Friday, March 11, 2011

Ugly. Beautiful.

Ugly.  I went to bed last night in an ugly ol' mood.

My fingers were pruney from wringing out sopping towels, hauling wet rugs, and hoisting soggy cardboard archive boxes from our flooded basement up to the front porch.  The rain came down, the floods came up, and the Yellow House on the Hill got WET.

My possibly-ruptured Achilles tendon throbbed. As I mopped I ruminated over the podiatrist's cheerful diagnosis, and managed to work up a nice little storm cloud of anxiety about the inevitable negotiations with the insurance company.

My ever practical husband hauled load after load of dampness out of the basement and onto the front porch, draping wet rugs over my cute white rockers and the newly painted woodwork.   Our neighbors have tolerated all manner of junk out there on the front porch (including a refrigerator - a serious renovation low point).  Right now though, this version of ugly takes the cake.

So yeah.  I went to bed mad. Mad that again we are the trashy house with rugs draped on our front porch, the house with crumbs on the floor and piles of paper all over the kitchen and a counter that no one will wipe up but me.  An ugly house.  Ugly.

At 5.45 this morning, the first headline to catch my eye on my iPhone was "praying for Japan."  I checked the news, and as the story unfolded, my complaints of the night before began to feel very small indeed.  My eldest watched the stories with me, and asked over and over if our house would float away like those houses on the screen.  No, I said.  No.

There might be water seeping up between the floor tiles.  Our tax documents from 2003-2006 might be sopping wet.  But today, we will not be watching a wall of water descend upon us and sweep the unwiped counters and rug-draped porch right back into the sea.

We are all limited by our perspective.  The horrific stories continue to pour out of Japan, to run across the digital ticker tapes at the bottom of my screen, and suddenly my home, my life, and my small family are so very beautiful.


My prayers are with the people of the Pacific Rim today.


Oddly enough, I cooked up this post before I checked in on The Red Dress Club today.  Guess what:  their prompt is a piece that finds beauty in the ugly.  Synchronicity strikes again.


katdish said...

We truly are limited by our perspective. Sorry to hear about your flooded basement. That is horrible and messy and ugly. Just like life sometimes.

Praying with you for Japan and the surrounding areas.

Julie said...

I kind of hate it when something happens to ruin a perfectly good ugly mood and remind me that I have stuff to be grateful for, because then I have to acknowledge just how petty and small I really am.

Nevertheless, I thank you for doing it for me, and for doing it so well. Even though I hate feeling small, I imagine it's good for me.


Mel said...

You have a very lovely writing style. What a nice way with words.

Lisa said...

What a lovely writing and such a powerful outlook. Isn't it amazing that it takes looking at someone elses plight to make ours look a lot more managable.

My thoughts are with you on your situation.

My prayers are with all of those in Japan.

Cheryl said...

You got flooded? Ack! Sorry to hear that!

We watched the images last night and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, with the water just coming and the people running...horrific. It definitely puts things in perspective.

On the other hand, a flooded basement DOES still suck.

Valerie said...

This is such a good reminder in light of what we all woke up hearing today-it puts everything into perspective.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan today too.

So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? said...

Your perspective and way of bringing it to life are beautiful!

I've always said though that pain is pain, fear is fear and tragedy is tragedy. To the person feeling it, there is no big or little; it just is. Many people were affected by that earthquake and its after effects, but you were affected by your own circumstances too. It's OK to embrace the bad mood sometimes and not have to justify it away.

For the sake of this prompt though, I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and reminders of being thankful!

Mommylebron said...

I agree with CW (but don't tell her). What's happened over there is a travestiy and definately puts things in perspective but that should not make you feel guilty for being impacted by your own circumstance.
Sorry about your basement and praying for the Pacific Rim.

Leighann said...

Perfectly written.

Mandyland said...

This was fantastic. I'm sorry about your basement. And the Pacific Rim is in my thoughts and prayers.

Visiting from TRDC

Elaine A. said...

It really IS all about perspective. And I LOVE what Crayon Wrangler said. And she said it SO well!

This was well written and gives us all something to think about as we feel for those in Japan.

Lizz said...

I'm actually thankful that you didn't write your response earlier in the week. This. This dose of perpective, is perfect. Thank you.

The Empress said...


We are all limited by our perspective.

I OFTEN feel that my house is the messiest...but then, I realize , I am the ONE MOM that takes her kids everywhere.

I am with them doing things ALWAYS.

They have memories, they may not have neat as a pin house, but they have memories.

Duane Scott said...

Sorry to hear about your basement.

But this was beautifully written.

I need to change my perspective.

Duane Scott said...

P.S. Are you on twitter?

hezro said...

You brought tears to my eyes.

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