Monday, December 17, 2007

[a title escapes me]

Sitting over finished plates, I may have haphazardly blurred the lines between overeager and curious...and again in the darkness of the cab, walking into the bar, and once more before the strike of midnight [for good measure].


I've learned a lot about myself in the last year. One of the traits that I have become glaringly aware of is my increasingly feverish battle with impatience [among other things]. It's very hard for me to find contentment in waiting for answers. If I can't know all of something, all of the depths of a thing, I claw and pry at it until it is either unearthed fully or the subject, worn ragged, refuses more. Another exhausting element of me is this planning...this compulsive, driving need to control uncontrollable things. The world is far too large for me to pocket and far too wild to govern, yet I all too often forget.

As though I were perched high atop Olympus, myself, I pretend to conduct the symphony of my fate. I am not a methodical person bound to definite routines, but I am unfaltering in my attempts to script the big picture...

I worked as a nanny when I first got back from Virginia. Once Spring returned I would take the kids to play at the park. One occasion left me sans baby and free to participate in the games of small children. Swinging was the preferred grounds for fun and I settled into the vinyl harness suspended by chains. I was a fearless kid and the recognition from days gone by prompted me to lean back, far back until tip-toes were the only anchor keeping me from the pendulum pull of gravity. And I let go, and the air rushed past my skin, and my babes giggled on either side of me, and I pumped my legs back and forth in search of the freedom this experience once provided. Only the higher I went, the more my stomach lurched, the more distant my swing carried me from the rubbered ground, the more quickly my heart pounded in my chest.

When I was a fearless child, I didn't know what the violent landing following a fall would feel like. I'd hear of broken arms and scraped knees, but I would successfully dismount or in a practical moment, I might slow the vessel and walk quietly from it's previous thrill. This day, swinging caused more panic than delight and I drove my feet into the ground.

It's funny how things change and how we compensate for the lessons learned. I know that falling hurts and that it can be prevented by staying planted on the playground surface. I know that trusting the natural course of life [of relationships] renders a person vulnerable, and that vulnerability breeds an array of possibilities.

In the cold darkness of new winter he says, "happiness isn't defined by [marriage reference] and picket fences."

No, I suppose it resides in the veins of trusting the unknown and living despite the probable event of scraped knees and broken arms. It must be living around the fear of failure, and a phenomenon more fundamental than plans.

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.*

* quote by Dorothy Thompson

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