Allez, venez et entrez dans la danse

managing gracefully
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (0)
Share on Facebook
Sylvia Boorstein, about a gathering of Buddhist teachers:

As I listened to all of us speaking in turn, I was struck by one particular thing. As people spoke, they said things like, "I'm pretty content" or "I'm doing all right" or "I'm pretty happy." And yet, we all told regular stories. People had regular lives with regular Sturm und Drang. People had relationship problems, problems with aging parents; someone's child had a very serious illness; someone else was dealing with a difficult kind of loss. And yet everyone said some variation of "I'm pretty much all right" or "I'm pretty content.' And it didn't mean that they weren't struggling with what was happening to them. It did not mean that they had transcended their stories and that they were fine because they felt no pain from them. They were struggling and often in quite a lot of pain and concern, but still, they were all right. I thought to myself as I looked around, "What we're all doing is we're all managing gracefully."

I'm with Havi Brooks: It's not freaking easy, okay? So the title of Boorstein's book, It's Easier Than You Think, makes my hackles rise. But beyond that title are gems such as "All our moments are moments before our death, and wishing well is the most fearless way to spend them," and stories like these:

Going through changes was what Alta was very good at, and, in that ability, she was my role model. We became good friends and spent many rainy winter days in her sewing room making clothing, usually for me. I would talk about my family, and she would talk about hers--the kind of conversations women have when they sew together. I was often relieved to see that what I was fretting over as a problem didn't appear to her to be a big deal, and I noticed she could tell me about a difficulty in her family that seemed to me to be huge while she kept right on sewing, not missing a stitch. I knew she was sad, but she appeared at ease. "Aren't you upset?" I would ask. "I've done all I could about it," she would say, "so there is no point in being upset."

Things managed since my last post include:

  • assorted loads of laundry and dishes

  • a kick-ass roast (Southern Living 1997)

  • a pan of rum- and ginger-spiked brownies

  • a pitcher of iced tea

  • a fresh appreciation of Vaughan Williams (it turns out that years of singing his stuff helps with crash-learning ragas, at least melodically)

  • the outline of a new poem

  • gladly complimented several friends on their latest segments of stories-in-progress

  • a heap of copyedits

  • Things I'm itching to get around to managing, gracefully or no:

  • finishing my own poems and stories-in-progress

  • scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen floors. Ye gods and fishes.

  • lunches and letters

  • getting back into killer trim. (During my physical last week, my doctor was impressed with the muscularity of my calves. The rest of me -- well, I know what to do. Next break, sit-ups...)

  • And with that, I'm going to lumber back to those copyedits.

    Read/Post Comments (0)

    Previous Entry :: Next Entry

    Back to Top

    Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
    All content rights reserved by the author.