Navigating 2011

So in January I started the new year firmly on the ground and clear-eyed,  joining an annual midnight burn with friends, willing to take on the dubious benefit of being single again, and things looked pretty good;

by mid-month the novelty of the new year was wearing off and being alone was getting cold.  And then word came of a friend with breast cancer, followed quickly by the death of another friend of thirty years.

So the blog shifted into neutral, then neutral got parked.  Time and efforts moved to tracking the quick changes the year kept serving up: travelling east to make contact, returning to manage memorial arrangements, pausing when possible to let it all unwind.  In late spring other unexpected shifts–the dog has sudden vision issues and my best decisions lead to her looking like a stuffed toy that has lost one of its eye buttons.  Some very large, very angry man in a parking lot either panics or attempts insurance fraud by chasing my car insisting I’d driven over his foot, calls me a hit and run, calls the police, who shrug and insist we let the insurance companies fight it out.  I leave the situation with no confidence and a case of the shakes.  The long cool spring leads to low-grade summer,  when I glance down to retrieve coffee from the cupholder on the console to glance up just before the impact against a suddenly stopped BMW–which is thrown into the car in front of it, thrown into the car in front of that.

I jump out and realize I am fine.  I walk to the side of the road and gaze over the shattered taillights and bent cars, the drivers and passengers and cell phones and firemen and police.  Then, like an unexpected hero in a disaster movie, I see a friend threading through the crowd, coming toward me with a fresh bottle of cold water.  He saw it was my car on the side of the road.  Could he help run interference with any of this?

Life rolls and spins like an old funhouse, and even when things come at you steady and fast, I do believe it is preferable to be in motion than low in a corner.

Just when I wonder yet again if people are worth the chaos, someone reaches through.




About Kathleen G. White

Kathleen White is a writer living on the edge of Puget Sound and sizing up the discrepancies.
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