Just bitchin'

A Hazy Shade of Hell


You know how it is with the news.

What’s happening is usually so far away that, although your inner sympathy-chip is engaged, you aren’t really affected in your insulated, little, day-to-day life. You kick back in the evening to watch the latest events of local or national interest and thank your lucky stars it’s all happening far, far away.

But sometimes what’s occurring reaches out with vaporous fingers and reminds you in a more visceral way that you, too, are part of this world where nothing stays the same.

My state is on fire.

Hundreds of thousands of acres are blazing. There is loss of homes and loss of lives, both human and non-.

In my comfy, little, beach cottage, hundreds of miles and a mountain range away, the sky is yellow. The sun is bloody.


When you step outside, the discomfort is noticeable. Your eyes sting. You smell something acrid in the air. The color yellow now has a scent.

The birds have gone still, venturing forth for food and water, but not engaging in the usual aerial acrobatics and song.

At the end of your normal, unaffected day, a throbbing headache reminds you that smoke is a formidable opponent. And your neck hairs rise when you look to the east and wonder how your fellow Washingtonians will sleep tonight. Or where.

For the first time, we’ve sent out a call for help, for volunteers to stand at the front lines and engage the enemy.

Australia answered. So did New Zealand.

A thrill of thankfulness runs through us for these brave souls so generous with their courage.

It’s a hazy, yellow shade of Hell.

But we’re not alone…