Monday, June 25, 2012
It feels like the darkness is lifting. I cannot explain it but I am optimistic in small ways. The past year has been like a fire walk. The economy is a part of it. Bureaucracy has been another part. Then there is the fact that I am moving very quickly through my 50s and next year I will mark completion of six decades on this earth. That is astoundingly sobering.
I have had the habit of believing in the surface elements of my life and then getting supremely disappointed as the story unfolds. Time after time, just as I think I am stabilizing, the rug gets pulled out from under me, forcing a new life plan, often improvised. I am exhausted, to be honest.
I have been hiding from many and doing a critical assessment of my life purpose, my work, and my volunteerism. As with many of you, when we volunteer our time, it is because the cause or organization is so worthy and we want to share our skills to meet the vision. Recently, I came to the conclusion, however, that I could not afford to give so much of my talent to others until I could be certain of my own security. It reminds me of the flight attendant's reminder that we should put the oxygen mask on our own faces before attempting to help another, in case of a decompression. I have been gasping and feeling defeated.
Being a poet is my identity; it is also my purpose in this inexplicable thing we know as life. My closest friend suggests that the lesson is to not be so attached to identity but that one is hard. What else do we have? How do we provide a scaffold for our incarnation and existence?
I walked away from my commitment to this selfhood when I was a young adult. I hid from it because I was so afraid it would not work out. I have been building my career as I know it now for nearly 20 years. It is hard to believe so much time has passed. Now I have been forced to assess my commitment again. I do good work. I have a love and passion for my work as well as maintain integrity in the offing. Why is it so difficult to make a living? Why can't I get anchored into stability? I just ask the unanswerable.
Thankfully, sometimes the sky is enough response, or the call of cardinals in the lilac, or the smell of a rainbow waiting to be born...