Karen Rivers


Karen Rivers

There is a feeling that something is wrong.  The world is vertiginous, slipping, unsure.  

Look at Boston.  It's hard to not look at Boston.  I mean, obviously.

It's hard to work and walk and think and write and to not think about Boston.  I am maybe slow to process, but in my mind, when someone says "Boston", I think of the boy waiting for his dad to cross the finish line, then what happened to him next, then I cry for a bit.   Or I don't cry, but inside I'm bent double, screaming.  The image won't leave me.  

I wasn't going to blog that because it feels gratuitous, but there it is.

I'm so so so sorry about the boy.  About everyone, but mostly the boy.  (Let's pray for the boy in heaven, says The Birdy.  I'm going to do it, says The Bun (who is also 8, like the boy was 8).  We wait and he says, God please let the boy play with Tika in heaven.  And I cry again, silently silently and say, OK, let's have a sleepover tonight, which is fast becoming my answer to everything, the big bed piled up high with kids, dog and me.)

This happens every day in different parts of the world, explosions and limbs landing bodiless on roads.  This happens.  

What kind of world is this?

A fine web of cracks is spreading, cobwebbing its brokeness over the transluscent everything.  

What remains to be seen is if it will (like the bones in my ribs which, laced over with the white lines of healing, look like pieces of art) be stronger or more broken when all this is done.  

By which I mean, seeing the goodness in people is always beautiful.  But the sadness will remain.

And when is it ever done?

By tomorrow, people will have stopped talking about Boston, except for those in Boston, of course.

Look for beauty and kindness and goodness.

Sometimes it's harder to find than others.

Squint, if necessary.

On the way to school, we play a game where we find beautiful things.  These things are often easy and obvious (flowering trees, anything pink or red, spring flowers, a girl with long hair that is blowing in the wind at the bus stop, a blue bicycle), but sometimes they surprise you.  

BEAUTIFUL, they'll shout and then point and I'll say, What, what is it?  The garbage can?  

No, Mummy, The Bun says.  The way the sun makes the colour of the garbage can look like it's a jewel.

No, it looks like it is UNDER WATER! says The Birdy.

A JEWEL!  UNDER WATER! (This, they can agree on.)

I mean, obviously.  Yes.  The beautiful garbage can.  

They cannot for the life of them believe I didn't NOTICE it until that moment.

And I can't either.

Look closer.

Oh, the light.  Always the light.

BEAUTIFUL LADY! shouts The Birdy, pointing at a woman bent over her walker at the curb.  

The car hits a bump and The Birdy's nose bonks against the seat in front of her and she screams and wails, grabbing at her face, the outrage of the CAR SEAT hitting her in the FACE.  Can you even imagine?

BEAUTIFUL SCREAMING BABY TANTRUM! yells The Bun and so she takes a swing at him and misses and I have to pull over and breathe deeply and calmly because lately something has happened to my inner ear and stress makes me spin, out of control, falling, like the time I went on the ferris wheel (months after my ex and I split) and had a panic attack at the top and he reached behind The Birdy's back to rub mine in a way that he never did when we were together.

Love is like that, sometimes too late.

I am seeing a naturopath about the vertigo.  I am waiting for him to give me a tonic or a shot or a pill that will anchor me back to the ground and stop all the things around me from moving quite so fast.  I think it's just that I'm missing something, like iron or magnesium or a sense that the weather and love and the shattering world will one day right themselves.

I lit the fire today after my rainy hike in the woods, it's that cold in here.

I am going to make some bread.

I want to lie in a hammock in the sun and read lazily from a pile of books, pages rustling in a gentle breeze, and be sipping something cold and delicious.  I want to look up at azure sky and down at white sand and laughing kids, digging to nowhere.  I want to have nothing on my schedule and a bank account that overflows.  I want to take up yoga just to see if I can stretch anymore or if years of trying to hold myself still have atrophied my entire being.  I want to sleep until I'm no longer tired.  I want to lean backwards into a waterfall and feel the push-pull of the earth, sun shining through droplets, my feet distant and distorted in the flow.  I want to be able to close my eyes in the shower without tipping, unsure, the world tilting away from me.  

Do you know what I mean?

Everyone probably feels this way.  Not particularly blog-worthy.  Lately I have felt not particularly blog-worthy myself.

How are you?