Carl G. Jung
In my late 20's, my husband and I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. For one year, two months and five days. Yes, it wasn't my favorite place to live. Beautiful, though. Recreational haven summer and winter and my oldest son was born there, but not quite my cup of tea for various reasons that are unimportant to this tale.
For Salt Lake's role in this post is to merely provide a metaphor utilizing their temperature inversion that occurs each winter. That time of year when the ban goes up on wood burning fireplaces and the fog moved in. For months one would awake not only to not see across the street, but no view past the front door as well.
I worked for an oil and gas company and had finally attained an office with a window. Excited at the prospect of having my own place and view, I had to wait months for the air to clear and the view of the Salt Palace across the street to come into focus. Living in this blur became normal, I suppose. Wasn't like you arose each day, noses pushed to the window in anticipation of some one's arrival or the first snowflakes of winter. For you knew out there was just the norm. Life in the fog.
On weekends, my husband and I would drive the 20 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon to ski at Alta or Snowbird. As we began our ascent up the mountain, the fog abated and above the black cloud cloaking our entire city, the sun shone intensely. I'd ride the ski lift to the top of the mountain and see all the way down to the hidden valley, as though a tent cover kept it isolated from the rest of the world. Like Truman's world in The Truman Show. (Probably some metaphor for my stint in Salt Lake in that as well, but another time.)
If we flew to Denver to visit family during the inversions, the return trip to Salt Lake took longer than scheduled. Often we circled above the city, waiting for a break in the clouds so the plane could dip into the abyss and land safely.
I doubt I need to tell you that happiness was Salt Lake City in my rear view mirror. Although 24 years have passed, seems I've returned to living in that fog most of this past year. Only this time the visual effects of Salt Lakes' inversion coveted my brain.
Time has offered a chance for the mist to begin its evaporation process. Lately, I often yearn for a schedule. Substitute teaching doesn't quite provide that as other than Thursdays and Fridays, I'm never certain what days I might work. Or when I may fall into a longer gig for a teacher with a sick child. Most of my sub work is based on request by the teachers, so simply saying I will work these three days and do such and such on the others is not a viable choice right now.
However, the work has provided an easy escape while biding this passage of time. There is no homework so my day is done when the school bell rings. With my youngest son gone, I don't have to keep my energy up to attend baseball games or school events. I can sink into my chair at home and watch Jeopardy and then decide what frozen entree we will eat for dinner.
I do feel that with the promise of spring, the haze is beginning to lessen. I feel certain things awakening in my brain that I haven't felt in some time -- a yearning to put my pen in hand and write something. Anything. My half finished novel has begun a slow chug in my thoughts. Poor Lily, my main character that has been stuck in a wheat field in South Dakota suffering a panic attack most certainly deserves a change of scenery.
For whatever reason, perhaps time is what it takes to find a clearing for oneself when the fogs of life brings a burdensome weight. As this fog dissipates, the heaviness seems to lessen also. I see a few rays of sun seeping through the clouds.
Provides hope in this search for new beginnings. I'm starting a list--a list of things I want to do in my life. Nothing too grand, at first.
1. Buy tomato plants
2. Sign up for a writing conference this summer
3. Make a list of all the places I want to visit in my lifetime
4. Go get a pedicure
5. Get excited about the vacation coming up with my husband. Our celebration of getting all three sons to 18 and college, without any pregnancies or jail time.
Seems a good start. A fairly easy step to fumble my way into the sunshine.