Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Train Wreck Riders

There are several bunkers on our little island, left over from World War II; this one sits in Blakely harbor, on a bit of land that divides the beach there from the saltwater lagoon behind it. It's covered in graffiti, some bits of which I've shown here before; the graffiti changes all the time as the kids explore their creativity on this wide open canvas.

There's a fruit tree growing up out of the cement inside the bunker, and this madrona curls around the southwest corner of the building, its graceful branches echoing the curls of the graffiti, though it's no longer clear which came first.

And I love this tiny little graffiti etched here, barely bigger than a madrona leaf: it has life and energy, and I feel -- as I always do -- a bit guilty photographing it; it's really someone else's art, not mine, that placed this little bit of charm in this odd little spot.

But today I feel I've been a bit of a train wreck rider myself. I'd planned to go to the San Juans to visit my daughter today, but when I woke I realized that the stomach flu that consumed my weekend hadn't quite left my system yet. This change in plans necessitated a number of different phone calls; the one to my daughter was particularly difficult as she had been counting on my visit.

But we've worked out an alternative -- assuming that two more days will restore my health more fully -- and, to her credit, she called back to set it up and apologized for being so distraught in the earlier call.

I'm still feeling rather dizzy, so I've been mostly laying low, watching old reruns of Monarch of the Glen, washing and ironing my costume, sewing back on the buttons that came off in the dryer. And it's rather lovely, actually, to step off the track for a bit, to lose myself in someone else's stories, to nap in the middle of the day and plan for an early bedtime.

And what felt, this morning, like a major train wreck, now seems like one of those accidents meant to happen, a chance for long conversations with good friends, a chance to spend more time with my other daughter, who is only here another week or two; a chance to pace myself more wisely, to listen to what my body is telling me, and slow down.

Maybe that's what train wreck riders do: they don't go anywhere, and find there's a lot of life to sing about right there on the tracks where they landed.

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