Spring Forward?

March 8, 2009

I got up in the dark after a night of tossing and turning and tossing and turning. When morning arrived, it illuminated a case of cabin fever smothered by snow white sky. I cannot see the cozy town nestled between the river and the railroad in the valley below. My chest is tight with sadness for the loss of a beautiful soul who passionately advocated for artists and the arts as the manager of Montana Trails Gallery. A freakish apocalyptic gas explosion instantly leveled three historic buildings in downtown Bozeman Thursday morning. Tara was talking to her friend while at her desk in the gallery. Her cell phone went dead. Debris shot in the air, cars flipped, and windows shattered for four city blocks before the fire broke out. The plume of dark smoke billowed with a greedy savageness from the heart of town. The buildings were gone. Simply gone. The fire burned for 24 hours and took a few more businesses with it. Tara is the only casualty; a stick by brick search in the rubble has not yet uncovered her remains. I feel disheartened. After spending the eerie day in Bozeman below the shadow of a darkened sky, I drove the mountain pass home late Thursday feeling whipped. Flinching like an abused dog I tucked my tail and kept my head low. I marvel at how precious life is and how much a few seconds can change the landscape and the soul’s place. I have half-heartedly chipped away at the business part of art, helped a few friends, craved warm food (and lots of it), kept a candle lit for Tara, and tossed my way through long nights where doubt and fear and financial woes lurk. Uninspired to create and like the snowstorm sky which chokes my mountaintop view, my own optimism feels sluggish and short-sighted. I cannot see my way out of the current economic challenge. How best to weather this storm?I am going to pack my bags, pile cat food into Maya’s dish, load up my dog, blow out Tara’s candle and head to the hills of Wyoming for a few days of climbing ice. I must shake the blues, focus my mind and clear my soul of creepy cobwebs. I will blow a kiss to Tara from on top of a frozen waterfall, meet death with life and honor her desire to live passionately.