Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Apologia

As much as I enjoy the mornings, my spirit is heavy today. I unintentionally upset a friend yesterday; we'll call her Dark Star, after the CSN&Y song. I am a person with invisible disabilities, and sometimes they get the better of me. They also make me creative, for which I am profoundly grateful, but that's beside the point.

My life is much like others, treading an invisible tightrope in this impossible world. Sometimes I focus so much on what I get out of being successful at walking that tightrope that I jump up and down in victory. I forget that others are on the same rope.

Which brings me back to my solitude in the mornings. It is a time that the world is quiet and I can be heard. It's a time when Nature can also be heard, but that's beside the point, too, at this moment. I pride myself on speaking for those that are voiceless, but I forget that others, who have a voice, are in pain sometimes as well. And for that, I apologize.

More and more in this world, we have to scream to be heard above the din. That's the reason I loved that storm that hit Roanoke earlier this month, the derecho. For those of you with no knowledge of our area, we had a terrific windstorm, a derecho, that also graced us with colored lightning: green, pink, purple, orange lightning. Nature was screaming. And when she stopped, a majority of us in several states lost the voices of the mechanical things that surround us. We lost electricity, and everything that entails. Many lost water as well, and civilization in a relatively small corner of the world was thrown back into the last century.

When I was young, I could visit a time and place without telephones, cell phones, PDA's, iPods, and even refrigerators and flushable toilets. That was when the sound of a great-Aunt's house was the carriage clock on the mantle, and the trees rustling outside, and the breeze pushing in the screen door. When the quiet voices murmuring in the parlor laid out the memories of an even more quiet time: that of the past, and their youth.

Which brings me back to Beth. She is the voice of my youth, and of quiet times spent talking in a dim room. When she visits now with her husband, we'll call him Bubba, I soak up all the talk and sophistication that I can. She is the best of solitude, with the best of company and I miss them keenly when they aren't here.

But yesterday, I was listening to the loud, electric scream of my disabilities in my own head and she had to scream to get me to notice what she was saying. And now, here I am, in a quiet room with the dawn breathing outside, trying to apologize for my noise.