster was surprisingly thick-- and heavy-- and of course my first thought was something along the lines of HOLY F***. I thought 2014 was going to be my year! 

What could have fallen on me while I was writing New Year's Eve.

So I cleaned up my house and went for a run in the early morning light, trying to ward off the depression that no matter what I do, I'm flawed and unloveable and so unlucky that my own house is actively trying to kill me.

But then the world opened up to me with each footfall (as it tends to do when I'm running) as the pale January sky faded from night to day. It was a beautiful morning and I was happy to be a part of it. And as I climbed a series of switchbacks up a narrow canyon, my thoughts began to change, my perspective shifted and I realized I was very lucky indeed.

After all, I could have been sitting there at my desk deep in thought when all that plaster came down. I could have been severely injured. And if it was heavy enough and the ends sharp enough, I could have (OK this is unlikely, but it's still possible) been killed. The thing is, though: I wasn't sitting there when the weight became too much and the ceiling gave way. Instead, I was in bed, safe.... I'm still alive and healthy and well.

The other miracle was that the plaster missed my computer-- where all my writing is stored-- by mere inches. If I didn't believe in angels before-- or in a spiritual force that hovers in the molecules around us-- I do now. Someone-- or something-- in the universe has got my back and wants me to be OK... maybe because I deserve to be-- because I want to give back to the world with my words and my athletics. I'm meant to be on this earth for a while.

And the rest, well, break-ups are never fun but maybe it's a bit like the plaster coming down. In a way, it's a good thing. The ceiling will be repaired and it will be stronger. It also won't fall on my head when I'm writing any time soon.

The world is a beautiful, marvelous place and I'm honored to be a part of it; so maybe I'm not loved right now? I've got enough love in my heart to give to this new reading series I'm starting in Truckee, to a workshop I'm leading for women in a shelter in downtown Reno in February, love to give to my family and my friends and to those of you who read this crazy blog. And love to places like this: just outside Bridgeport, California in a meadow that stretches for miles and ends at the majestic Sierra Nevada Range. A place my mom and I went and she said, no matter what, she loves me.  I look at the light in that photo and I feel there's there's a force which calls to me, which says: "be strong and be well, Rebecca.  You have miles to go before you sleep."

This beautiful meadow-- and light-- captured on a day out with my mom, my biggest fan.

No comments: