Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Take Me Away

My inner turmoil is threatening to boil over.

White, starchy foam is pillowing up, ready to spill down the sides of my very hot head.

In approximately one second I will hear said turmoil sizzle on the burner.

Warning lights are flashing: action is required.

So I step outside, my bare feet quickly crossing the deck. And I stare at the little water hazard on the golf course.

Almost immediately, my turmoil begins to simmer, and my bunched shoulders slacken ever so slightly.

A small, appetizer-sized portion of peace washes over me.

If I can manage to tune out the sounds of my kids screaming, I might have some hope of quieting my brain.
Serenity now.
I did not grow up around water – I never knew that it had this power over me until 9/11.

9/13, actually.

It was the first day back to work after, you know, the terror, and our three-person office quickly decided we just weren’t ready to be on the 32nd floor of a high(-ish) profile building. I went home, but I was just plain antsy.

I couldn’t sit still. I didn’t want to sit still.

I grabbed my sneakers and started walking, directionless, and found myself in Astoria Park, right on the East River.
Triborough Bridge from Astoria Park.
via queens.about.com
I stared at the City, and the City stared back at me.

Together we mourned a life now over – a world where things seemed far more carefree in retrospect.

But between us lay the river, and that water soothed me.

Tears still rolled down my cheeks, but the water was like a salve on my shattered heart.

From that moment, I began to seek out water in times of sadness, frustration, anxiety, confusion.
From the dock at Lake Harding. October 2010.
I spent hours down at my in-laws’ dock one summer, letting the sun warm my back and the sparkling water hypnotize me. My father was dying.

Went back to the East River in freezing temperatures just weeks after he died. This time I had a baby in my belly, and I was angry. My dad would never hold her.

Sat across from Lullwater in Prospect Park that next August, contractions ripping through me, watching water tumble across a rocky fall.
Across from "Contraction Corner" in Prospect Park.
via wallyg's flickr
Headed to the Park’s lake for a run whenever steam built up and required a decent vent.
Watched sunrises and sunsets at Georgia’s Lake Harding last summer and fall as I started my transition out of New York and into the rest of my life.

And I sit here today, with a small pond about 200 feet away, the wind making the water as jangly as my nerves.

After nine months in limbo – a veritable gestational period for my career – I’m on the edge of a major change.

It’s terrifying.

Perhaps some bathwater would help.
Calgon, take me away.
via jackie121467's flickr.

1 comment:

Nigel said...

I feel the same way about water. Something to be said about something bigger than you to make your problems and concerns go away. Big hug, Kate.