—as I am when overwhelmed by the mountains
of laundry we do in a household of three,
though at the same time I love burying
my face in armloads of warm dry cotton fresh
from the dryer. Or as I take a step back
and gasp at the moon this week, for it’s larger
than my biggest serving plate and brighter
than LED light bulbs which in themselves
are a wonder, as they can last anywhere
from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. Moonlight
pouring through the blinds makes it hard
to fall asleep, but I can’t turn it off.
And I am overwhelmed to learn that it takes
about five years for a cancer cell to grow
to the size of a pea, but then almost no time
at all for the suddenness of its vicious turns.
One moment you’re wading near the shore,
then something materializes, shark gunning
in shallow water to bite off your leg or arm,
or the side closest to your spleen. I look
around again today, seriously overwhelmed
by the number of books we’ve acquired
through the years and how long it will take
to read through all of them. Why did we buy
three cheeses instead of one when we came back
from Belgium, and six thick slabs of chocolate?
Everything tastes so good especially when
it’s bad for you. Everything screams Pleasure first!
especially when it’s the wrong time for it.
How long it felt to be in a Chapter 13 bank-
ruptcy, and have our wages garnished. It was over-
whelming to jump at every shrill of the phone,
even after creditors had stopped calling.
Seven years never felt so long, but now,
in hindsight, did go faster than we thought.
We were nothing short of dumbstruck that soon
after, we could even qualify for a housing
loan! Life is still crazy, though it seems
to go at a more or less sedate pace these days.
But from my bedroom window, when I see two women
walk briskly past at the same time each morning
in almost identical wear, I feel sorry for the track
shoes I haven’t laced in months, sitting by
the door. Then I think, what use is this kind
of worry when there are so many more dire things
going on in the world? I think about the thousands
of children still separated from their parents,
and about an orca in mourning, who’s been spotted
carrying her dead calf for three days off the coast
of Victoria, British Columbia. I want to dissolve
in tears at least once a day. My friend Leslie
asked if I’d heard of this chart that could show
how to manage worry. Though I don’t remember exactly
what went where, she explained that in one box
you’re supposed to put the things you can’t
worry about anymore because there’s nothing you
or anyone can do at all. Into another go the things
you can worry about because there are
some known solutions. In the last one I think
you’re supposed to put the things that you can let
overwhelm you, but only for a limited time
instead of all day, or 24/7. So you might say
I’ll let myself cry for an hour, then dry my tears
and go to work. Or I’ll let myself cry and crawl
back under the covers, but must get up before noon
to feed myself and the cat. There’s always something
coming out of the ground: weeds, slugs, worms,
scraps for the birds to peck at. Coming home one
evening, my child stopped, saying Look under
the trees! I thought it was a rat or raccoon. But all
it was, was the first slow winks pulsing from firefly bodies
in the oxygen-rich dark, under the miniature Japanese maples.
~ *with a line taken from a Tweet from Chen Chen @chenchenwrites
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.