PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, October 07, 2005


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to the point where I rather enjoy the wistfulness & melancholy that accompanies the transition from Summer into Fall. The leaves on the trees have taken on a tinge of what is to come, certainly still describable as “green”, but they are hinting at the future. The air has changed, and the clouds fill in the sky with a grayer hue.

While driving home the other night, my mind bounced around and I thought of all the Falls I’ve spent alone, and how much harder my “melancholera” was back then. (I'm all about making up words this week.) I think growing up, and having my husband, have helped me feel more grounded, more centered, and so the feelings I have now are more like gentle reminders to be grateful and enjoy what is here, now.

My mind also skittered to a memory, one that never fails to bring tears to my eyes, and I think it also explains who I am. I don’t think I’m that different from everybody else, but I know that I am incredibly sensitive to everything, and it’s been a long haul to work on insulating myself so I can cope “normally”. After all, one can’t just spend every day weeping! Back to the story: my mom is a school psychologist (yes, even the trained can have f-d up relationships), and she came home every day with stories. But there was one little boy, a 1st or 2nd grader, who will always stay stuck in my mind and heart. He had a speech impediment, and coke-bottle glasses. My mother had to go out and pick him up to bring him to school one day, because his mother “forgot” to get him out to the bus in time. The little boy was also forgetful, but with his speech impediment, his explanations came out as: “I dah-dot.” Back to this little shrimp of a boy, sitting in my mom’s passenger seat, feet not touching the floor, talking to her in his nasal voice. He told her he was saving his money. She asked him why – and he said it was to buy him & his mom a Christmas tree. Because they’d never had one. I begged my mother to let him come and live with us.

I’ve had to stop typing this twice, because it still makes me cry. My little Insulating Gnomes rush around my heart & put up plywood barriers, because I know there are a million other little kids, just like him, still out there today, and if I think about that I may never come up for air. Who knows what became of him. All I know is in that moment, hearing his heartbreaking wish for one simple thing, that symbolized happiness to him, and his desire to please his mother, I realized how fortunate I am and how much I take for granted. And I was maybe 10? Obviously, I’ve not gone on to live a great life of sacrifice and selflessness, and I’m the first to admit I’m materialistic & want nice things surrounding me. But fuck, people. They say you can judge a man by how well he tips, or by how well he treats a dog. I say we as a society are judged on how well we care for our indigent, for the mentally handicapped, for those who have less. I think we’ve neglected the poor for so long, they’re pissed & desperate, and somehow that attitude fuels the dominant belief that if they’re ungrateful, they don’t deserve anything. The current stuff doesn’t work. We have too many smart people in this world for me to believe we can’t find a better way.

That’s my rant for the week. I think of that little boy every year, and blink back my tears. I am grateful to have a job, a secure and happy marriage filled with love & laughter, dear friends I can clutch to my heart, great people out there who send me nice emails & like me just from what they read. If there’s a lesson in this, it’s to appreciate the moment, what you have, and if there’s an opportunity to help someone less fortunate, to take it. On an up-note, I can’t wait to take pictures this year of the maples on Ward Parkway, one of the many things that make my commute each day so contemplative & beautiful. It’ll be a few weeks, but they truly are breathtaking.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:01 AM