Monday, April 15, 2013

Hurt from Smiling

I went back to the beginning today. I went to NHC Place. Saw old friends. Walked old halls. Smelled my youth and energy of days long ago. Of days not so long ago.

When I left, my face hurt from smiling. I loved my time there. Loved myself there. Loved who I was. I was dissatisfied with the work I did though, so I went and sought more and different. I loved myself in the different times, too. Loved what I did; what I do.

I miss old people.

I worked 6 night shifts over a 7 day period recently. When it was over, and I woke from my slumber, I realized I really hadn’t spoken with, interacted with, been validated, or connected with another (on a personal level) in those 7 days.

That makes for exhausted, lonely time.

I thought about my life the last few years and thought about patterns and choices and found this to be a common theme. When you spend your energy spinning wheels you find that you don’t go anywhere and in the end you have created a deep hole; even when the spinning wheels serve a deep, noble, good purpose.

I talked with a good friend today and he defined me as being in the “mid-life crisis” phase of my life. This made me laugh.  What he said made sense.

My sister is about to give birth to her fifth child.
My niece is in 2nd grade. I miss her.
My nephew is planning his birthday party that’s 6 months from now.
My niece likes to babble.
My niece said when the baby comes she’ll potty train, but not until then.
My niece has a tender heart like her mother.
My sister is entering phase 2 of her school program and doing well.
My niece has pretty long hair and the smile of an angel.
My niece is walking and climbing and being ornery.
My niece likes to hold onto the things that she likes.
My niece is sassy.
My sister is getting ready to run a half with me.
My mother is truly a Grand mother.
My father works hard.
My grandmother was in the hospital.

Life goes on whether we work or sleep.

I visited an old friend today. She has dementia. She didn’t know me. I held her hands and we talked. I prayed with her. Hugged her and kissed her bye. She thought she might go see the tulips. I hope she did.

I miss Opal.

Life is learning to live in the tension.  And to be at peace in it. And to know your place in it.

Thankful for Ruth.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Beds That Have No Answers

It’s curious where you find people sometimes: their perspective on things and their attitude towards life and their individual circumstance.

I met an individual who received a life altering opportunity, a priceless gift. All they could do was complain and complain and complain. They did not seem to exhibit thankfulness or gratitude. It was quite disappointing.

I met another individual who had fallen on extreme circumstances and was beginning the next stage of a horrific journey. They were in pain, but they smiled. They acknowledged their blessings. They flirted with truths. It was quite humbling.

What makes people who they are?
What makes people respond to life in the way that they do?
Is it culture?
Is it nature?
Is it nurture?

I do not know.  

I remember a time when 2 individuals laid in ICU beds after both experiencing horrific crashes. One, a drunk driver, was left with a broken bone; it was fixed and healing. The other, hit by a drunk driver, was left paralyzed, on a respirator; broken and decompensating. Their crashes were not the same, yet, maybe they were.  
How and why are questions we never find finite answers to. Life does not afford us that gift. We are left with unknown reasons and ponder ideas in search of a truth that we usually never find. I think sometimes we find more truths in our questions than in our answers.

It’s phenomenal the impact observation can have on us, if we allow it. Watching and observing human conduct, human nature, human attitude, human response. There is much to be learned in those around us.

I was recently listening to one of my favorite artists, Dar Williams, and her song, “The Mercy of the Fallen”. There is a line that reads:

There’s the wind and the rain, and the mercy of the fallen,
Who say they have no claim to know what’s right.
There’s the weak and the strong and the beds that have no answer,
And that’s where I may rest my head tonight.
Sometimes the weak are the strong. And sometimes the strong are the weak. But all lay in beds that have no answers. I suppose that is the truth that plagues me.

Sometimes we have to turn off our minds, yield to the lack of answers and rest our heads. There will always be disappointing and humbling experiences. I will continue to encounter them as long as I do the work that I do. But there is a lesson to be found in each of them.  A lesson to grow from.

I suppose finding the lesson for the purpose of growth is the answer.