I don’t actually remember which accident I wrote this for. I’m going to guess that it was when I totaled my parents’ car in a mall parking lot the week of 9/11 based on the fact that I know I was in my “all lowercase” phase, but it may have also been about the Sunfire that liked to have offroad adventures when the roads were icy, as suggested by the inclusion of the Catch-22 quote. In reality, I’ve had more than my fair share of car problems and even accidents over the years. Some were my fault; some were other peoples’ fault (in fact, I’m about two months away from paying off my current car, purchased after my previous one was rear-ended and, surprisingly, totaled.)
The thing about car accidents—and other horrible failures, or betrayals, or personal tragedies, or whaever—is that they suck. My own personal preference would be to curl up in a ball every time for at least a day. In fact, an old roommate can attest that after one horrible failure I basically did just that for about two days. Sometimes you just need to grieve in whatever way you grieve for whatever happened. Platitudes like “It will all work out” may be based out of truth and goodwill, but they can come later, or never.
Personally, after every car issue I’ve had, everything has ultimately worked out. Not “for the best,” per se—not from my human understanding, anyway. Only rarely have I seen deliberate good come out of my own failures and crises. But everything has worked out. I know that God will care for me, despite all that’s going on in the world right now. But I know that’s not true for everyone.
Based on the people I know read my poetry, there are a whole lot of mixed emotions about Roe vs. Wade right now. Some of you are rejoicing that babies will be saved. Okay—but please be gentle and listen quietly to those who are mourning and afraid right now. Right now the best thing you might be able to do is repeat the one good thing that Job’s friends did: “When they looked from a distance, they could barely recognize him. They wept aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust into the air and on his head. Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense” (Job 2:12-13).
ca. September 2001
don’t tell me these things happen
don’t tell me it’s all ok
because it really did happen
i thought i was protected
happy go lucky girl
until the truth hit me
that we are just shadows
(man is matter, nothing more)
these things happen to everyone.
i guess i was just the unlucky winner.