Thursday, April 18, 2013


running on empty

Well, what a week.  I have been sitting here trying to write about it and nothing is happening.  And there is a lot I could say.  Having to do with anger about the bombings in Boston, relief Ryan and I were not there this year, gratitude that our friends who ran the marathon are safe, and if that wasn't enough, despair over our cowardly senators who voted against gun control, and disbelief that part of a town in Texas has blown up, and oh yeah, outrage that someone tried to kill the president by sending him poison in the mail.  I mean, HOLY GOD.  And you know what, there it all is, and I just don't want to talk about any of it.  Instead I will tell you about my day yesterday.  It was a warm spring day, one of only two so far this year (the first was Monday), and I walked around town for a few hours with my sketchbook, drawing out some ideas for paintings, just taking pleasure in looking intently at things and places and views I have grown to love on my almost-daily walks.  I went down one street to the beach, walked the shoreline for a long way, then up the bank and along the edge of the train tracks, back into town, up Main Street, and finally on to our little home street, in a big loop.  Seen along the way:  neighbors, friendly dogs, islands, open ocean, an osprey fishing, a runner wearing blue and gold, songbirds, catkins, the skeleton of a house that burned down recently, girls on rollerskates, woolly bear caterpillars, and a flag man at the road construction site on Main Street, who was singing "Fly Me to the Moon" loudly and well.  I came home feeling empty, in a good way.  Scoured out, open, continuing to live life, accepting that grief and death are close friends who will come calling whether you invite them to or not.  When terrible things happen, this new layer of sadness appears, and we are aware of it like an invisible undertow in otherwise calm waters.  But these events create another new layer too, one of resolve, and that runs just as deep.  In fact one is strong, but the other, stronger.

Thank you to long-distance friends who remembered that Ryan is a marathon runner and asked if we were all right.  Ryan's three marathons in Boston are wonderful memories and will remain so.  The running community in Maine and elsewhere is a supportive, loving family and we feel lucky to be part of it.  Peace, everyone.  

I'm glad to hear you've found a way to take care of yourself.

It's been a surreal week here. Too many friends of friends of friends who were directly impacted by Monday's bombings and we all were affected in lesser or greater degrees. Some of my students have been unable to attend classes because of that impact.

For years, I've been signing off on any Friday classes I teach with the line "Have a good weekend; be safe out there. See you on Monday", This week has underscored the fragility of it all.

But there's been kindness and beauty and caring in the midst of this and that makes it bearable.
Dan, what a day, I don't even know what to say. Except, I'm so glad to hear from you, and I hope you and your family and friends and students are safe and remain so. I am trying to focus on life-affirming things around here today but I have to say my anxiety level is through the roof.
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