Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sticks and Stones

Writing is a hobby for me. It would be nice to make a living at it but it‘s not why I do it. I’ve said before I appreciate the clarity it gives me, how it allows friends to get to know me better and I'm just narcissistic enough to get satisfaction from comments that indicate that what I said made someone think. It does not mean that that person has to agree with me. But like Jen said, I also feel like if you’re going to read about what is most important to me, it’s almost like being a guest in my living room. Most people I know, don't make themselves comfortable in cozy corner next to the fireplace with the intention of insulting the host. I mention this, because there is someone who consistently comments on my thoughts in a way that comes across as bitter and judgemental regarding the way I perceive my life unfolding. Since it seems to me to be less than honest, hiding behind an acronym that has a negative connotation, I rarely give his comments a second thought. And he even made me think regarding some posts about the Middle East conflict. I think Gandhi said, “Our enemies should be our best teachers.” or something like that. And one of the ways I hope to be successful is in the words of Emerson…” to win the appreciation of honest critics”. But this person's criticisms are not honest because I do not know the motivation behind them and they don't own their words.

So, that being said, there was some talk from this person awhile back, that touched on the idea of regret. Now, that is a tricky word. The word implies a negative connotation and when you consider the social aspect of guilt one could correlate that with the intention to shame. This is the exact opposite of what my post regarding “Living my life without regret” was intending to say. It meant to say that I was at peace with the difficult decisions I have made. It includes the realization that until I am comfortable with who I am becoming and what my place in this life is, I have no business trying to influence anyone else. And that includes my beautiful daughters. But it is something I think about every day...squeezing as much joy and peace as I can find because I believe that makes me a better Mother. In fact, the decisions I’ve made may not appear to make sense to anyone but until you’ve walked in my shoes, no one has the right to judge them. But rest assured, those girls are the reason behind 95% the decisions that put me right where I stand today. So I do not in any way have regret for actions I have taken. Forced, or otherwise. What I believe I would have regretted, is not making the necessary changes and living a life inconsistent from what I felt was honest and authentic. Because I do not regret the decisions does not mean that I wasn't left profoundly changed by the relationships that I had to leave behind.

So, everyone who is faced with making unpopular but necessary decisions, I applaud your courage and conviction. I will never again assume that I have an insight into someone’s marriage or family life based on appearances. And then there’s the words that sum it up so much more effectively…

You will be walking some night
In the comfortable dark of your yard
And suddenly a great light will shine
Round about you, and behind you
Will be a wall you never saw before…

Though you have done nothing shameful,
They will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
And say you should have been like them…

Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
And their questions are asked, say to them:
“I am not ashamed.” A sure horizon
Will come around you. The heron will begin
His evening flight from the hilltop.
-Wendell Berry, from “Do Not Be Ashamed”

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. -Aristotle

Wow. My last post was a month and 10 days ago. And yet my counter continues to go up. How very cool is that?

So, where in the world have I been? WELL...

I will tell you.

But first I will tease you.

It involves hardware and Harleys and catholic school girl outfits and birthdays and wayfaring strangers and weddings and miles.

My 35th year was the hardest so far. But look at me. I'm still here.


Labels: , ,