Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The zen of the matriarch under stress
We meant to go to Lake Arrowhead on the Friday before Father's Day, but the universe said no in the form of errands which had to be completed before we could leave, and time being intractable, and energy having limits. So we decided to go Saturday morning. Again, the universe didn't seem to be crazy about the idea, but we persevered.
With organizing and packing and people milling around in the house while I ran from task to task as fast as I could, which wasn't nearly fast enough, I began to feel pretty ragged and unenthusiastic. Minutes before we left, I remembered that I needed to bring some basil from the garden for the pasta salad I had planned for dinner. Everybody was either already in a vehicle (there were two cars making the trip), or standing outside a vehicle trying to hammer one more piece of luggage into place. I took a pair of Cutco kitchen scissors and headed out across the lawn towards the garden.
I was in a mood. I hadn't had enough sleep, I'd had a stubborn headache for three days, and my stomach was a little shaky. Instead of looking forward to spending the weekend with my family, I was wishing they'd leave me so I could spend the weekend in silence, alone, reading books and watching America's Next Top Model reruns on the Oxygen channel. This clearly wouldn't do, so as I tromped through the drizzle I tried to get myself into a better place. Just stay in the moment, I told myself. You have this day to enjoy and you should start now. Look at how happy this little bit of rain is making the yard. Look at the baby sycamore, how big it's gotten in only two years. Look at the garden - wow, the peppers are loaded! And look at those tomatoes ripening so early! And the basil's gorgeous! Mmm, I'll take this bunch right here...snip...ah, smells good...snip...snip...
OUCH. I cut my finger. I cut my god-damned finger with the scissors! OW! I'm bleeding on the basil!
FUCK MY LIFE!
(The weekend worked out just fine, although I never did achieve any sort of Zen state about it.)