Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kindness Gone Awry

I am back.  I have been wanting to write again for a long time, but I always feel as if I should have something profound to say, so I put it off for a day when profundity hits.

Alas....I'm still waiting.

Truth is...I dropped off the kindness bandwagon i-don't-know-when.  I can't even remember stopping the week of kindness.  Was it a week?  I think we began our move, and that began a few months of total upheaval and any intentions I had other than waking up, surviving the day and managing to help my children survive theirs was lost in the shuffle.

We have now moved.  We have settled in.  Most boxes have been unpacked.  We have found grocery stores, restaurants, friends and schools.  And by schools I do mean schools in the plural, as we are all now attending some sort of formal program to educate ourselves.  Ray is attending War College.  The kids are attending the 2nd and 4th grades at a public school just down the tree-lined streets of the most charming neighborhood we've lived in, and I am auditing a Chinese language class at the local college, which is full of wealthy kids who, when referencing life pre-college life, talk about where they attended boarding school.

I have given up horse-back riding for the moment, because the weather up here will turn bitter in a few months, and because I thought it would be nice to have more time and money for other things.  I then...of course....have to get busy with the other things.  I feel an itch to do something new, and in the back of my mind my little blog kept calling out to me:  your list is still waiting for some attention.

There is so much to do.  First, I have to update the blog and write about the figs I've finished.  There are several.  I have pictures.  I know.  It's exciting.

Then there are the figs left waiting.  As I begin to close in on the list, it's interesting to me to see which ones I've put off.

Jump off a high dive
Knit a sweater
Host a dinner party
Buy a fabulous bathing suit
Attend the opera
Host a dinner party
Write a letter in Chinese
Read the Quran
Have my eyebrows threaded
Learn to play an instrument
Cook a standing rib roast
Write a letter to Aunt Marie
Drive a sports car (stick shift)
Take a beach vacation
Meditate everyday for 1 month
Take private Pilates lessons
Plant an herb garden
Bake a multi-layered cake from scratch
Buy a fabulous underwear set
Read:  Brothers Karamazov and Grapes of Wrath
Perform one random act of kindness a day for one week

I mean....that's still a long list.  I thought I had a 'few' things to do here, and now that I've looked at the list I realize I've been a bit complacent?  The past few years have seen about a fig-a-year.  I guess that's fine, but I also feel that this year in PA might just be my year to hit it hard again.

Perhaps I should add a fig:  stop trying to hit it hard in life.

I will begin this week.  I will look at why I haven't done these particular figs so far and consider where I'd like to start.  Life is funny.  For some of it, you must plan and take direct action.  And then there are the times all you have to do is be open to what the world has to offer.

It's sometimes difficult to know when to push and when to let it be.

For now....it's just nice to be back.

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