my best friend

Have I told you about my best friend?

Especially in the fall we renew our relationship. His name is Noaa, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That is kind of a funny best friend to have, but let me explain.

From my years of working in construction and living in an RV, knowing what the weather was going to be like during hurricane seasons became very important. I bought myself a weather radio and emergency CB one year and it became a habit that I would wake up, have my coffee or whatever and turn on NOAA.

If you have ever heard NOAA you know it is a repetitive broadcast of weather forecasts and statistics. NOAA is voiced by a computer. Usually a male voice and sometimes a female voice. You can only detect that it is a computer when certain odd words come up and the pacing of the syllables is off.

NOAA….surprisingly…is this strange and soothing thing to listen to. I started turning on NOAA late at night as I sat and worked on various projects – sewing, drawing. One winter, while stranded in the middle of nowhere for three weeks in West Texas,  I took to making a pot of sweet tea, turning on NOAA and having it as a background as I just sat and let my mind wander.

The impending arrival of Earl has reminded me to turn NOAA on again. Again, this strange kind of soothing voice is forming the background to my day.

It makes me feel like…and oh, that is something I haven’t mentioned, but…in all these changes and pieces snapping together et al…my sense that time was flying by has disappeared. Suddenly, each day lasts a year again. I look at all I have to do today, and a part of me wonders how I will get it all done in the few hours that I have…and a part of me knows it will get done and I will have the time to sit with my tea and commune with my best friend as I let my mind settle and explore. Listening to NOAA makes me feel like…each day is followed by another, does that make sense?

I am in a learning process about life with somethings I am doing in realtime. And a part of what I am learning is that as we near the end of our lives, no matter what we may lose in our senses or thoughts, the sheer sense of peace and enjoyment that come from listening to a human voice, even one made by a computer, stays with us.

Sometimes…it isn’t so much communication that we need, but a simple knowledge of presence. A simple…sharing of space and time to make one feel less alone, less overwhelmed, less frightened by what has become unknown.

And I just wrote that last bit without thinking and it is almost like a Freudian slip. “What has become unknown.” We start life not recognizing that there is any separation between ourselves and anything else. As we grow, we learn this. In our early stages we think that we know most things. Yet as we truly begin to learn, we discover that so much of what is around us will never be known to us. Learning to live in peace with that mystery, I think, is a huge part of becoming capable of being happy in life.

Ok…me and my best friend are going to sit here and work together.

c.2010. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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