Salt Mine of the Soul


I drove the turn I said I was going to drive.

It is funny, it is sad, but funny, but true that I am overjoyed that I did something today I knew I needed to do.  It was so small.  So tiny that you might need an electron microscope to pick it up in the face of how much I would really like to conquer.  But it was a scare for Mildred.  She had me almost convinced: blood sugar might be low, it was dark, you know how those feelings come up at that intersection, you know how you’re already a little fuzzy, you already don’t really want to, and you’ll start fresh, and do it really well next time but tonight has been a long night and you just need a break, you don’t need this clenchy stress.  It will really be scary, what if this is the time it scares you so much you stop breathing? What if the car which needs an oil change decides this very moment is the moment it is going to seize and split in two, Herbie the Love Bug-style?  I mean, you really just can’t, you really can’t.

All of this is both thought and un-thought, it’s so old and deeply ingrained that it can be said in a muscle twitch, in a single gaze across the parking lot to recognize you parked another bay to the left, in a slow, disconcerting blink.

Imagine a life spent this way.   Hearing such concerns and attributing them to relative truth and abiding by them as though they were law.

The Faithful Light, me, I, it, the voice, the impulse to counter this desperate noise leaned over my shoulder and said, as it has done for the past four days:  “Hi, we’re going to do it anyway.”  It doesn’t ask permission.  It doesn’t give the worry a chance to make one revolution, to gather one newton of momentum.  And so we drove up to the intersection and imperfectly waited our time, felt Mildred’s jitters and twitchiness, felt the silent spell she casts where every last exhausted worry runs a manic and dizzy dance through my lungs and around my brain and settles in my biceps.  It turned green and we turned and drove the very short distance home, unscathed.

This is not the only thing that happened today, just a notable one.  I also read more of Tiny, Beautiful Things and felt better about tiny, painful things I didn’t realize were still sticking at me.  I read just because I liked reading.

Now I am home, after all of the day’s delights.  I have post-salon hair, magical hair and my eyebrows have re-emerged in their coiffed and reduced shape.  I feel a bit more like a lady who is ready to face a day.

Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week.  Then, there will be a day off before I go to Salida to see those boys of which much has been made.

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