20 January 2011

Conventional Wisdom

I have been thinking about the idea of conventional wisdom for the past few days. I do not easily disregard it these days as I am older and somewhat wiser myself. But I also do not and cannot accept it without question. I have not been conventional in my life. Julia, my greatest teacher, is learning about "why" these days -- the reason that things happen, the difference that some reasons make. My child who needs learning in the past and future informs so much of my present. I have made so many life decisions ignoring conventional wisdom and truthfully, have not been punished. I want to know the reason behind the rule. It is that that I wonder about. I have been in search of my highest and best self for a long time. After the trauma of the last few years, I have grown at least a little bit in clarity. I don't expect to really recover from the trauma that I've experienced. It has become woven into my day, and I expect woven into my best self. I lived and breathe the loss of my beloved partner. I don't expect to ever recover or get past the loss. I expect to live with it and make it one of the companions that inform my life choices.

As for adopting X or any other child for that matter. I did not expect to make such a decision last month (I was leaning heavily on conventional wisdom,) but it was this particular child who moved me. Still, there were safeguards already inherent in the system and in this decision. Adoption, especially from China these days, is a long and tedious process, and the informal pre-formal process that I am in right now has gone on far too long. I expect rejection (and I expected it even when I asked. The ice cube in hell has nothing on me). Still, I don't regret the asking. It is bringing up so much good thoughts and discussion. I know I grow from it.

And if I was approved to begin the formal process of adoption, the process is taking at least a year, 15-18 months is probably a better estimate. And during most of that time, X will know nothing about it. I will have the chance to consider and re-consider the wisdom of another child considering those most beloved by me without involving X. Although I used the words wild and crazy, this is my code for living the unconventional life. It is not strictly wild or crazy to fall in love with this child. She needs a family, no one wants her, and I might be the best chance that she has. And she is a dancer. I can raise another artist.

Finally, some of what I do might be considered generous and open hearted. We do what we do because we enjoy it. I have more than reaped the benefit of every open hearted and generous act that I have committed. I constantly want to say to my very lovely community that they have done so much more for me than I have ever done for them. But I also find the need to commit and re-commit myself to the generous life because my family of origin has never lived in this way. I was taught a miserliness of the heart, and I admit, I fear it can still return.

I am feeling better enough today to compose. I have some reading to do for tomorrow's class, but I need a nap before I dive into it. I am a better sick person, that is, more patient and willing to take the time and care for myself, when I can see progress. I do need this time on the couch.

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