Changing the Channel

My mother in law has often told me of how once when she was younger, she was sitting in church feeling very sorry for herself. She was lost in thought and could feel the tears starting to brim in her eyes when an older lady tapped her on the shoulder, leaned forward and whispered, "Change the channel in your head."

I spent most of yesterday trying to change the channel in my head, but it felt as though no matter what I did, the same program was showing on every station. By evening, I fled the house in an attempt to run it off.

It was a pathetic attempt. My breathing kept transforming into sobs, my face kept crumpling without warning, and my body felt leaden. I couldn't run far or fast enough to escape myself.

I was two miles from home, berating my looks, my lack of speed, my everything, when a storm that had been advancing from the distance suddenly didn't look so distant. The rain was falling like a curtain- I could see it sweeping across the desert, kicking up dust as it went. I decided I needed to turn around and high-tail it for home.

I was hit first by the wind. It carried the scent of red dirt, hot pavement and creosote, and rushed in from the east like a solid wall. Next, I could hear the rain advancing. It drummed on the tin roof of a barn across the street, then flattened the tall grass in the field opposite me, then swallowed me in heavy, sideways sheets. In mere moments, the dirt road became a minor riverbed. Lighting was flashing, trees were bending, and I was struggling to see in the torrential downpour.

One mile from home, I was completely soaked and splattered with mud. I was running in odd gullies, trying to avoid lowest ground {hello flood waters} and not wanting to be the tallest thing around, but also not wanting to run among the trees, which were the tallest things around.

"It would serve me right to be struck by lighting," I thought to myself, then started laughing.

I laughed and gasped and struggled the whole way home, where I found the door open and towels laid out in anticipation of my return.

I don't know how that rainstorm changed the channel in my head, but it did. I still feel frustrated with my weight and my slow running pace and my lack of sleep, but it's no longer the only thing occupying my thoughts.

Now I think about not being struck by lighting. :)


LisAway said...

You are fabulous. What a neat story about the old lady at church and your story is excellent and beautifully told. Here's hoping for more torrential rain and thunderstorms in your future (whenever you need a channel change). ? :)

Marci said...

LOVE the analogy of changing the channel in our heads...sometimes it's very hard to do!

The Dragonfly said...

And that, my friend, is just another reason why I love a good storm! Hang in there.

Bald n Beautiful said...

For some reason that just clicked with me today. Thank you for writing about your run! You don't know me but reading your blog helps me :)

Anonymous said...

MS, again your writing ability takes my breath away.

I am sorry your exquisite battle is such a delicacy for others, but those who posited that artists suffer for their art did know something of which they spoke.

A terrific story, not the least diminished by the latest post re meds merry-go-round. We all do what we have to do in order to do what we need or want to do.

But, it is incredible that you exhibit so much creative ability when I know others who are crushed by the same malady, their light dimmed and overcome by the constant drumming in their head.

Here's to you, girlie-girl. You rock.

The Wingnut's said...

at the end of the day, home is the place to run to and not from. an open door, warm towels and loved ones waiting. loved your writing on this experience. thank you.

Janae said...

Your writing is beautiful. I don't know if I'd be offended or not if a lady said that to me at church, but that is incredible advice. I'm glad you didn't get struck by lightning!

Stephanie said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and am enjoying reading it. This post reminded me of one of our favorite books about Toot and Puddle called You are My Sunshine. Same thing about feeling bad and then a storm. It's a good one.

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