Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday Night and I Ponder
(Photo: smoke bank off of Santa Barbara today)
It's been a weird couple of days I guess.
I'm wide awake at almost midnight because somehow in this transition to the States, we've returned to our Portuguese way of doing things which was to go to bed at midnight but still get up at a decently early time. It must have been the pass through Portugalia on our way to California that re-calibrated us to a southern european rhythm.
But that's not weird.
It's been a weird couple of days because yesterday I went in for the pre-op visit with the skin surgeon who will be removing the little spot of skin cancer from my nose. That was a bad sentence because it wasn't going in to see him that was weird-- it was how I felt in there.
I haven't really dwelt much on the surgery coming up next week. But sitting in the way-too-cold air-conditioned office with the bright lights and sterility of the place gave me a queasy feeling. We talked about after-care for this little surgery site (so small that the doctor and Byron were having difficulty locating the exact place on the left of my nose) and things that could go wrong and whether or not I can travel etc.
And I just felt like I don't have the option to not take care of this yet I don't have the patience to do it in this busy season and I don't really feel like hanging out with a lot of people I need to see at a meeting just a few days later with some clumsy bandage on my face that needs to be changed twice a day. And I wish I had time to just hang out and read afterwards but I also don't like that I care so much about flying across the country on a plane full of stranger with a bandage on my nose. Like, when did that become an issue? There are so many worse things out there that it's embarrassing to admit I even care! Plus, I really want to go. So that's that.
Then a real problem happened (not some lame Lisa cares about walking around with a bandaged nose problem) when the Jesusita Fire broke out above Santa Barbara and it's burning out of control as I write. Homes are being lost and that makes me really sad. I know about how that feels and I ache to see houses in flames on the TV screen.
We arrived at Westmont (in SB) Wednesday afternoon, having watched the bank of smoke billowing out from town over the ocean as we drove up the 101. On the campus, students were all on their phones to their families reporting that they see flames a couple of ridges away.
And it was just surreal. We had planned to take Jesse and Trevor out for dinner and downtown was all closed up, waiting to evacuate if need be. We found something open near the wharf and forgot the fire for a while.
Things were quiet as we returned them all to campus. They felt confident about staying there, knowing that they can all shelter in place in the gym if something changes and the fire actually moves toward them.
So it's almost tomorrow and I'm feeling Portuguese AND messed up with my shallow reactions to nose bandages coming my way, while also feeling sobered by this terrible fire AND blessed by the peace of the students I saw.
Highlights: hugging Jesse and Trevor, having Annie and Cari join us for dinner, Rita sharing her writing with me.
Let this wandering post come to a close now, I say. Goodnight.