Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time and Tide

Usually, I compose this post Tuesday evening. I couldn't do that last night, because I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for my connection -- oh, not a drug seller, a person to take the juvenile crow and raise it until it could be released. I'd actually arrived early, and since the sun was still up and hot, picked a place in the shade. So I wasn't in my usual spot. And the rehabber came in immediately behind me, also early, and parked a little away from her usual spot. We both sat there for nearly forty minutes, each waiting for the other. I was getting annoyed -- by chance (see?) without a working cell phone, so I couldn't call her and learn she was a less than 100 yards away, wondering where in the heck I was. I was thinking I was going to have to take the crow home with me, and wondering what to feed it. Even the crow was getting impatient, making low gurgling noises and pacing inside its little cage. Then I saw this car across the big lot, sitting with its doors open. I had my doors open, too, because it was hot. Why was it sitting there long enough to get hot? I drove over, and sure enough it was Laura. Neither of us laughed about it, because we both had other things to do, though we did a little polite chuckling and called ourselves morons for not noticing. But by the time I got home, I was tired and went to bed.

I've gotten tangled up in this massive re-write I have to do with Thai Die. The portion I'm writing now is being very reluctant to come forward in a timely manner. On top of that, I have the galleys for Knitting Bones that need to be gone over and sent back by the 26th. I'm feeling impatient with myself, and wish I had more time to spend teasing the story out.

There is a couple in our new neighborhood who own a beautiful Scottish Terrier and who walk it twice a day. When we had barely arrived here, I'd see them with the dog. He looks just like a Scottie I used to own, and when I see their dog, my heart turns over. I introduced myself and they were nice. But I didn't note the time of day they come by and now I can't seem to be out on my balcony when they walk by. I miss seeing the dog, in two senses of the word.

This morning I drove over to the pool for one of my thrice-weekly sessions of water aerobics. For some odd reason, every single light was on my side and I arrived about seven minutes early. I didn't realize how much time I spend sitting at stop lights.

So much of our lives depend on the timing. If Laura and I had arrived more separately, if both of us hadn't been early, we would have seen one another and I'd've been home in time to write this entry (though what I would have written about, I don't know). I wonder how much of our lives depend on the timing. If someone else had asked a woman to dance, she wouldn't have been asked by the man she later married. If the bus hadn't been late, this teen wouldn't have had the time to read an ad in the window for affordable music lessons, and wouldn't be a trumpet player today. We meet an old friend in an airport, in an elevator, at a church we never went to before, and rekindle a valuable relationship. A car passing by few seconds earlier, or later, would have missed the child running into the street.

It's an uncomfortable feeling to realize how much depends on where we are, when. We tend to think of things as inevitable, when they are incredibly chancey.

But in my novels I allow myself one coincidence per book. How incredible is that?


Disney Mummy said...

I'm chomping at the bit for Knitting Bones. DH & DS know that when I get one of your books that dinner is take out and clean laundry will have to wait a day or two. Good luck with your re-write on Thai Die!

Monica Ferris said...

Re-reading this post of mine, I'm struck by how disconnected it seems -- the timing is off! That's what I get writing off the top of my head, not taking time to edit it. Time, creeping in this petty pace from day to day . . .

Deb Baker said...

As you know, I worked in an animal rehab center for a time. The resident crow would wait for me and peck away at my ankles when I entered with his food, a snarky guy. I'm working on a new proposal and poor Sofia Marie Spinelli has taken in a crow with a broken wing. She's in for quite a ride.

Kathryn Lilley said...

A lucky bird, that you came along to take care of it!

-- Kathryn

Linda O. Johnston said...

How wonderful that you helped to save the bird. Your time, even if a bit off kilter, was well spent!