Saturday, January 16, 2010

When Saturday held its breath...

I slept in this morning after a long, arduous Friday followed by a late Friday night enjoying a fire in my backyard fireplace with good company.

This day has been hauntingly surreal - almost dreamlike. The sky was a blanket of thinnish clouds with some extra-thin spots for the sun to almost come through, but not. It spent the hours in limbo between either getting sunny or getting rainy, but was never actually able to make a decision.

The sky was the first thing I noticed as I ventured out of the house this morning, but as I unloaded firewood from my trailer, I also noticed the wind, or lack thereof. The air was uncomfortably stagnant and still. My college buddies and I rent a place at Center Hill lake every March in the off-season to enjoy lower rental rates and a less-populated vacationing area. We often have a whole lakeside neighborhood to ourselves. Because of the low elevation of the lake and the high elevation of its surroundings, the air has almost always been still while we're there. The lake is a sheet of glass. Today had that kind of a feel.

The only sign of life was the crows' banter, which I daresay is neither pleasant nor soothing.

It seemed as though Saturday herself were on edge, nervous, if she were in anticipation of something unknown. It felt like Saturday had taken a deep breath and was wondering on how she should exhale...there so many ways: Singing, shouting, return to normal breathing, making room for another deep breath, not to mention the vast array of sighs: sighs of relief, melancholy, contentment, frustration, unrest, etc. It was as if Saturday wanted to do them all, but couldn't decide on which emotion to follow through.

As I sat, waiting to meet a client, I watched car after car drive by, a flurry of hustle and bustle, unawares - just going about their business taking no notice to Saturday's unrest. They seemed like ghosts. Time was moving so slowly, yet so quickly at the same time, and nothing in the sky could give you the slightest inclination of the actual hour of the day. I felt the need to check two timepieces every time I checked the hour today just in case one of them was lying. I remembered to eat lunch today only because I happened to look at the clock around noon. Everything routine felt out-of-place and wrong. Saturday let a few raindrops fall, but I could tell she didn't have her heart in it, and those too felt out-of-place and wrong...perhaps they were accidental tears of anxiety.

I've seen Saturday behave like this a few times over the years. I remember one in particular right now though:

There used to be a quarry on the northwest side of my hometown...I assume it's still there??? One Saturday about this time of year, some buddies and I (we were probably 14), snuck off to the quarry to explore. We found waterfalls, beautiful blue-green water, rocks to climb on and cool trees. Later that day, we also found a deer that had been shot and left for dead recently. I wondered about the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it making a sound or not. It's embedded in my mind the same way a really vivid dream is. The sky looked that day (14 years ago) just as it did today...undecided, like Saturday wanted us to explore, but didn't want us to find the poor deer. We must take the bad with the good.

I tried to understand Saturday's tension today. I drove in silence till I felt we needed music. I hopelessly scrolled through my ipod wondering what kind of music could POSSIBLY be apropos to embrace Saturday's mood. The best I could think of was Mozart. Saturday, Mozart and I waited together at Fat Mo's, then I went back home to eat my timely lunch, embrace silence and enter the world of dreams for the afternoon.

And so Saturday exhaled.

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