Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Playing Whack-a-Mole

This morning, the first day of the girls' Thanksgiving break, I was awakened by the pitiful, heart-sinking sound of our younger daughter retching. With the exception of yesterday--glorious, glorious yesterday!--someone in our family has been sick since the 24th of October: the girls missed a week and a half of school each; Great Scott has battled colds and stomach stuff (ah, the joys of being a public school teacher!) all month; and after a literally painful two-week head cold, I only yesterday considered myself "safe" enough to not infect my grandmother and to resume taking her on her doctor's appointments and stopping by to check in on her several times a week. One day--yesterday--when everyone was well and life was "normal." And now, the day before Thanksgiving...upchucking bright and early in the morning.

Sometimes life feels like an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. One thing comes up; you tackle it. Another pops up; you wrestle it to the ground. Another raises its head; you bean it. Some days I'm not sure if I'm the one holding the hammer or the crazed little mole running around trying to find a safe place to poke my head up for a breath of air.

Back in September during an email conversation about being grounded and taking action from that place of interior authority and sureness, I mentioned to a friend that I have most strongly felt that sense of sureness/authority when I am doing a poetry reading and/or writing mentoring. He responded, "If I were you, I'd LIVE my life as a poet and mentor as well as a mommy...warts and all being essential parts of the package that makes you a poet and mentor." That's haunted me for two months as I've tried to put my finger on exactly how that applies to where I'm at right now, caught as I am between the professional training by which I'd intended to define my life and the motherhood I purposefully didn't prepare myself for back when I swore I would never have children. It would have made more sense to me if he'd said, "I'd live my life as a MOMMY as well as a poet and mentor...warts and all being essential parts of the package that makes you a mommy." Not that I'm criticizing him; he didn't have any way of knowing on which end of the role issue I felt more grounded, and to be fair, this may have actually been exactly what he meant. Communication is an art of inaacuracies.

So I'm asking myself lately what elements that manifest most easily for me as a poet can be transplanted to hopefully take root in the realm of building a home and family? The image comes to mind of a blindfolded Luke Skywalker swinging a lightsaber at a darting ball, learning to simultaneously relax and focus:
1. Focusing on the matter at hand and letting all the other stuff go, including the ultimate outcome.
2. Trusting that doing my best will be adequate and that if it isn't, the sun will go on shining anyway.
3. Swinging with calm intent and purpose rather than flailing about wildly.
4. Choosing my mole.

I've a suspicion playing Whack-a-Mole with lightsabers might just add a whole new level of satisfaction and possibilities to the game.


GrumpyTeacher1 said...

You and your cutting weapons.

I'm sorry about the kiddo and sorry for her too.

Cindy said...

"Cutting" is such a bland word. How about "slashing", or "severing", or "stabbing"? Or "edged"? :)

Thank you for the sympathy. I got quite a chortle out of reading your blog today. We certainly take different apporaches to the same incidents, don't we? Where would I be without your realism to ground me?