A month ago, we decided not to get a car loan for this new car we were going to buy, and just spend more savings than we wanted to to avoid paying interest. Since we could. This week, we found out both head gaskets are leaking, a $2500 problem. I had taken it in because the check engine light was on, and there was a sizeable mess of problems that got fixed for free, because it was under some kind of campaign or warranty … I have enormous car anxieties, always expecting cars to die or need unaffordable repairs, and was in the middle of meadows of golden relief (about not having to pay for the new catalytic converter or to have the ECM reprogrammed) when I got the news about the head gaskets.

Since I’m trying to limp along till March 1 (when my farm job resumes) without a real job (still selling stuff on Etsy), we spent a day and a half freaking out. Today, I took the car to the post office and it stalled out on me, and the check engine light came back on.

Why does this kind of thing make me cry? Why does it make me feel like the ceiling of heaven is caving in, like I’m this small muskrat being washed out of its home by raging spring floods? Why am I an orphan, suddenly, why have I suddenly forgotten how to swim?

And I put on Feist while I work on a journal, and “I Feel it All” comes on. This song was the reason I bought this album years ago. When I first heard it, it was about how empowering it could be to feel the world, to not be afraid to dive into the world with my eyes, mouth, arms open. Now I hear it differently.

It’s a hopeful song, with a driving beat and a piano, and at some point she says, “I know more than I knew before,” and then “I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart, I’ll end it though you started it.” Suddenly I know this is true, that now this song is about how empowering it is to acknowledge my failures and difficulties … and then let them go, move away, move on, move forward. Fear of the future seems to descend on me like a mist, but that paralysis is—for me—something I can stand up inside, and move away from. Something I can hear everyone say but not believe it, or not believe I can do it, till a switch flips, or a distant bell rings, and then I understand.

Chloe Leavers’ music usually does this, blowing away that mist, but what a surprise to find it on a Feist cd.

It’s so dumb that all this is about a car. But maybe it’s not. This has been a rough year. While I was writing my thesis and studying for my oral exam, my sister’s husband committed suicide and my husband was diagnosed with a chronic disease. Shit happens, and sometimes a year can hold a horrible amount of it. But I need something, I need courage. I need to say something about courage, so I will find it. God shows up in moments like these, and then you realize that no moment lacked God, not even yesterday, not even this long, long year.

Advertisements