I worshiped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong. Vita Sackville West
Watching The Golden Age yesterday evening I was impressed with Cate as a knight in shining armor. She reminded me of Joan of Arc, who has been my hero ever since I was a little girl and first heard the story. Indeed, I have always wished I was like her. Fearless. Independent of what others think of me. Willing to burn at the stake for my principles.
Come to think of it, I cannot remember women-hero role models when I was young. I adored the nuns at our local Mater Dei hospital in Bulawayo. They had been kind to me during a short stay when I was eight or nine years old.
Did I always worship nuns? I remember loving The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn. I think I still do. It is not the devotion to God that impresses or excites me. It is the ability to live without men, not needing to be considered sexually attractive, and to have a constant focus on doing good things for human kind. I have admiration for humility and compassion.
As I read over what I have written I see a childlike fascination with purity, and realize how naive I must sound.
And so, I simply must dedicate this post to LeAnn, and say to her:
Once I would blog all day. If I was not writing my post I would be thinking about what I wanted to write later. At times I would even blog in my sleep, waking with numerous ideas, thoughts, feelings that I was anxious to explore.
Lately, I do not have the time. My inner life is turned towards work, new organizations I am participating in, writing my book, making friends, walking in the park, and so much more.
Lecturing and presenting, I am able to express my theories and opinions about child development, teacher education, the state of the world, our nation, humanity, relationships, abilities, diversity, acceptance, compassion, families, therapy, grief and sorrow, death and living, age and loving. Even in the face of health threats I seem to be laughing more, singing in the car and humming as I go about the daily chores.
I wonder. Is this the introduction to the final chapter of my blog?
I ask myself the same question and the answer I get is "don't know." But the evidence keeps mounting that this might be the swan song -- and Frank will probably carry the fight against it--as he should.
I have to say that I have not much to say today. I have many thoughts about different aspects to my life but they do not feel organized enough to place on this page. I suppose I could make a list, and that might help me focus them into some kind of order. And then, again, I wonder why I need to order them at all? Are we always trying to create order out of the chaos? Control the uncontrol-able? Understand the why's and wherefore's of the life happening of events? I remember my friend, Melinda, oh, so many years ago. I was lying face down on her huge water bed, body rocking with the warm, wavy motion, and sobbing into the pillow. My first marriage was crumbling before my eyes and I was distraught. She rubbed my back slowly and gently whispering softly, "Oh, oh, that hurts so much." And then she said, "Don't worry, Tamar, everything is out of control." And somehow, as I heard those words, the inner hysteria calmed and my sobs lessened. I sighed deeply and relaxed.
I often think of that night with Melinda even though it was thirty years ago. And as life feels uncontrol-able, as it does this morning, I remember her words, sigh deeply, and relax.
Three years ago I was so busy that at times I would be driving somewhere in my car and realize I did not know where I was going. I would say to my assistant, "Gillian, where am I going?" She quietly and calmly reminded me, and then we would burst out laughing together. Or, she would be telling me about my appointments for the day, and I would ramble off onto another seemingly urgent topic, and once again she drew my attention back, quietly and calmly, saying, "Tamar, focus. Just focus." And then we would burst out laughing together.
And then ... one day ... we moved to Philadelphia and my busy-ness came to a complete stop. It was traumatic. Indeed. Suddenly, from one day to the next, I felt invisible, a ghost, anonymous, worthless, a nobody.
This morning, I realized that, once more, I am full of busy-ness. In fact, recently at work, I made a decision that means I am invested again. I feel ownership, belonging, and caring. There is a lightness of step and energy in the way I walk. As I enter the classroom my head is held high.
And yet ... it is not that work-a-holic type frenzy I experienced living in Buffalo, as if drugged and blocking out of the turbulent me inside by work, work, work. This time, the projects are considered deliberately, intentionally. My expectations of self are more in line with what I really feel I can do. I do not feel blotted out, in a whirl-wind dream of self worth equivalent to the amount of stressful frenzy. It is calmer. I feel in control of my choices, and even remember to take care of my inner life, physical needs, or spiritual desires.
Of course, there is still one important area of my life that needs nurturing. I am aware of that, and am thinking about ways of addressing it ... not on this blog, though ... or, at least ... not yet ...
I look back to a year ago on my blog and find that yesterday, a year ago at Mining Nuggets, I wrote about a lightness of being. Apparently I was on my way to ... today.
Driving home from work last night, listening to Ruffalo's gentle voice sharing his life story, I felt akin to that quote. Deep within me. I fumbled in the dark for a pen and wrote it down blindly while keeping my eyes sharply on the road ahead, a couple of tears prickling into my eyes from the beauty of the expression. I thought to myself, "I must blog about this."
For I have always felt that I, too, participate joyfully, wondrously, in the human condition, even as my heart is breaking.
I say that the strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. George Eliot
Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But ... feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. Pema Chodron
When we, as teachers, are clear about why we do what we do, our interactions, decisions and choices will ultimately be beneficial for all children’s well being and academic achievement. We have an awesome responsibility. Our subtle and subconscious reactions to children when they need us most can affect them for the rest of their lives. Me