Writing Against all Odds
I took a (hopefully unbiased) look at my web page and noticed with cynical amusement that I list myself as writing about going into the “mature” aka “old” years with humor and grace. Ha. I don’t feel humorous and I surely don’t feel graceful. And that sort of attitude puts a damper on writing, especially when I’m trying to write a how-to piece about writing.
So what is the excuse here? The weather, yes, the weather when it’s 105 under a blazing sun, my husband has commandeered a corner—no, a large portion—of my office for one of his computer building projects. Am I the only one affected by trying to work in a crowded white-hot hell or is their some defect in my work ethic which seems to have melted like a candle.
Aside from experiencing a physical meltdown, there is the distraction of the local news. Large parts of my state are burning down. In fact, the whole southwest portion of the country is in an official state of disaster. My daughter inArizona, when trying to cheer me up, stated that they have no fires, there is nothing left to burn.Coloradoseems to be headed that way.
A recent evening found my husband and I transfixed in front of the television, watching news we never dreamed would happen—hundreds of homes engulfed in flames—“the orange balls in the distance,” informed the newscast, “are homes burning.” Six orange balls in a row. Six newly homeless families with nothing but memories. This morning’s news puts the number at 300.
That night tension emanated from the news room, onto the screen, and into our living room. We tried to call a friend whom we know lives in that area, but she had already been evacuated. Cell phone use in that area was not advised.We watched with horror as the losses mounted. The governor arrived in a helicopter and remarked that from the sky, the area looked like a war zone.
Thoughts of World War II and subsequent wars drag heavy on our minds and hearts as we contemplate the tremendous losses and the days ahead as we begin to heal—as a nation and a society and as individuals.
Disasters such as the ones occurring even into the end of this week and beyond will bring out the best in most of us, however. From the eastern plains ofColoradohave come stories of neighbors helping each other, saving each others’ lives and livestock. Rebuilding will come and the little town ofLast Chance Coloradowill rebuild and reincarnate. Mountain communities along theFront Rangewill begin to heal. Rains are starting to come, slowly now but will pick up as they always do, sooner or later. (Not quite so much asFlorida, please God.)
My late mother had a saying that I bring to mind in circumstances like these: Nothing lasts forever. Albeit broad, this statement emphasizes the finite nature of adversities like our present tribulations. Those three words feed hope, that essential ingredient inherent in the human soul. I have said that in my books and I try to remember my own words. Hope is a great healer. When the flames are extinguished, many things will be lost forever, but we have all discovered the importance of sharing hope and helping each other. This too will pass and life goes on–trite sayings but ever so true.
For another first personColoradostory about life during the time of wildfires see Trina Lambert’s blog GoingTheDistance.