Saturday, December 12, 2015

Setting Off Alarms

Yesterday was one of those days that can become typical for December--indeed, for any month--if I'm not careful.  I spent the day dancing on the edge of trying to do too much, trying to be too many places at the same time, getting ready for the next event while not done with the current event.

I was aware of what was going on, and thus, I was able to steer my brain back and to stay more present.

It began in the morning.  I had decided to get to the office very early, after dropping my relatives off at the airport for their flight home.  The airport is halfway between my house and school--I would drop them off and just keep going.

I got to work at 6:30, quite unusual for me.  The building is supposed to be open at 6:30, but it looked dark and closed up.  I decided that my ID wouldn't open the door if I wasn't supposed to go in.  I swiped, the door opened--and I heard the alarm telling me to disarm it.

Well, I don't know how to do that.  The alarm got increasingly louder while I thought about what to do.  I decided that if ever there was a time to call the president on her cell phone, it's when the alarm is going off and presumably the police are on their way.

I called her, and she was gracious.  I called the guy in charge of building maintenance, who was less gracious and told me to go to the front door to wait for the police.  By then, the security guard was at the desk, and she was even less gracious as she told me how I was supposed to wait for the guard to let me in.

Finally, thirty minutes later, I got to my work to catch up on all the stuff that had been waiting through the week.  Sigh.

I can see all sorts of metaphors and symbolism in this incident.  But some days, an alarm is just an alarm.

Along the way of my day, there was a going away party for a long-time worker.  There was a very late lunch out with friends.  There was a cookie exchange, with more friends and so many people that it was hard to hear at times.

There was also the notice of the publication schedule for my chapbook.  The pre-order period is scheduled for Feb. 23-April 15, with a hoped-for publication date of June 17.  My spouse said, "If you want help promoting this one, I'd be glad to help."

He always makes that offer, and it always stings a bit.  What I hear him saying is that I've blown it somehow in the past.   He may not mean that.  And there may have been more that I could do in terms of promotion.

Today will be book-ended by a motorcycle ride this morning and a Broward Symphony concert tonight.  There will be time to think about promotion of this chapbook.  Last night, my spouse suggested a stocking stuffer offer for a treat that will come later in the year.

I do some of my best thinking on the back of the motorcycle.  I'm also hoping for some ideas for new poems.  This morning, in my effort to do an arts project for each week of Advent, I wrote a poem that talks about the events of the week and John the Baptist and the other prophets.  And then, just for good measure, I created a blog post for my theology blog that covers similar themes with photos.

In these ways, I hope to still the alarms that always are in the background of my brain, those alarms that say, "Write more!  Time is running out!"  Those alarms are correct, of course.  But when they bray too incessantly, it's not necessarily helpful.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I'm glad there were good things after the alarm! And I love the thought of you thinking on the back of a motorcycle.