in which I remember what doesn’t matter


An imperfect picture shot through a windowscreen, taken quickly to capture the colors in my backyard last night and meant for my inspiration folder. There’s something to be said for sharing the less- than- perfect shots— those things that I keep stashed in folders and never show anyone. It’s an admission of the amount of effort I put into the better shots; I don’t just toss my camera up and magically get the perfect image. I take some terrible pictures, a lot of so- so ones, and a special few almost- right shots.

This definitely qualifies as terrible; the colors convinced me to give up on perfection, something I should do more often. When I’m not exercising my OCD tendencies, I realize that the things I obsess over really don’t matter so much.

I spent most of today poring over tiny details that no one will ever notice in a graphic that will take up one- quarter of a page. Meanwhile, back in my old world, more old friends are living in war zones or gearing up to go into war zones. I can block that out of my head for a little while, as long as I never watch the news or video game previews or commercials, as long as no one lets off fireworks in my neighborhood, as long as I don’t listen to the news segments on NPR, as long as I skip “Love Vigilantes” every time it plays on my iPod. I can rig a sheet around the thought of people I love in a place that doesn’t want what they represent just long enough to make it through a day or two, and when it gets too bad, I’ll have my quick quiet cry in the shower, set my head straight and move on. That’s my training: keep it down, purge it fast, keep moving. It works. It works so well I hardly know how to break out of it.

My brother leaves for Afghanistan any day now, which I’m trying to keep locked down hard, too much to think about: he’s military. I’ll spend a day in bed with the covers over my head when his bird takes off. D. leaves for somewhere next Tuesday. N. is getting settled in Lashkar Gah, and S. is still bouncing all over Afghanistan in a chopper. Another S. is taking fire in Iraq, and who knows where the hell A is. It doesn’t matter if they’re military or not, if they’re part of the war or part of the relief- I have people on both sides- bullets and bombs don’t discriminate.

I want to live in a life where no one I love is in imminent danger of getting blown up, please. I suppose I should have thought of that about 13 years ago.

  One thought on “in which I remember what doesn’t matter

  1. February 13, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thinking about you. Hug.

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