Daily Prompt: Time Capsule

2012 is drawing to a close (3 weeks left!). What would you put in this year’s time capsule?

collage for UMCOR
collage for UMCOR

I would put:

  • My collage art to promote UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). Am so proud! This was an early version.
  • My bike. Oh, my bike. I love my bike. Biking in NYC makes me happy.

    seen in a bike shop window in Portland
    seen in a bike shop window in Portland
  • My first (ever!) unemployment direct deposit check. Definitely mixed feelings, but overall grateful.
  • My new business cards.
  • Masks that the girls made at Art Students League. We all play roles, wear masks, make art.
  • Chris’s SAG movie pass. Going to the movies together has been a great way to connect. Due to Chris’s illness and our busy-ness, I feel we are ships passing in the night. But we’ve sat together at such amazing movies this year! Yesterday we saw Amour. Formidable! (my favorite French word!) Today we are going to see The Guilt Trip.
  • Abeach handful of sand from Siesta Key beach. The kids and I had such a restorative time hanging out at the prettiest beach in the world last spring. Great times, too, with my bro, Nicole, dad, and Marty.
  • A mosquito from the kids and my ill-fated camping trip to Fire Island.
  • Yoga mat. Because my mom still practices yoga and stands on her head.
  • Shake Shack fries. After teaching a semester of middle school creative writing, I take my kids to Shake Shack to celebrate.
  • School Swimming Pool and Van Cortlandt Park. I watch my kids play basketball, soccer, and baseball, but I spend most of my spectator time on the sidelines of the long benches of the pool or on the edges of the Van Corltandt Park track.
  • all the cousins
    all the cousins

    All of the cousins. Being with my four siblings and their kids for Thanksgiving was definitely the highlight of 2012.

  • President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Just in case anyone, in the future, has any questions. The man is an American, all right already. Forward.

2012 was a very good year.

Nothing Good’s on TV When You’re About to Die

Siesta Key Beach -- the world's most beautiful beach

I don’t want to be too dramatic. No, not me. But on the JetBlue plane ride home from Florida on Sunday, we hit an air pocket and we suddenly dropped far and fast. It felt like we dropped 100 feet. Some people gave out a quick short scream — like we were on a roller coaster ride. I didn’t scream. I even thought, Good for you, MB, for not screaming and adding to the general terror level around here!

I had just closed my laptop on my tray table. My seat mate’s Diet Coke flew all over my arm and my tray table. And I thought, if I live and my hard drive needs replacing, I’m so screwed with the guys in my workplace IT department.

The seat belt light ding-ed on. Once we leveled off to normal turbulence, the pilot was on the loud speaker, assuring us that other planes ahead of us had also experienced this weather.

“So we’re not alone,” my seatmate, Win, said.

We were in the 5th row. I looked back, down the aisle, and it was littered with ice.

Wyn said he had his pilot’s license. He assured me that the kind of clouds we now saw outside the jet’s window, long and thin, were less dangerous than the clouds, big and fluffy, we’d just flown through.

“You’re scared,” Wyn said.

“Yes,” I said. “I can’t have anything happen to me. My kids need me.” I tried to breath. I explained that at times, I was a single parent because of my husband’s Parkinson’s Disease.

We stopped talking. To distract myself from my clammy hands and shortness of breath, I turned on the TV. I channel-tripped across a couple of dozen channels. There was nothing on. Nothing. Nothing that comforted me or distracted from my thoughts — we were about to die. There were home decorators, chefs, political pundits all yapping. But nobody was saying, “You are going to be okay. Don’t worry. Life is deep and rich. You’re still a part of it.”

What did comfort me? The real people around me, like Win, who was steady and unflappable; the flight attendants and their calmness; the idea that planes are designed to fly, even through turbulence and big air pockets.

I noticed the flight attendants seemed to be ministering to someone laid out in the back of the cabin. That didn’t comfort me.

Once we landed, I thought, I don’t want to fly again for a very long time. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to fly again in a few weeks.

I worried about my laptop, but when I turned it on again, thank God, it booted up.

Business as usual. Just keep flying. One day at a time. We’re not alone.