Sometimes when I write, actually most times, I feel the snark, the sarcasm, the humor bubble to the top of my mind. I can't help but to see most objects or events in a ridiculous light. This is not to say that I don't have things that I feel deeply about. I do.
I watch Frontline, documentaries, Charlie Rose, Rachel Maddow on an almost daily basis depending on the timing of the show. I very rarely watch comedies, dramas, reality shows - although I will admit to being fascinated about the Kardashians and yes I agreed with Chloe that Kim's marriage would never last.
I prefer to read and though I have my moments, most of what I read needs to meet a level of depth that will touch my soul, teach me something new, shed light on life in a way that I had not viewed it before.
Am I a snob? Pretty much. But it's a snobbery that holds only the highest expectation for myself, not for anyone else. That, I believe, is not snobbery in the common sense no matter how it might sound. It is an acknowledgement within myself that most people have it together and that I am still learning, still trying to find my place in this world. I don't have the time or energy to waste on things that bring nothing to my growth. I realize that I am a work in progress and that I will probably never be finished though I trudge on valiently.
I expect my life to stand for something. I want to have left the earth a better place than I found it. Have I succeeded? I'm not sure. Only time will tell I guess.
I spent my 20s and a great deal of my 30s, worrying about whether I was pleasing to people. Did I do the right thing? Did I say the right thing? Do I fit in? But, then my son died and from the moment I stood in front of the grave site, watching a huge man, by himself, lift a small blue coffin with no more than a slight twitch of his shoulder and place it on the platform, when I stood and listened to a pastor speak about the wages of sin and death, a rusted valve, covered in years of crud and beliefs, standards and opinions began to turn. Ever so slightly, a trickle of salvation began to cleanse my heart and the very essence of who I was began to change. Slowly, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the woman I was began to disappear and the woman I was to become, should have been from the beginning, started to emerge. Light, like the tendrils of a vine, crept forward, gently pushing all my preconceived notions out of the way, allowing for new growth, new roots to lay ground.
It was and still is a difficult process. I mourned that woman I knew. I mourned the person I left behind. I wanted to cling to everything familiar, right or wrong. To not do so seemed insane. I'd lost Evan. I couldn't afford to lose myself. But plants have a way of cracking through the strongest rock and changing the formation of the entire structure, whether we want them to or not.
Since that agonizing and torturous day, I've lost every member of my family except my husband and my two daughters. I've scattered the ashes and buried the remains of aunts, uncles, cousins, my father, my mother, my mother-in-law and my stepmother.
***I've buried my fair share of guinea pigs too but alas not the five taking up residence in my office. Just a moment of thoughtful levity.***
I've grown emotionally and spiritually. The faucet valve continued to turn though I've fought it, resisted it with every ounce of my energy, begged for relief. I've cried until I believed that I would surely die of a broken heart. But that trickle of salvation continued to flow until it and it alone became my saving grace. It washed over my being, taking with it all my preconceived ideas of life and the living. It cooled the fever of narcissism, racism, absolutism. It changed the naked reality of how I tended to view the world and those living beings around me and gave me the ripples and glints of light and the true distortions of beauty. Water, just like plant life, changes the landscape of all that it touches, forcing us to find security not in what we think we see but rather in what we choose to believe.
To the extent that I have tried to remain true to the lessons that I have learned through my blood, sweat and tears, I feel my metamorphosis has been successful, not finished but well on it's way to completion. And I look forward to the changes still to come. I know that I will always struggle but for the most part I attempt to surrender with grace.
I make mistakes, sometimes every day, as I'm sure you are glad to know. I try not to dwell on them. I have one life and I can only live in one place at one time. I cannot live in the past and remain in the present, nor can I live in the future and stay bound to the moment I'm in. When it comes down to it only the moment that I am in is what will count. Nothing is guaranteed. We all agree on that in theory. But do we live that in our hearts? and with our every word, action and step? Did I really believe that a beloved, beautiful little boy given to me with his father's eyes and his mother's smile would be snatched from my arms in less than thirty minutes after I had asked him to sleep just a couple of more minutes? Did I really believe, while I was reading the paper to my father as he stroked my hand, smiled at my daughter and then reminded me once again that I was his pride and joy and Emma and Bonnie his gift to this world, that twenty minutes later, he would quietly slip from this earth with no fanfare, no notice, no warning?
The answer is, of course not. Is this what it would take to remind me of my fragility and my lack of ability to control life and events swirling around me?
Where does all this lead? Amazingly, to last week. Last week I wrote a post. Not life changing. It wasn't poetry. It didn't contain the keys to all the wisdom in the world. It wasn't serious minded. It was a story. A funny story, cute, with some insight into the minds of second and third graders. It was a moment in time that I remembered to enjoy.
And there I will stop. To be continued.....