One might be lulled into thinking we have reached a plateau. It doesn’t appear to be quite so colossally catastrophic every moment of every day. But in my mind, what’s happening to us is similar to this photo, but blacker, wider and with no end of the waves in sight.
This is where we are:
A stormy, black, shark-infested sea with 50-foot swells, a howling gale, biting rain and bitter cold. Whales and waves threaten to capsize us at any moment.
Cliff and I had been lounging on the deck of the boat we built together. Previously, we had navigated our vessel through the normal, sometimes tough, waters of the world in search of our quiet, warm-water bay off the coast of a beautiful land, where we finally dropped our anchor. The kids played around the boat; in and out of the water.
Then unexpectedly, inexplicably, the sun disappeared. We grabbed the kids, pulling them into the boat. Night came in 20 seconds. Our anchor broke and within minutes we were hurled into the center of a vast, unfriendly sea. We only had time to secure the kids in the hull — their warmly lit, cozy and familiar home with their toys and each other. But Cliff and I spent the first week on deck, trying to navigate. We were alternately slammed against the mast and the rails, as our boat dropped off the edge of waves, shuddering on an unforgiving sea that threatened to shatter our vessel. Thank God we built it strong.
And have I mentioned the noise? Like nothing I’ve ever heard. It’s so loud and bad, you can almost see the noise. It’s deafening.
Finally, in the second week, we managed to put our belts around our waists and secure a single chain from each of our belts to the deck. It didn’t stop us from being cut and bruised by the giant shift in balance of our boat, but we had progressed. And we know that when our second chain is secured from our belts to the deck, we will still be in the shifting, sickening, scary night, but we aren’t going to be thrown overboard. I think, maybe, yesterday we secured our second chain. Our situation hasn’t changed but we may be feeling a bit more balanced. Hard to know what the sea will throw up next. Bravery, strength, love and discipline will prepare us for what comes. We focus on committing to those things.
8.06 p.m. Sat with Chase this afternoon for about two hours while the children swam in my in-law’s pool. I heard myself saying some things to Chase that I didn’t like … I didn’t like at all. They were all related to pouting about the future. Things our family couldn’t do or couldn’t have. To use the kids’ words when one of their brothers is having a big pout; I was being a ‘sooky-dooky-lala’. A big, fat baby. Suck it up. Have a look around sister. I don’t need to look far. My alcoholic neighbor has six children, four grandchildren from three of her teenage children, no income and a mentally ill husband who only comes home to abuse her.
Wake up to yourself princess.
This moment is O.K. Be here, now.
Kim Jones delivers sandwiches in our cooler (esky).