The clouds gathered together, stood still and watched the river scuttle around the forest floor, crash headlong into haunches of hills with no notion of where it was going, until exhausted, ill and grieving, it slowed to a stop just twenty leagues short of the sea. — Toni Morrison
With imagery like that, is it any wonder that Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature?
Feel as if I've been on — and continue on — a great quest. But like that river in Morrison's imagery, I feel as if I've been charging along with little rhyme or reason to my life.
Woke up the other night in a panic. Certain areas of my life are falling nicely into place. Panic bolt through me when I contemplated that life being good would cause suffering in my creative life. I know, I know, it's a silly thing. But it's there and as a priest once told me, feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.
I'm doing my darndest to keep focused on the present, but living a self-employed creative life can be a strain on that process. Things are going well creatively. My phone keeps ringing and the work keeps coming. And it's good work and I'm very grateful. But I'm always waiting for the bottom to drop out and so I'm looking three to six months down the road. And I continue to kick myself for things I wish I'd done better. Why is forgiving oneself so difficult?
I don't mind charging hard. That's my personality. But I just hope I don't fall caput short of the sea. And so every once in a while, on a beautifully warm spring day, I have go outside and remind myself that life is good, all is well, kids are happy and healthy and to remember to enjoy now. Try it, guilt free.
Other odds and ends
So much has happened in the past week. Here's my quick take on the world:
• May Terry Schiavo finally rest in peace. And may her family let go of their petty differences and forgive one another for their human frailties.
• The outpouring of love for Pope John Paul II has been fascinating to watch. And I have to say that I've learned things about him that I hadn't realized. When he was elected I remember thinking how young and spry he looked. And yet age and illness were unkind to him physically. But he really served as a role model for the elderly. Despite chronic, nearly debilitating pain, he carried on an active life until his death. May we all be encouraged by his example. And may the Cardinals choose wisely our next pope.
• A big, hearty congratulations to Connie Schultz on her Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She's a bright spot at the PD and a must-read for me. Her column last fall about the Catholic women who feel outcasts in their church was profoundly moving. Connie gives hope and inspiration to many who follow in her footsteps. Savor the moment, Connie. You've earned it!
• My network newsperson of choice has always been Peter Jennings. I'm sorry to hear of his lung cancer, but I wish him godspeed in his recovery. He is the lone grown-up on network news and I welcome his calm demeanor during the great events of our time.
May we all, in this time of both goodness and grief, learn how to stop and look up and be grateful for the gifts that are ours. I'll let Toni Morrison say it better:
You love like a coward. Don't take no steps at all. Just stand around and hope for things to happen outright. Unthankful and unknowing like a hog under an acorn tree. Eating and grunting with your ears hanging over your eyes, and never even looking up to see where the acorns are coming from. — Toni Morrison