Note: This is a comment that I left on Teresa Cypher's promotional post for her story, Emmily Unbound. Please click the link to check out her work.
Shock can make a person behave strangely and focus on things that seem unimportant. In 2013, there was a flood in the Boulder area. I was working in Boulder at the time. The area I lived in Lafayette was getting a hard rain but I didn't know how serious things were in Boulder. As I approached work, it became obvious that I should have called off, but I couldn't turn around. As I went over a bridge where there was normally no water underneath, a large wave rolled across the bridge and slammed into the side of my car. I managed to stay on the road, but I was terrified that I was going to be washed into the huge, choppy lake to the right of me; a lake that normally didn't exist.
The logical thing to do when I got to work would have been to change into my work clothes and start helping, as the place was in chaos. I did not do that. I walked like a zombie to the locker room, put on my swimsuit, and went to work out in the therapy pool, as I did most nights before work. As I was doing water aerobics, I heard the transformer blow outside and the lights went out. I made my way back to the locker room and was showering in the dark before the generator kicked in.
To go to the therapy pool was a bizarre choice on my part and many people would probably say "what a selfish bitch, only thinking of herself and not the chaos around her." But I was in shock.
I tell this long-winded tale to illustrate the way that shock can make a person focus on a mundane thing in order not to break down.
I had a very difficult time writing for about a month after the flood happened. I believe I was experiencing survivor guilt because many people lost everything they owned and some lost their lives. I survived my car being slammed into by that wave, and I couldn't understand why me. I did not suffer any significant loss. I felt like I did not deserve to indulge myself in writing when so many people had lost so much.
I am finally starting to understand, nearly 56 years into this life, that for me writing is not an indulgence or a hobby. It is a survival tool.
~Ornery Owl Hath Spoken~
Free use image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay
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