Friday, March 6, 2009

As My World Turns...

It was another long, angst-ridden week...but I signed up for another writing class. I was amused to see that the description for the slightly calamitous class I took last summer now contains the disclaimer "Please note: this is not group therapy".

I also finally bought more Noro yarn to make mittens and possibly a hat to match my scarf. I do not need any more yarn, and winter is (allegedly...) waning, but whatever - it was crisis yarn buying. It has to be better than drowning in Ben and Jerry's, right?

S. told me about this guy named Parker Palmer, who sort of defies description but has been referred to a "Quaker activist". His big thing is "the tragic gap" - the divide between what is real and what is possible. He says that the most successful people find a way to navigate this gap without losing their true selves in the process. I was suspicious at first, but seriously? I have so clearly taken up residency in that tragic gap. He does a lot of work with teachers, hospital workers, and other nonprofit do-good types, who often become so dismayed with the systems/institutions they encounter that they lose heart for their work. The reality of the day-to-day crap drags us down, and we lose sight of what is possible. Or, we work with people who are too focused on the possibilities, and not focused enough on the realities. Totally familiar, and oddly satisfying to learn that I am not the only person having struggled with this.

To top it all off, I had this weird realization today while talking with a coworker, who became a grandma today for the 7th time. It suddenly occurred to me that, since I never had children, I will never know what my kid(s) would have looked like. This completely paralyzed me for much of the commute home, despite being in possession of the new New Yorker.  And, for some reason, it occurred to me that I'm not sure what I've learned over the past two years, except maybe that my life might not have been nearly as bad as I thought it was. Oh, and how to knit socks. I suppose that's something.

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