“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

About the Mondays and Fridays thing.  I was actually out sick yesterday (and most of the day Sunday).  And, as my husband reminded me – out sick, means not working.  Which translates to “don’t try to do anything of substance while I’m around, Lady.”  So I spent a lot of time napping and playing quietly with my son, who obliged me by being extra super sweet yesterday. 

We are coming onto the last week of September – which means, the question of the day is:

Who wants to start with the GAMBLE review? 

I will be done with the book by the end of the week (I had delays in starting the book), but somebody more enterprising can forge ahead.  I don’t think you are going to be giving away any spoilers.

Thank goodness for the book club.  It saves me from hard writing at opportune moments.  I have a lot on my mind right now, but it isn’t making it through my fingers.  It’s a hangup I have.  I can write about things that I am passionate about in the abstract, but the closer we get to subjects of my personal life, the harder the words come.  When I was in my early twenties, I was going through a rough patch (read complete nuclear detente) with a boyfriend and on top of it had developed some health issues. I tried to talk to a co-worker that I had been friends with at work.  I was working double-shifts for Folgers at the time – I don’t think I had friends that weren’t co-workers.  He told me “You know, people really could care less what goes on in your personal life.  It’s nothing against you in particular, but in general principle, people really aren’t interested in each other.”  

It stuck with me.  There’s a point, isn’t there?  Isn’t the worst kind of boor the one that is always either whining about their health problems or bragging about how perfect their kid is?  On the other hand, I found it rather sad. We are the only people that have ownership of our lives, so OF COURSE we should want to talk about them.  It’s kind of tragic to think that nobody else would really care.  I have made a concerted effort to really listen when people are going on about their lives and not belittle their problems or their pride, even on the inside.  Yes, some people really do create their own crises, and I admit a little impatience with it when it becomes repetetive, but does it really hurt to have a little human sympathy with our fellows?  Is our time really so important that we can’t spend a minute really listening to somebody else’s pain? Is it really too much to take a few moments to hear the oh-so-familiar stories of a child’s first steps, or a cherished pet’s antics?  We all seek to define ourselves, our lives, to grant them importance, significance, some form of singularity.  Wouldn’t that be the ultimate sadness – if after all our joy and pain, nobody cared?

Nevertheless, I am far more comfortable in the sympathetic ear role.  There is a nakedness that comes with sharing fear, or even intense love, that I cannot bring myself to touch.  I cannot bear those uncomfortable silences that stretch to ticking hours in the space of that moment where people search for the right words to say, even when there really are no right words.  Occasionally things will come out in an outpouring that I will immediately regret, and feel compelled to cover with laughter.  Or things I can only mention in passing, between pauses in conversation, and then go on to the next gossip of the day.  It is easier to care than to be cared for; there are weaknesses we can love in others but despise in ourselves.  If we are honest, we immediately and shamefully recognise the hypocrisy, but we will not break it for the fear of becoming that boor, the one avoided in the hallway, as if there was no happy medium of intimacy.  And is there?  A happy medium?

So. 

About that book…

September 26th, 2006 at 2:42 pm
3 Responses to “Don’t say I didn’t warn you”
  1. 1
    Sheila Says:

    I love the stories, both the good and bad ones. It could be the story telling aspect of it, or just getting to know people. I like to hear how my coworker\’s daughter is walking, talking and becoming her own little person, because I knew her before there was a her. I think people do care about each other mostly. Just sometimes it seems the people that want you to prop them up, and help them through the crisis they created are the same people who can\’t be bothered when you need a shoulder. I pity them really, because there is joy in being there for others they will never know.

    It seems a small thing, but my mom said that after a funeral, people will check the sign in book, to see who came, who really cared. Who loves them enough to say, \”i\’m sorry you are hurting right now.\” And if we can\’t do that little thing, its like you said about chivalry, we are just rolling around in the mud.

  2. 2
    Kat Says:

    If we only cared about our own personal lives, would we read each others’ blogs? And for that matter, wha would be the purpose of blogging?

  3. 3
    Deirdre Says:

    and if no one cared, they wouldn’t go back and read your back history. which is what I’m doing tonight. enjoying your story. Enjoying your life.
    hugs,
    Emma