Just like the forecast promised, last night was wild. It blew and blew, a fiercer, stronger wind than I think I can ever remember before. Often times it seems mighty winds blow themselves out. That was not the case last night. It kept up for hours, surging for minutes on end, before falling back for the odd 20 seconds like waves. In fact the sound was very much like a tempestuous ocean, the sound of crashing waves as the wind ripped through the trees, of the ocean smashing against the rugged rock of the shore.
I could not help but listen as I lay in bed. There was something fascinating in the tumult, and a little scary. I didn’t fear anything personally, but imagined calamities out there in the wider community. Through the uncurtained window I would look up and see the large palm fronds jerk with the wind and then beat upon the glass like angry Triffids looking to force their way in. How can they withstand it, I thought. I imagined that the palm leaves themselves would be ripped to shreds by the force of the wind, or else the slender stalks torn from the ground. The unrelenting wind surged again, and the front gate banged, unloosed from its fixings by the wind.
It seemed like this went on for hours and hours. Certainly this morning there are widespread reports of damage, and of record wind gusts. I lay in bed drifting to sleep last night with this in the background and my mind full of questions.
The previous night, Sunday night, I had a restless sleep trying to make things add up in my head. That’s a futile pursuit – they don’t add up – and so my sleep was unhappy and disturbed. I carried that into the day. I was in a bad way yesterday, though needing to rouse myself for some key meetings. At one point I sat there waiting in my suit, my thoughts far away in bitter contemplation. I suppose my face must have looked grim. Passing by a completely stranger stopped in front of me and said “hello”, before going on again. I blinked in surprise, and responded. I felt a sense of shame. I walked thinking that this time I would fail. This time I would not come up as I have in the past and assume the confident persona people want to see. This time I thought I would not manage it, but somehow, in the end, I took a few deep breaths and became once more the man I had to be. By the time I went to bed last night it was in a state of almost resigned despair.
There was something in me that refused to accept that. It was not thought. Something in my core came to the surface. You’re not quite done yet. Don’t give up. There must be a way. And so as the wind crashed my mind circulated these notions of what that ‘way’ must be. As always at such time there was a surreal, somewhat ridiculous tinge to the thoughts that went through my head. In the cold light of day their lack of substance becomes obvious. In the dark they take on a life and a force of their own.
On Sunday those thoughts had been bitter. I was soured by them, like a dish in which salt has been added rather than sugar. Last night my thoughts were more positive, and in the strange perambulations of night thinking I found hope again. I wake with that, and find that while there are no real answers this morning, there are leads to follow. As always to do something is far better than to sit and wait for things to happen. That’s my nature as well. I don’t like to be reactive. I like to do.
There are two things I am following up today. One is a sacrifice that comes at a time when I can’t afford to make a sacrifice. A friend tells me I’m crazy. I’ve got my priorities wrong. I can’t shake the conviction however that the sacrifice is well made. I believe as always in doing the right thing. To do that is to be true to a part of myself, regardless of what is delivered up to me. I’ve commented often on how I believe in karma. That belief has been rocked in recent months – the karma seems all one way. Still, I can’t deny it. If this decision to do the right thing regardless of personal cost counts as an act of karma then hopefully some of that will be returned to me.
The other thing is much more pragmatic. I need help. I’ll be seeking it out.