Being Everything by Being Nothing

In a story I read recently a woman was overwhelmed by the realities of just being a mom. Her child was having one of his “moments” in a public park. Her other children were waiting in line, so to speak, for the attention they needed. The same issues rolled in on her. How long would this last? How could she calm her child? How was she being seen by the other mamas in the park, whose own days out were being disturbed by all this? Another lady offered to help. What was she really offering, she wondered, pat answers, shaming remarks, or more of the “if only” advice she’d grown to dread?

She was amazed to find none of this – only someone willing to be of service to her in whatever form was needed. Continue reading “Being Everything by Being Nothing”

The Writer’s Life

 

 

you're so wonderful

An old mentor of mine, whom I left for being so positive – “That’s wonderful! You’re so talented!” – when I felt the need to be shredded –  just became disabled. Some kind of brain injury. Now she can’t talk, can barely walk, can only write. When I was in her group she would often tell us stories of her own difficulties. She wasn’t lying. Her life had been a tough one, and I was helpless to do more for her than sit and listen. Most of us, I think, can only be with so much of another person’s trash until we have dealt with our own, can’t we? Continue reading “The Writer’s Life”

Are you normal? Can you prove it?

Are you normal?

Are you normal? Can you prove it?

A conversation with my wife, who is a very good friend of mine, led to this. She said that her own parents saw being “normal” as a kind of curse. My own upbringing was the exact opposite. There was a lot of pressure to conform, but nobody seemed to be able to say just what it was I was supposed to conform to. Trying to be like other people, after all, makes us afraid to do anything everybody else isn’t doing, doesn’t it? Continue reading “Are you normal? Can you prove it?”

Breaking Free

Franz Kafka wrote a story which you may have “had to” read at some time in school. A man had committed himself to a demeaning job to support his poor parents and sister. He awakes one morning to find himself changed into an insect so immense he can barely get out of his bedroom door. No longer able to provide any money, his very existence becomes a terror, a burden, and a source of real embarrassment for them. Ironically (and what is life if not ironic?), Continue reading “Breaking Free”

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