Friday, July 27, 2012
Most of us manufacture reasons to excuse the behavior of the major players in our lives. As simple as it sounds, sometimes the truth just hurts too much. We see this in Pages in the Wind, as Emily searches for a reason that her relationship with her mother is so barren.
Mother gave me a conciliatory smile that said "oh well" as she turned to follow father. As I leaned against the doorway to my bedroom, I wondered if father demanded so much of her time and she had nothing left to me. I couldn't help but blame him for her inability to embrace me as a daughter. She always held me at arm's length, like she spent hours perfecting her beauty for a fancy soiree and had a dirty toddler begging to be held.
It's so easy to get caught in this trap - I've done it many times, though not with my own mother. I've made excuses in other relationships, and once to a disastrous conclusion. It definitely changed me in ways that I wish I could have avoided. The flip side is that I did learn a hard lesson, and am hyper-vigilant to not repeat it.
I wonder if you have made excuses for the key players in your life, only to wish that you hadn't. It doesn't even have to be a family member — mine wasn't, and the painful result was devastating. I'm listening to my inner voice more clearly now, and letting my brain overrule my heart when it needs too. Still, even with the lessons I learned — that's one lesson I would have preferred to avoid altogether.
Monday, July 23, 2012
In light of the mass shooting in Colorado, it was hard to sit down and work on my book today. The pictures and stories of the victims have been flashing through my mind, and weighing on my heart. It's all so senseless, and yet it's hard not to look for a reason or meaning behind such an evil act. If we don't find the reason, which is undoubtedly complex, we can't possibly even begin to fix it.
I suppose my biggest fear is that we can't fix it, that society has gone too far in its thirst for violence, the mental health system is inadequate, and the gun laws are inept. The list could probably fill a book, it boggles the mind to the point where we can't wrap our head around such acts. I just know in my hearts that I need to do something.
Perhaps the answer for me as a lone individual is to leave the heavy analysis for the people far more qualified than I am to tackle this multi-dimensional issue. Still, I can't just pretend that someone else will handle it - and off I go with my usual routine. I have to do something, because for me anyway - nothing just isn't acceptable anymore.
I remember the first time I started feeling uneasy about that "something" that was going on in society. I was a mother with children in elementary school, and I turned on the television to the horror of school shootings. This wasn't happening in a war torn nation - this was a small town similar to the town I lived in. It was senseless - and frightening. For the remainder of their school days, when I would drop my kids off for school - I said a prayer that they would be safe. I couldn't imagine my life without these two precious girls, and faced with the fear inside me, all I could do was say that prayer. It was a helpless feeling, and haunted me daily.
So, today as I sit down to write fictional words and continue my book - I know in my heart that I have to do something to try to help. I don't know what it is yet, and I know it won't change the world - I don't have that capacity, no one does. I just know that when I try to sleep at night, at least I'll know that, however small, I did what I could to make a difference somewhere and somehow. I just have to try.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Some people are open books, and some open the book enough for us to see a paragraph or two. I suppose that the difference lies mainly in the personality, but I have little doubt that some is based on life experiences. Let’s face it, some of us skate through life relatively unscathed. Some of us have experiences that change us, make us more guarded. The guarded ones - the private ones, can confuse us. Unfortunately, sometimes the “blanks” are filled in using our own experiences - which are biased and often inaccurate. We see this in Pages in the Wind, when Emily tries to figure out her brother and his various moods.
I rubbed my eyes trying to figure out who Robert really is — the sweet boy that helped me or the irritable boy that just walked out of here. I leaned back in my chair deep in thought, and realized that he is probably both. The second one scares me, because it’s a side of him that he doesn’t want anyone to see - a kink in his armor. There is something in his eyes that I see when he doesn’t know I’m looking at him. It’s always been there at one time or another, and I know what it is - it’s fear. Maybe being the perfect kid all the time has it’s own burden.
Emily got the fear right, but not the reason for the fear. She can’t know because she hasn’t seen it. I find myself becoming much less judgmental the older I get. Too often I have found that what I thought was true - just wasn’t. Avoiding conjecture and biased interpretations is a challenge, for sure. I have learned that it’s better to wait - let the truth unfold - with my eyes open and not clouded with false interpretations. I’m a work in progress - but I’m trying.