More Portugal soon, I promise. Right now, though, there is only this moment and the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other, seeping thanks for every bite of food, remembering to breathe despite rapidly shrinking headspace.
Impossibly, the sky hasn’t stopped breaking apart over our heads. Every umbrella we own is mangled from the fallout, and I no longer know how to process what seems to be a viral strain of bad timing and worse luck. This autumn couldn’t get any crazier, could it? (Here is where my husband groans and begs me to stop asking please before we actually find out.) No need to spell out the details; I’ve worried over them enough in my own heart.
I keep trying to tie a peppy ending on this, but the words come out flat and false. Yes, we have much to be grateful for, but we also have much to feel wronged over. My optimism is stranded in the cavern where religious platitudes used to roost (“God’s in control” is decked in so many layers of complication that I don’t even know where to start), and I would have to silence my authentic voice to pretend that everything is positive when I’m too disoriented to tell whether we’ve already capsized or not. I’ve been cussing a lot, whisper-flung prayers.
At the same time, my biggest adversary right now is nothing any more tangible than worry… and considering the way my skull keeps compressing valuable real estate, something has to go. It might as well be this. I wasn’t wired with all of the necessary release valves, but I try anyway, and it often looks like putting one foot in front of the other, seeping thanks for every bite of food, and remembering how to breathe. Also making frequent appointments for what the girls and I call Jovanotti therapy:
“I have two keys for the same door
To open to courage and to fear…
Everything is illuminated
And I no longer feel the need to suffer.”