Sunday, June 7, 2009

Is it safe to look up?

Oh welcome Sunday. Not only because it's my one day off in a 13-day stretch, but also because it means I'm cleaved -- at least by the calendar -- from the single worst week of my adult professional life. It started with an incredibly sad event that brought John back from his bike trip, just three days into a ride around Lake Michigan. From there, things completely fell apart at work. The powder keg burst, and me along with it.

This morning as I was walking Inez, I decided we'd both been a little short-changed by recent chaos, and I decided to stretch out her route a little. She sniffed around a tree, and there on the ground was the crumpled $20 bill you see here. It reminded me of the time I was walking home one rainy morning during grad school, after a short-lived fling went belly up the night before. I turned a corner and found seven damp dollars wadded up in the street. I was living on a shoestring and $7 actually meant something to me. Even as an atheist, I saw this as a kind of cosmic rebalancing act, and I stuffed the money in my pocket, imagining a pint of Haagen Daaz or some other such indulgence I wouldn't have otherwise justified.

The rest of today has brought a cheerful hello from the South Asian man who runs the sundry store around the corner; a glimpse of the tiny head of cauliflower sprouting in our garden bed; an emailed pep talk from my amazing friend Kathy, who helped me reframe the events of last week; greetings by name from a handful of vendors setting up the first day of our seasonal farmer's market; and amazing endurance from the five peace lily blooms that my mother insists are symbolic of something.

And even the cynic in me has to recognize: Given time, the world always brings its salves and compensations.


Rosemary said...

So sorry to hear (both here and on Facebook) about your terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week. For your sake, I'm very glad it's over, and that things seem to be taking a turn for the better. I wish you strength (and rest, and peace, and all other good things).

leslie said...

a letter is on its way...