What The Heck Happened Here?

Yes, Gentle Reader.  I made it, once again.  Somehow it always seems like quite the achievement, even though this week has left me a bit…wordless.  The head hurts, as it so often does, it’s raining, and then there’s the question of what’s for dinner.

Tonight, that will be answered by Pizza.  I always (natch) make my own from a recipe in a shredded Gourmet magazine, circa 1986.  Whether I have the moral fortitude to go into the Closet of Danger (pantry) and see if there’s any pineapple will determine whether we’re goin’ Hawaiian tonight or sticking to the Italianate Pesto version.  Olives? Ham?  Decisions decisions……

And, wonderment.  I wonder if any of us ever see ourselves as we really are? As the people who like us see us?  Or is it more the other way:  We remember that sixth grade teacher who told us were were idiots, or overheard snickered remarks behind someone’s hands, and we take that as fact and description of ourselves.  When you think about it, it’s kind of crazy.  VERY kind of crazy.   We all want to know about ourselves, but we’re afraid to ask and to listen to the answers, especially if they’re good.  The “Shadow Self” can be composed of just as many  “good” qualities as “bad” ones, and sometimes it almost seems that humans are just as afraid of opening to love and beauty as they are of anything.  Adding that to the mix of what goes on in life, it can get to be pretty rough at times.  If our own gyroscope is off, functioning is going to be a challenge.  I can speak on this with Great Authority because I’ve only just lately found my gyroscope, even though it seems that it was there all the time.     Lots of time spent wandering in the woods, yes indeed.

This week I had opportunities to experience enormous joy, deep sadness, as well as a sense of futility at being unable to help.  But I remained (well, mostly, ok?) in balance, kept the mind and heart engaged, and ultimately was able to feel a peace in each situation (except the super happy joy one- I’m as impatient as a little kid to get to the next point in that story).  Having walked through fires until I was burnt to a crisp, I can turn around and see a much bigger landscape of life than I could before.  I wonder if this experience of …the Awful? in our lives is a pre-requisite for becoming more fully human.  Philip Gourevitch wrote in this week’s New Yorker about present-day Rwanda.  I was struck by how the people had really in huge measure changed the content of their thinking and behavior.  Rwanda now has the most women elected to representative government in the world- think of that!  As one result, things are improving because the focus is on the right items: How we live together, what the social contract needs in order to cohere, such as schools and roads and traffic laws and medicine and newspapers.  The President of the country has been through fires upon fires, and seems to have a higher focus perhaps because of it?   Not to say that things are wonderful but the shift is dramatic and striking, even though the knowledge is ever present that back sliding could occur and darkness could once more prevail.

Then I was thinking about the enormous impact the whole “cat and mouse” paradigm has on international relations; how governments and intelligence services are almost playing a deadly game all the time.  A game that sometimes seems to be perhaps divergent from solving the real problems.   The darkness is a heartbeat away.    What saves us from that darkness?  Basic things, I think.   The love between people.  The beauty of the every day world.  Actually communicating with another person.  It made me speculate about  whether, when inter-country meetings are described as “productive”,  that doesn’t simply mean that everyone at the table recognized something: Their common humanity. We can do this every day ourselves- although admittedly while driving it is touch and go.  Still, the feelings can be acknowledged, we really don’t have to do anything to the car cutting us off or taking our parking place or going 30 miles an hour on the freeway, and that is a good place to start.  That, and for now, Pizza.  The pizza will at least make sense.

One response to this post.

  1. […] Original post by boozilla […]


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