Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Price of Sunlight

I'm in a gushing hurry to finish many things before leaving to board with a dog and leave for Prague on Sunday, but I couldn't let your responses to my last post dangle as though I were too numb to absorb them. Indeed, your sympathy -- and in many cases, your shared experience -- had a profound impact on me. Possibly even more impacting was the effort and tears I put into writing that post and waking up on Monday to a calmer disposition.

It was weird, though. On Monday I felt like the previous couple of days had been a lost weekend, with grief instead of food or booze or something. I ran into a good friend who I see nearly every day and it was like I'd been far away to someplace bleak, like Chernobyl. But the air had cleared. The humidity dropped, the air was cleaner and cooler. I'd cried most of my available tears and had tried to articulate this process and its peculiar grief as best I could. I understand my reaction a little better and I definitely feel a community of people going through the same feelings.

But the price of having a little light back in my scope of vision has been not being able to get to sleep at night and waking to a churning stomach with all the things I have to do before I leave on Sunday. There comes a point in the afternoon when I wilt. I've been unable to get my body on to a subway to exchange dollars for crowns -- Herald Square feels amazingly too daunting for me. When I took a look at the Czech Airlines website, however, I saw that I could make the exchange at JFK.

And today I plum fell over and badly bloodied my knee, either not paying attention to Daisy or to the uneven sidewalk. Gawwww...

Sometimes I wonder what hallucinogens I was taking when I booked this trip. I'm an agoraphobe! Is someone who can't face the bustle of Midtown fit to travel to a place where there are words with no vowels???

I've done the best I can. I booked a lunch cruise of Vlatava River for five hours after arrival. I should just about make it, with time for dropping my bags, having coffee and finding the meeting place. From then until 2 I don't have to think. I can just take pictures of the bridges and castles and drink Czech beer.

It's been hard to go from that blotted grieving place to semi-productivity, but I wanted you to know there are breaks in this hideous process. I have a coaching project on hand and I really do love not only cleaning up prose but finding the story that is often missing from the pages. I've run errands when I can steel myself to get out and done odds and ends toward being out of hear in reasonable order on Sunday. I feel much better that I won't be a loose ends with jet lag when I arrive. I also booked excursions to Nizbor to see the Bohemian glassworks, to Kutna Hora, an amazing cathedral town, and to Terezin, because I believe that if one can visit a death camp, it's a moral obligation to do so. All of it leaves another six hours a day to see Prague in my own slow fashion.

And I think I will buy Christmas ornaments for my parents while I'm there. I think I will try to focus on what is beautiful and possible in their futures.

With a lot of help from my cyber-friends.


Quilting Martha said...

Have fun in Prague!

April said...

Reading your blog is both frightening and validating. As you express some of your struggles with depression I compare it to my own. I wonder if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Is there ever a real cure? Will this ever not be a part of my life? Will I ever master my eating so that my struggles with food don't dominate my life? I go to your site with eagerness and trepidation and yet I am grateful for the opportunity. Feeling that conflict is worth the "return" on the investment. Thank you for sharing so readily. You help countless readers, I am sure. And I know you help me.
Have fun on your trip. Getting away will be wonderful. Focus on the beauty indeed! I was thrilled to read that you are going to visit Terezin and I loved your line about it being a moral obligation. I heartily agree. Reading about WWII has been a hobby of mine for my whole adult life.

Anonymous said...

The Prague trip sounds wonderful - you've wanted to go, have planned things out carefully, and booked it in the first place to be sure you had some "me time" in the middle of everything else.

I know it will be hard to leave the security of the known and hope you will be able to enjoy yourself. Take lots of fabulous pictures with that wonderful photographer's eye. We'll be thinking of you with love.

Lori G. said...

I have to agree with what Anne said. It sounds wonderful and you deserve some me-time. It's hard to let go and I always hate the days before any trip. I wonder, "Did I do the right thing? Can I afford it?" and even on the first day, I think that. But then I relax and enjoy where I'm at and I hope you have that same experience.

Much love, Lori

Anonymous said...

Sending you miraculous energy for you to enjoy on your travels! Thinking of you, thanking you for your words.

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