on returning home
a riff on finishing
We took a family vacation last week.
Our trip was prime time.
Our connection and pleasure to be together?
Getting ready we were all excited.
We all pitched in.
We were successful.
We only forgot a couple of bathing suit components.
This error was easily fixed.
I’ll remember moments of this trip for the rest of my life.
The drive home?
More or less uneventful.
Until the end.
The last fifty kilometers were fraught.
The kitten meowed on and off for most of the ride.
Fifty kilometers from home she started getting louder.
She likely needed some sand to scratch, roll in, and eventually, relieve herself.
Her insistent yowling suggested that she would soon void herself in her cat carrier.
Having had cats void themselves in cat carriers in the past, my foot became heavy as I egged our little red van along a little faster than the government suggested safe.
The yowl grew.
Her brother began to mew.
Together they sounded like an air raid siren slowly growing and shrinking with inconsistent rotations.
The increased van velocity freaked out the dogs.
Their already skittish panting and quivering turned up to eleven.
My wife attempted to comfort them by petting them.
A cloud of stray, shedding fur began to form.
It drifted around the van like tumbleweed in some deserted western town.
My foot became heavier.
We need to get this cat home before it shits in the van.
We need to get these dogs home before their wee little hearts explode…
Our little red van?
It did not agree with the voice in my head.
As such, our little red van joined the chorus of chaos.
Bing bing bing went the bell
Flash flash flash went the engine light.
And the little red van began to convulse like it was performing some sort of odd tic tock video.
I DO NOT WANT TO GO VIRAL
Screamed the voice in my head.
The more sensitive (and hyperactive of the dogs) picked up on my angst.
He started to growl and yelp.
Of course he did.
The van shook like an angry dinosaur.
It was as though its ancestors were in the fuel tank, ready to enact their revenge upon us for burning their remains.
IF WE WERE INTO CREAMATION WE WOULD HAVE SELF INCINERATED LONG AGO!
And a sick and tired wife.
The steaks were pretty high and I was pretty sober.
And our little red van?
What we had relied on for over a hundred thousand kilometers of love?
It was experiencing a death rattle.
We managed to limp home running every red light and stop sign along the way.
The project - Operation PEI GOODTIMES - was complete.
Most creative projects experience some level of drama along the way.
A lot of time, this happens very near the end. Much like our trip.
And despite the rough ending?
I consider this trip a masterpiece.
How does adversity impact your projects?
Are they tainted by the struggle?
Or, are they just part of the process?