The Eastern Sunset


I struggle.  Silently struggling is my jam.  The highs and lows of this year have been taking their toll and I was reminded last week that I don’t always have a healthy way to deal with stress in my life.

The conversation went something like this:

J:  Are you stressed?
Me:  I was born stressed.
J:  I’m sure you have healthy ways of dealing with stress.
Me:  I’m pretty sure that I am not using a lot of the healthy ways of dealing with stress.  Also, sharing time is over.
J:  Well, that’s why we have God.
Me:  (silence)
Me:  (I should say something)
Me:  Yep.

Last night I received a text about the beautiful sunset.  I had been planted on the inflatable sofa for hours of binge-watching Netflix, so I figured a pretty sunset might be enough reason to get up.  I looked outside.  Yeah, I suppose that’s a cool-looking sunset, I thought.  Then, another text arrived suggesting I get in my car and get a better look from the highway.  So, I did.  That’s when I realized I had looked the wrong way.  I had looked East.  Wow.  Once the sky turned my head, I just started driving in that direction so I could see it longer.  I kept driving down the highway, seeing the brilliant colors and bizarre cloud patterns.  I was mesmerized and also hoping I would not wreck the car as I was looking at the sky.  I needed to find a spot to sit and just take it all in.  So, I went to church.  I drove West, and time was running out.  The colors started to fade, the reflections on the clouds were disappearing.  Hurry, there is a sign and you’re going to miss it!  As I do when I feel lost or late, I drove faster.  I will see this sunset and it will be meaningful, dammit!  I sat in the church parking lot with a full view of the western sky.  I watched the end of the vibrant blues, purples, pinks, oranges turn to pale yellows and grey as the horizon gulped up the sun.

As I drove home, my mind was buzzing with ideas and thoughts and a desire to write and discover the meaning of this sunset, this sign.  Then, the shutdown sequence began.  It’s too much.  It will just be random words that don’t make sense.  I can’t.  So, I didn’t.

Today, I’m home with more repairmen in the house fixing more broken stuff in my beloved broken space, so here I sit.  To quote another summer repairman, “Ma’am, your shifter is broken.  It has shorted-out.”  Ah, there it is.  Yes, change displeases me.  My shifter perhaps has always been a little shorted-out.  Go see the sunset, he said—and I looked east.  My compass is off.  My shifter is broken.  My space is in need of repair.