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The future is begining, now

February 08, 2006 | Category: In My Life

I slip in the Coldplay as I slip into traffic. The snow swirls, the tail lights make foggy red halos, the heater tries to kick in.

They call this 'lake effect' snow, but I have never known what that means. It's not special, except that it's slowing us all down. I glance at the clock and sigh.

Can't be late.

When I was growing up, I hated being the last one. The girl leaning against the wall and watching the door. Wandering if I'd been forgotten.

I won't do that to Bear.

I press the gas, flip my blinker, find a little space in another lane. In a split second, I'm down a side street. Weaving like a New York cab in slow motion.

The Scientist plays;

Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a silence apart...
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

I think on all the perks I need to replace, the research I need to do. Cell phone, DSL, home line...

When I was my father's daughter, I loved visiting him at work and playing grown-up at his desk. He'd give me a pen and a pad of legal paper all of my own. Crisp white sheets with faint blue lines, waiting to be filled up.

Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart
The snow grows thick, my wipers slamming back and forth to keep up. I put the van in a lower gear, and sip my coffee at the stop light.

I'm so tired of this. The constant evaluating of my life and these decisions sours me, like a metallic aftertaste. There are others out there, grappling twisting living struggling laughing crying working in their own lives.

Margi has brought home her new son, born premature but growing strong. Sol has walked away from her career, too. She tends to her own boy, while two new hearts grow beneath hers. Helen dreams/seeks/is making a baby while alternating between globetrotting and having knighted people give her awards.

I watch Philip with admiration as he's found ways to fight his constant pain. Pain that won't be treated, won't be cured, and carves into his days. As Kalisah has looked for the silver lining after waking up one day to find herself fired.

There is no time, left, now. To agonize about a decision already made. To paralyze myself with those fears.

Lessons abound. Faith. Strength. Grace. Humor. I push my mind to them. Tentatively, I force myself to let go of the thick bundles of terror and doubt that have gripped me for so long. They slide away, slowly. It hurts.

The future is beginning, now.

Clocks starts, the cascading synth intro echoing.

Come out upon my seas,
Cursed missed opportunities
Am I a part of the cure
Or am I part of the disease, singing

I wipe at the side window, where the defroster doesn't reach. Check the mirrors.

Today CD found a second job. Maybe. Probably. After months of me pacing and shouting and begging him to find something better than he has now.

He'd say "Better paying jobs don't fall from the sky!"

And I'd accuse him of not trying hard enough. Of not wanting to take care of us. Another of my secret fears. And he'd grow silent, impassive.

A few hours later, he'd walked quietly into my office. Stroke my hair as I typed away. Offer to get me a drink.

The sparks of a once-passionate love glowing again. And I'd touch his hand. And we'd pause. The hope lives here, still.

Thinking of it, thinking of the possible second job, thinking of his willingness to work 6 days a week, thinking of those lessons of faith. Think and pushing a few more of those paralyzing bundles off the cliff of my brain. To the place where the names of acquaintances go, where the location of my glasses goes. Gone into a chasm, never to return.

And the gray clouds overhead seem lighter somehow. The roads clearer. The last mile easy. The traffic lights go my way.

I pull up at Bear's school and slide into the carpool lane. My plastic number in my windshield. My claim ticket for his bright blue eyes and pink chubby cheeks. The teachers move quickly through the little cyclones of snow that race up and down the sidewalks.

The kids are ecstatic. As they exit the school in one's and two's and stand on the line waiting to be escorted to cars, they laugh and look up. They nudge each other and throw back their heads in wonder.

My turn, and I unlock the doors with one hand and flip the switch for the automatic door with the other. Whipping off his backpack, Bear climbs in with a grin that could be used as an alternative power source.

"Snow!" he announces. "Enough for snowballs!"

And as he pulls on his seatbelt, and I push the button to close the door against the wind, the clouds actually drift past. The sun bursts through like an explosion, blinding us in reflection against the new snow.

I squint and wipe the tears from my eyes.

"Whoa," Bear says slowly. "That's like the sun coming from heaven."

And I agree. "Beautiful World" starts thrumming from the speakers.

Here we go, here we go

And we live in a beautiful world,
Yeah we do, yeah we do,
We live in a beautiful world...
Oh, all that I know,
There's nothing here to run from,
'Cause everybody here's got somebody to lean on.

Despite the glare, I pull into gear and turn around for the return trip home before the cars behind me start honking. Slowly navigating into the sun.

The future is beginning, now.

Bring it.

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Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life


Wow, Elizabeth. This is fantastic piece of writing! Your descriptive language is fantastic. I could hear the wipers, feel the wet snow.
Best wishes on the brightest future!

Posted by: Tammy on February 10, 2006 12:03 PM

Bring it on, indeed.

Posted by: Philip on February 9, 2006 07:12 PM

I loved this post, I loved that you are ready for anything. I want to tell you great words of wisdom, and I don't have any... only that you are emarking on a great journey and it seems to me you are more than ready.

Happy Snow Day.

Posted by: Sol on February 9, 2006 03:06 PM

Simply wonderful.

Posted by: ashleigh on February 9, 2006 01:30 PM

I love that Coldplay CD. It was the soundtrack to my life for a while.

Your imagery is stunning. And I wish I had something intelligent to add. Sleep deprivation will suck the brain right out of your head, won't it?


Would a hug do, instead?

A virtual one?

{{{{ huggggggggg }}}}

All my love,

Posted by: Margi on February 9, 2006 01:03 PM

So you can just open and close the back door of your car while still sitting in the driver's seat?

Posted by: paula on February 9, 2006 07:46 AM

great post.

I hope you and Bear can go sledding.

Posted by: laura on February 8, 2006 08:31 PM