Oh crap….so, I open up the LONG draft I wrote yesterday and ‘Yup’, is the only word present in the top left corner of a very blank page. Yup is the only offering..out of the 250 or so fricking words I hammered into my laptop whilst I battled against my forcefully imposed hibernation on February 25th.
As I walked gingerly over rivers of ice coating the road this morning I was busy preparing the story in my head. Telling you all about how I came ploughing headlong into my fears on Friday and how I got through it ( A story I seem to be telling over and over. Just the geography and the cast seem to alter. I feel I’ve got to write through it though. Complete my imagined apprenticeship. It is like I’m hanging out…practicing the art of writing, finding a voice, until I find one day I’ve morphed into an author and a long-held prayer has been answered). But, when I called up the draft I’d written I cursed the air blue. ‘Yup’, is all I got. ‘Yup’ typed in arial 10 and sitting at the top left of a very blank page. ‘Yup’, had been spoken with drawl…shouted through a truck window. The guy, wearing shades and a dirty red baseball cap that looked as though it probably had become part of his head, was telling me that the HUGE dump (no other words could describe it) of snow we’d had the night I was driven, up the mountain I now reside on, was ‘more’en we’d had for thurtee ate yeears’. At the time I was mortified. Frigid with fear, taking in breath with mean sips. I’d come back to the US to escape the cold. And here I was, slap, bloody bang in a snow storm!
I’d taken up a friends über kind offer to come stay with her for as long as I chose. I desperately wanted to come back to the States but I’d had BIG reservations….’what if I got bored…stuck up a mountain?’…’what if it is colder than the UK’….I HATE being cold….’what if, after years of me being so independent I am rendered incapable of sharing a home with other mortals?’…… I’d flown back. Sat in LA for a week, preparing to come. Now, up the hill… I’d gotten myself into a state. A sorry state. Whilst the snow pumped from the sky, a war had raged in my insides (a feeling that sadly wasn’t new). I was locked in my angst. Saw cold. Saw walls of white, burying me. Fencing me in. Saw a tiny town…heaving, moving like wind on water with eager tourists. Bodies trussed up in colourful wadding. Knitted hats wrenched over ears. The other part of me knew I would love it here. This part of me whacks away fear like a home run. This other side of me saw children everywhere climbing the lofty snow drifts. Giggling, their cheeks pink as they stuffed compacted balls of icy snow down each others jackets. Mexican families, visiting from the valleys below. Big in both stature and number, they had come to have fun. They watched agog as vehicles, with long metal plows that looked like big yellow moustaches, fitted on the face of their trucks, parted the snow. Creating high banks and revealing the tarmac. I laughed as I witnessed the tourists shovelling snow into the backs of their trucks to show off to the folks back down ‘the hill’ as the locals affectionately call it. This part of me saw a whole town smiling.
By the next day, when I woke to the silence and the sun was lifting and exhaling pink into the sky. My shoulders had dropped away from the sides of my ears. I was breathing again. I was picking up my camera and capturing the tiny yellow finches, pecking black seeds from the stocking that hangs from outside the lodge window.
I shake my head..make apologies to my main Man..my Creator, and curse myself for being an ejit. When will I learn? I knew, deep down…but…
Chrissy, my friend who had graciously given me a room, and opened her home to me with the generosity of a long time friend though, in reality, up to now, I’ve spent more time in a post office queue than I’d spent with her, is amazingly giving and genuinely kind. Her two sons, Adam (a giant who grunts at me bashfully) and Max, his older brother who studies music and taunts the snappy bulldog Ella, are a lot of fun. They’ve made room for me. I feel at home. I feel excited to be here. I feel this is an amazing opportunity for me. I don’t know why and maybe it is nothing more than I am back here, in the US. I’m living on this magical mountain and that is enough.
The fizz started to bubble up in my belly again yesterday. It forewarns me that all is good. I’ve never seen a sky so blue. I’m amazed how I can been in a scene, thick with snow, and have the sun wrap itself around me and warm my marrow. Chrissy sent me on an errand to collect the post in the centre of town. Walls, ceiling high rows of locked boxes with their backsides opening into a large room sorting room. This is where all the post for every home and business is delivered to the town. A square blue light is switched on when all the letters and boxes have been filled up with news, bills and junk mail from the land below. Probably the only place in town where every creed, status and breeding merge. I think I’ll find my daily visits here an interesting way to discover what type of people have staked the mountain as their home. I’d been to the mountain before. Just six weeks ago. Some people, Chris included, had rocked my world and stamped my perceptions of this town and its inhabitants, indelibly in a very happy place. Over and over they the story went…’Somehow, I arrived here…decided I wanted to live here….never looked back…it all fell into place’. In this place, serendipity seems to be as heavy in volume as the oxygen spewed from the forest of pine trees that surround us.
I’m excited. At peace again. The worry of being in a world beyond my control is receding with the snow. Right now, I’m in a world I didn’t paint consciously. I struggled against it, felt I’d really prefer to be in San Francisco, but I still came. I went with what I was given. I’ve found that actually the snow is beautiful, the sun is so strong you don’t feel then cold and I’ve slotted right into life at the lodge. I am trying to give up trying to see into the future in order to evade my fears. Right now I foresee a tasty lunch. Brown rice tortillas, brought from my beloved Trader Joes, stuffed with salad and re-fried beans. Time to close down the lid of my laptop and go make lunch.