Touch of Grey

I had a bad week.

I spent much of it caring for my mother, who has Alzheimer's Disease. It was brutally exhausting, mentally and physically. She's at a point where she's completely helpless and needs me the same way I once needed her. I had to spend every minute of the day with her, forcing food into her mouth, bringing water to her lips, wiping her in the restroom.

The experience lowered me into a Breakfast at Tiffany's-esque bout of the mean reds. So Friday after work, I shrugged off a number of social engagements, all of which promised to be fun parties with fun people at fun places.

Instead I actively set out to comfort myself. I stayed at home and had mashed potatoes, ice cream and white wine while I watched Six Feet Under on DVD.

Saturday was all blue skies and lazy breezes, a perfect day for skydiving. However I was so blue myself, I couldn't move. I spent hours looking at my cat and drowning myself in Ani DiFranco, The Smiths and Joy Division.

How Soon is Now -- The Smiths:
You shut your mouth,
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does.


I didn't drag myself out to the dropzone until sunset. Party time.

I drank cheap champagne from a bottle swaddled in a brown paper bag, and I sat in the door of the hangar, watching night drape the sky. My boyfriend gave me a purple stuffed bear, which he won out of a vending machine with a big claw hand -- one of those machines where nobody ever wins anything. And then I was fed with a zillion hugs.

I woke up today as sun slithered through the hangar's cracks. I was refreshed, ready, whole.

And then I made the first jump of the day.

I don't think there's anything else that could ever heal me like skydiving. No doctor, no psychiatrist, no church, no guru, no nothing. There's something about staring down at the world that really puts the world into perspective.

I wish I had the tech know-how to post online the video of my first jump today, because there are no words to describe the look on my face. It's just pure, unabashed, raw joy. It's the joy of $10 in a forgotten pocket; it's a pink cupcake from a friend at school; it's a frosty mug of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid on a sweaty day.

When I skydive, I'm everything light and happy and juicy. I'm filled to the brim with exuberence. I'm Icarus before the fall.

Best of all, when I skydive, I leave my luggage of stress and sadness stored away where it belongs -- on the ground.

I drove home tonight after a full day of skydiving, singing a different tune. Literally. I blasted music from my adorable pink iPod, zipped around country roads and sang as loud as I could. Sunny Grateful Dead, curse-heavy Peaches and the lovely, decadently happy Nina Simone.

Feeling Good -- Nina Simone:
Birds flyin' high, you know how I feel;
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel;
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel;
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me,
And I'm feelin' good.
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By Blogger Joe, at 9:28 AM  

Alright. You got me. I'm back on.    



By Blogger Build Page Rank, at 2:35 AM  

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