I have a reoccurring image popping into my head. It’s Jodi Foster in “Contact.” She is strapped into the seat of a rocket moving at warp speed. The force of the movement is so great it violently shakes the chair she sits in, threatening her very existence. Suddenly, the straps holding her snap, and she floats free in the weightless interior of the ship, even as it continues on it’s blistering trajectory to new lands.
I am in that pre-liberation chair, strapped in and wondering how it’s all going to end because my movie is still playing.
In July, I experienced my first hard drive failure. It was absolute, and if not for my paranoia of fires and robbers that I imagined might one day take my precious data, I would have been blind sided by a villain I did not see coming. Even with two back-ups, the restoration process has slogged on for months, and created a landscape of constant static as I unearthed 680G of photos and tax information alike, toggling between technicians and Apple Geniuses, each putting a piece of the puzzle back into place. I am 95% done, and months behind.
Outpacing my technology challenge is Sandy’s campaign for City Council, District 5. It has been a grueling year long process and it feels like time is compressing as we barrel head long to its stunning conclusion, helmets not included. Like having your first child, there is no way to prepare for the outcome of an all or nothing general election. I shake my head thinking of my little brother’s excitement when he learned about the race. “How exciting!” he exclaimed, a 54-year old man all but jumping up and down and clapping his hands. I will write more about this roller coaster ride another time, the amazing amount of power we have on a local level, and my dismay at what has been allowed to pass for fact. With 5 days left, everyone has an opinion who’s going to win, but no one knows until the fat lady sings.
While all this is roiling around the western front of my psyche, who should come strolling into town but stereo on-line articles about my life as a yoga teacher. The first I wrote myself, “After 27 Years of Teaching Yoga, I Got a Job at the Mall”, which was recently followed by the arresting article, “The Brutal Economics of Being a Yoga Teacher.” It would seem the topic of my sabbatical is much larger than me, and responses to both articles have been phenomenal.
My life is out of the ordinary, but that doesn’t mean it’s desirable. In the ironic way that life seems to be, I am making quite a splash as I step out the door.
So here I am, Jody Foster, holding on for dear life while my psychic pals Technology, Campaign and Sabbatical have at it, until election night, November 3rd. That evening, win or lose, at midnight we board a plane bound for England to attend the launching of Sandy’s already celebrated guide book, “The Way of St. Francis.” I can feel the plane taxiing down the runway, the jarring as we take-off and gain altitude. Finally, the “Seat Belt” sign blinks off, and as we sail across the continent, I unhook myself, free to move about the cabin. The campaign is over, I give up on what ever morsels of data I cannot recover, and my sabbatical begins.