So many themes concurrently stream through my thoughts, which in most cases seem located in my head though occasionally their effects affect my body.
Last night I was tired and my favorite BBC shows are pre-empted by fund raising. I decide to retire early. I wrap up in the coziness of sleeping dogs and down comforters and give this new murder mystery another try. The book comes with high praise but the first few chapters haven’t grabbed me. I start feeling sleepy by 9:30pm. Turn off the light, fall asleep and wake fifteen minutes later in a froth of cascading thoughts – worry thoughts, the kind that make me all herky-jerky and very wide awake:
What if money doesn’t start flowing?
How will I pay the rent?
How many months can my savings last without replenishment?
What if I trust too much and my art will never provide for my needs?
How will I buy food?
What if my teaching career doesn’t flourish?
What if I get sick?
What if I hurt myself again?
What if I die tonight?
What if Omi ( my dog ) gets lost on one of her yard escapes?
What if I owe taxes inspite of making no money last year?
What if Taka ( my dog ) gets stuck under the porch?
What if, what if, what if…
The “what- ifs- waterfall” catches me in the hydraulic and actually makes me laugh when I start sputtering. I sit up and turn on the light, get a shot of whiskey and a garlic cracker, pat the dogs who are safe inside the house, get back in bed and open up the book. The hero’s troubles are way worse than mine and before I know it the simple, but magnificent distraction of reading, has sluiced me away from my whirlpool of worries. ( The Cruelest Month by Canadian Louise Penny.)
I keep reading. The characters begin to take on character, the sense of community grows, the story is complicated and engaging and before I know it, I’ve nearly finished the book and it is nearly 2 a.m.
So much for an early night. HA!
But I seem none the worse for wear when I wake.
Midday, the dogs and I walk during lowish tide and get farther than usual. The waves are a bit more clattery than usual, too, and there are several times when my audible senses are pricked. Listening for eagles, I hear red-winged black birds who are beautiful harbingers of Spring here. I don’t hear the eagles today but I do see the nesting pair watching the beach from “their” tree.
The water suddenly sounds quieter as if the waves had stopped or slowed, but they’ve done neither. We have rounded a point and I wonder if that’s all it takes to make such a big audible difference.
Another time, brings a smile of harmonic delight. The waves are suddenly more powerful, rising higher and riding on top of each other in an arc to the south. I can see no explanation. But in their power they begin moving beach cobbles – rounded pebbles about 3” across. The cobbles clatter and click and rasp and chime in an intricate cacophony which mingles rhythmically with the swoosh and shoosh and grate of the waves smashing and dragging.
Maybe the phenomena lasts for fifty-five seconds before the waves’ power dissipates, just long enough for me to identify how I’m hearing the polyphonic music of the sea plucking the beach.
I am totally comforted in this moment of being.