I posted an entry yesterday morning and then later pulled it off. It was so negative, so very cranky that I couldn’t stand it. Lots of trouble being in my own skin yesterday morning. And those days, those awful days, there is nothing to do but to wait it out, talk way too long to a friend -- Thanks, Mary --, have some popcorn, and hug the kid when she came home.
Because, in truth, the day did get better.
There were a lot of straws breaking this camel’s back yesterday and for the past few days. Lingering feelings that I couldn’t dispel. These days the dining room and the basement are in chaos and I have no patients with the mess. Digging boxes out of piles and sorting through is messy. No denying that. I try to create order but before order comes undisciplined piles and mounds of stuff that I have no idea what to do with. I have been here before! I just forget that. Right now, it looks like there is no end in sight. I’d like to have friends over for dinner but there is no place to eat. Julia and I are relegated to the tiny folding table in the kitchen or to eating off the coffee table in the living room.
Ach! I am not really complaining, just explaining. I am not a neat freak at all. Well, maybe I am growing some neat characteristics. At my worst messiness, I crave order. I am usually a few hours, at worst a few days, from order. And I think that is what is most disturbing. I could just chuck everything downstairs again and make piles against the walls and say I will take up this unpleasant task some other day. But I insist on doing it.
When I started the process last year now -- oh, maybe 10 months ago, I had a fully loaded basement. I worked around the edges and couldn’t even conceive of an ending. After the initial renovation, when the whole house got packed up, I put away, I brought upstairs just what I wanted and left what I didn’t want and what I had no idea what to do with in the basement. Then, I started sorting. Now, I am many boxes down, and though I complain of chaos which is no exaggeration, I do conceive of order and completion. It is vaguely in sight but so far away. And therein lies the rub.
When I saw no hope of completion, I’d look at any day’s work and think, wow, I did three boxes today. I put the dusty box in recycling. I threw out or stack for a garage sale the stuff I don’t want and considered what to do with the much smaller pile of what was left. Now, I look at any day’s sorting and can see only that it does not make much of a dent in the total chaos.
I need a step back. I need to see what is in front of me and what I am doing. I’ve worked on gardens for much longer than I’ve worked on the accumulation of my years. I need that injection for perseverance and patience.
Umm, and I realize that the statements of affirmation that I took from my last phone visit with Ellen are so appropriate at this moment. “I release all dilemmas. There are always solutions.” I have been holding very hard onto those dilemmas.
This makes me think of some of what I said to Ellen. I told her how I love being at the Waisman Center for lectures these days, but that I fear greatly that I will not find a place to fit in. The picture in my head is of my roughly made square peg self squeezing into some smooth and polished round hole. I keep saying and thinking that I have to work hard, press hard, figure out the exact way that I can position myself, to learn enough, to please enough that I will fit in. All the energy only points out how I cannot fit in. Me, with my theater and law background and training, do not logically fit into the science, research, and helping world that I see. But Ellen and a number of more enlightened beings that I’ve listened to tell me to let go. “I trust my wisdom and my future.” I’ve sent the intentions into the universe. I do and want to continue to do my part to avail myself of the learning and experiences that present themselves. I need to trust that I will find clarity, that the path will present itself when it is time.
Oh, but that takes patience. I smile to think of the lesson presenting itself over and over.
I have always loved the prayer, “not my will, but thy will be done.” I’ve said it more times that I can count and it amazes me how little I understand it. To put intentions or prayers out there. To just ask. I know there is some bible verse that says it well, some phrase from every philosophy and religion but the reading alone is not enough. At least for me. I don’t have the faith of blind belief -- and blessed are those who do -- I need to reinvent the wheel, to put my fingers in the holes in his hands and feet. I need to live it.
Did I really ask for this exhausting life?
Also, this morning I received an email from the donor family of David’s heart. It was too jarring, to shocking to receive on a day when straws were piling up and breaking this camel’s back. I could only read it and find more pain. This was not the intention, to be sure. When I took my red cross life saving swimming course I was taught that a drowning person will grab onto their rescuer and pull them under the water instead of cooperating with the rescue in order to be saved. The intention to save themselves goes awry. Wounded beasts are not rational and do not always react in their best interest. I would say that was me. I did not respond irrationally, and only bent Mary’s ear for an hour. And Mary is kind. No damage done. Later in the day, I got another email from the donor family. This email not impersonal. I cannot quite answer it right now. But soon.
Amazing. Every dear friend that I have has saved me over and over in the past two years. Talk about having faith in the universe. Over and over, I have been sent angels to catch me as I constantly trip and go plunging over emotional cliffs.
And Julia. Julia has been driving me nuts recently. Part of the driving is pretty typical kids behavior -- not wanting to get up in the morning, fooling around instead of doing the tasks set out for her, saying ‘sorry’ to fix everything without meaning a letter of the word, preferring to live without picking up clothes or toys or art supplies. And then, after my sorry beginning of the day, I went to the school’s fourth grade music concert. Julia has never been able to take part in a concert. When she was in Franklin for K, 1, and 2, she sat on my lap and we watched her classmates perform. For two other concerts, she was able to sit away from me but also away from her classmates. Today, with some prompting from her loving teachers, and with putting in the emergency ear plugs that are always in my pockets, Julia was able to stand up with her class, sing three songs and play two songs on the recorder. She could tell us that it was too loud in the room and she could accept that putting in earplugs would help that. She could pay enough attention to attend. No, she was not completely engaged and her behavior was merely odd and a bit distracting, but others could, if they wanted, have ignored her and focused elsewhere. Of course, everyone on her team has been working towards such behavior and attention for years now, but to have it creep up on me today was like a miracle from the heavens.
Success favors the well prepared. Miracles probably favor the same.
Yes, I will post pictures! Although the pictures aren’t that good.
It is almost 4:30. Two years ago at 4:30 a.m., the phone range. David jumped out of bed and answered it, but we both knew what it was. A heart had become available -- someone had died -- and we needed to be at the hospital within the hour. We were ready to leave within minutes. So much energy, so much love, so much help. We stepped over the cliff and the angels caught us. We didn’t know so much. I didn’t know so much. I still don’t. The phone will not ring in 8 minutes to give David a slim chance at a longer life but I have been given so much to make my life. I trust that I will learn the lessons I need to and make something wonderful of what I am given.
An optimist with tears. The goody two shoes with scars. Sure. Yes. That’s me. I recognize myself.