I have a handful of year-end pieces in development–one on peace, one on perspective. Always, there is Project Gratitude to update. Although it thrives in daily practice, the act of denoting life’s gifts here has dropped low on my list of priorities.
I’m happy to offer a quick report that my cousin (aka the “white man” noted in a previous post) and I have made apologies to each other. I had been unsettled from my public and terse attitude with him and knew that I could not begin to write a post about peace if I didn’t mend my own rifts.
A beloved friend, now dead, once said to me, “It’s okay to be angry with me, Ruth.” I answered him by saying that it’s my own actions and reactions that usually most trouble me because they are all I can control. Sparks of annoyance and flares of aggravation happen, even fury sometimes, but ultimately, I want to bring kindness to each table. It’s selfish. I sleep better when I’ve owned my own errors, when I’ve reached across to say, “I should have done this differently, and I’m sorry.”
I’m always grateful when people, like my cousin, show an openness to working through the misunderstandings.
Still, there are some tables not meant for me despite the armloads of kindness each of us brings. This summer I packed up copious banal metaphors such as these, insisting on vague prose like this regardless of its weakness, and walked backwards away from someone I never should have contacted, from a table I had no business visiting. It was painful, but this particular pain, standing side-by-side others’ pains against a wall of marks showing who’s tallest, ranks short. I can pick it up and stuff it into my handbag next to the breath mints and get on with my work.
My beloved work, as beloved as any friend, dead or alive. The work I finally began to nurture in 2014 like no year before. Today that darling is a rewrite of a story which intermittently makes me giggle and wince, and isn’t a darling so much as a sticky newborn with birth defects awaiting an MRI. It’s on those pages that I will dwell. Turns out January 5th deadlines are an awesome way to start a year.