After the Sky

"When you're way up high and you look below at the world you left and the things you know, little more than a glance is enough to show you just how small you are. When you're way up high and you're on your own in a world like none that you've ever known and the sky is lead and the earth is stone you're free to do whatever pleases you- exploring things you never dared 'cause you don't care when suddenly there's a big, tall, terrible giant at your door... a big tall terrible lady giant sweeping the floor. And she gives you food and she gives you rest and she draws you close to her giant breast and you know things now that you never new before... not til the sky. Only just when you've made a friend and all and you know she's big but you don't feel small someone bigger than her comes along the hall to swallow you for lunch! And your heart is lead and your stomach's stone and you're really scared being all alone... and it's then that you miss all the things you've known and the world you left and the little you own... the fun is done! So you steal what you can and run. And you scramble down and you look below and the world you know begins to grow... the roof, the house, and your mother at the door... the roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore. And you think of all of the things you've seen, and you wish that you could live in between, and you're back again, only different than before.... after the sky..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is this even possible?

Possibility, potential, there anything more exciting? Or terrifying? I've been thinking about possibilities and opportunities lately, and how, recently, things just haven't "worked out" as I thought they were going to. Perhaps I focus on the plans that fall through more often than the plans that come to fruition, but it seems to me that in the past few years, most of my plans have gone awry. The best laid plans of mice and men... or so they say.
It's frustrating though. Sometimes events beyond my control come into play, and a lot of times it's just easier to lay down arms and say, "Oh well." I find this happening often when I decide something like "I'm really going to start exercising, every day." I'll make a plan, a schedule, and put myself in the mindset that "this is really going to happen." Then something will happen, like I'll come down with a sickness, or it will snow, or I'll have to alter my ideas in another way to accommodate this new situation. And it's easier to just say, "Meh, there goes that idea." However, part of me thinks that when this happens, it's my resolve being tested. I'm being asked from God or the Universe if I really have the discipline necessary to undertake whatever plan I have concocted. And I just fail this test every time.
But that can't be a way to live. I've gotten so used to things interrupting my "best laid plans," that I'm expecting it now. Motivation is becoming a real problem as a result of this. Normally, I'm one who is so competitive and fierce that if something comes along to throw a wrench in my plans, I'll find another way around it. When I was in college, I decided I wanted to follow a degree program I had found at another university. When it turned out my university didn't offer that particular degree program, I made it myself, followed it, and now hold that degree. I was not able to go on exchange to France during my junior year of college because I was supposed to leave on September 11... and while I am very fortunate that all that day did to me was temporarily delay my exchange trip to France, it was still a plan that failed.  And even after being told that I was not going to be allowed to go at all the following semester, because of "program issues," I fought and went anyway. I used to be good at overcoming obstacles in my path in order to fulfill my plans.
But recently, I have become less and less adept at this. Even something as simple as exercising every day can be ruined by something as trivial as a cold. And now, I am being presented with something that has the potential to be a great opportunity. And I am so tempted to be lured into the idea that this could be a real possibility. Because it would work so well; it would align so well with the "grand plan" I have set forth for myself. And even though I am excited about it, and crossing all my fingers that it could work out for me, I'm hesitant. I'm stuck thinking, "Is this even possible?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Only For Now

Change... I can't even think of how many songs, poems, plays, novels, artistic representations of any kind use this as a central theme. It's so prevalent, yet it's so difficult to cope with at the same time. Since the last post (which, admittedly, has been much, much longer than I can even come up with a reason for) many, many changes have occurred. And, with the "change" comes the "coping." Let's see... I'm sure there are a plethora of examples I can come up with for this, but let's go with this one, from Avenue Q. I think it's put quite nicely here:

"Nothing lasts/life goes on/full of surprises/you'll be faced with problems/of all shapes and sizes/you're going to have to make a few compromises/for now.../but only for now..."

Yes, it's prevalent. Yes, it's daily. Yes, it's a pain to deal with. But it's inevitable.  About ten years ago, the mountains to the west of my hometown of Los Alamos, NM were consumed by a forest fire (and so were many, many homes). This past weekend, I was driving with my mom through these burned mountains. We commented on how amazing it is that everything is so green now, life is thriving, and the only real evidence that there was ever a fire was the skeletons of trees sticking out of the green, growing earth. As we continued east towards our house, we had to drive through part of Bandelier National Forest, which had its own fire about twenty-five years ago. There, even the burned trees had fallen and been overgrown. There, there's practically no evidence that just twenty-five years go, the earth was black, charred, and dead. We remarked not only on how miraculous it was that nature finds a way to grow and regenerate in an area that seemed lifeless and hopeless, but that it's really a cleansing process, in the end. The forests get so congested with growth that sometimes the only solution is to "clean house," and begin again.

Perhaps this is what I have experienced in this past year. I've been piling too much on, taking on too many ideas and possibilities, and entertaining too many choices that I lost sight of what I truly wanted to be looking for, and it was time to "clean house," as it were.

The death of my grandmother, the friends going crazy and psychopathic, the injustice of the job, the broken relationship, the violence, and the violation.... these are all ways that I'm being regenerated. Renewed. Cleansed, wiped clean, and prepared for whatever is to be grown next.

"Sunrise, sunset/sunrise, sunset/swiftly fly the years/one season following another/laden with happiness and tears." --Fiddler on the Roof