Sea Change

In this tumultuous sea we all share, the coming changes will be exacting and excruciating. As the wave crests and threatens to throw us overboard, we may despair. Together. As the wave’s trough eventually comes, we will, on mutual exhaustion, find reprieve. Together.

Except. Except the ones lost along the wave. Of which there are already too many. We have so very much to do.

Meanwhile, my husband’s job layoff meant I job searched. And I found something that also found me. I begin April 20. To say I’m awash in emotion is understated. Grateful. Hopeful. Anxious. Resigned and resolved. That names a fair few emotions that stew and bubble amidst this pandemic and economic crisis.

Working at a job, as opposed to writing and making art, represents a sea change in our household. I seek accommodation for my constraints. That feels absolutely key. School is out and husband is home and every adaptation I’ve built feels poised on a fault line.

In times of tremendous change, I seek something real and solid to hold. Here, that’s preparation. Renewing our disaster plan to consider pandemics. Executing our will – we had a will-signing party on the front lawn, complete with six-foot distancing, hand sanitizer, and cleaned pens before and after. Shoring up legal documents and organizing them.

It is an illusion. I am prepared not at all. Not for death of loved ones. Not for suffering. Certainly not for a pandemic stretching out indefinitely.

I must exit preparation and enter some new phase. Maybe creation. Maybe making can be the solid thing on which I stand. On Sunday, the preacher said that limitations breed creativity. If that’s true, we’ve all got creativity to spare. Imagine what we could do. Not as illusion but concrete, tangible even in intangible ways.

Between crest and trough, create. Hold onto the real. Stay well to the very extent you can. From excruciation through exhaustion and upon the following wave, be and do and make.

When the Going Gets Tough


The tough make bone broth?

In Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron, the author says:

When we remember that we have a daily life, we begin to find our grounding….It is our job, faced with impending changes, to continue to husband the life that we have got.

She wrote of career changes, particularly good ones that can feel like very unstable ground. In my life today, this applies to the changing seasons.

We adopted a puppy. I’m embarking on new mediations for my anxiety and depression. My youngest will soon enter middle school, and my eldest has already gotten a small taste of high school, which begins shortly. My husband is still settling into a new job. Middling is constantly looking for the thing that makes him great.

This is the season I am living. It is not a bad season, but the change itself is anxiety-producing. I must persevere.

Remembering my daily life has been grounding. Laundry, dishes, and a home-cooked meal have a way of removing drama. It’s hard to be dramatic over a hot sink of dirty dishes. Or when holding a puppy. Or when simply reading a book.

For me, one thing is sure to reduce or eliminate drama swirling about my home: making bone broth. Maybe it is the husbandry of the thing. Maybe it’s the time and the slow alchemy of turning discarded bones into golden nourishment. Either way, I feel more centered with these jars awaiting the freezer. I feel more at home in my own life. Like the more things change, the harder I must work to remember the unchanging: my God, my love for my family, and dirty dishes.

This is how I plant and water my life. Small acts of husbandry and love repeated. Now have a puppy picture.