It’s been a tospy turvy week for me, and one that’s hard to sum up in a tidy blog post, being neither wholly good or altogether bad, but just the messy stuff of life.
The week started with a surprise visit from a brace of construction workers who swept in without warning to sand and refinish portions of our (yes, brand new) floor, rip out the wall behind our washer-dryer in pursuit of a phantom leaky pipe, and generally make a big freaking mess. Granted, it’s a mess that needed to happen, but a little heads up (after a two week silence) might have been nice. So, we’ve been battling toxic fumes and wood dust and accumulating a big pile of dirty laundry all week.
Then, on the other side of the scales, I’ve had one of my most productive writing spurts in ages and ages. My newest project has positively burst life for me, keeping me awake at night and driving me out of bed early to get it all on the page. After plodding along for months on revisions, this new tide of words feel cathartic, to say the least.
But the pendulum swings back. Honduras, a country I’ve been traveling to, working in, and living in off and on for more than a decade has recently slid into turmoil. Well, “recently” might be too strong a word (and “turmoil” too weak of one). Two years ago the government was riven by a coup d’etat from which it’s never really recovered. Political instability opened the door for the burgeoning drug trade and in recent months Honduras has been labeled the most violent and dangerous country in the world.
The Peace Corp pulled all their volunteers out in December, the U.N. announced Honduras had the highest murder rate of any country in January, and yesterday a prison riot in Comayagua left 300 burned to death and 400 inmates escaped. To see a place that has been such a huge part of my life for so long slide into chaos leaves me feeling sick, sad, and helpless. I can choose not to visit, can even find a new place to do my archaeological research, but the people I’ve met and grown close to over the years are stuck in an ever-worsening situation from which they can do nothing to extricate themselves. It makes my petty cares and worries about construction workers and uneven floorboards feel exactly that: petty.
So, as the week draws to a close, I feel unsettled, off-balance, and, more than anything, powerless to effect anything outside of my own little sphere. I guess this is all just a reminder that life is neither predictable nor fair, a reminder to be aware of and grateful for the priviledges and advantages I’ve been given in life, and to try and keep things in proper perspective.