PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Highs & The Lows & The In-Betweens

Yesterday certainly was a mish-mash of experiences - obviously everyone who doesn't live under a rock knows about the Virginia Tech campus shootings, and even without any direct connections to those people, you still feel it. I reflected upon it last night, as I lay in my comfortable bed, that there were numerous people tonight, struggling to sleep, minds racing, grief-stricken, and I felt sadness for their pain, and for the unanswerable "Why?" - I think everyone shares the feeling that if you decide to unhinge your brain and you have a death wish, that we'd much prefer you just start with yourself, not take a bunch of innocent people along with you. Sigh. Plus, anytime there's a shooting like this, I think of my husband as a schoolteacher, and while I'm grateful he teaches 5th grade, it doesn't make him bulletproof, and the world today continues to morph into a nearly unrecognizable mass of wild violence, barely restrained by yards and yards of rules and political correctness, and stuffed with a healthy serving of abdication of responsibility. It just doesn't make sense to me. I could go on and on, but we'd never get to the other points I want to make today.

Yesterday was also a red-letter, banner day at work. We won the piece of business we traveled to Illinois to pitch, just under two weeks ago. This client is now our largest client, and everyone here is very excited, deservedly so. We went to O'Dowd's to celebrate immediately after we got the news, and spirits were high. I'm excited because it means new work, and it also validates the work we put into the pitch and the thinking and the people I work with. Not that you can't self-validate all you like, but it sure means more when someone not only says, "Yeah, we like you!" but they also give you a check for being smart.

And the winds of change are upon us. The weather has turned, personal situations have changed, friendships have been ended, begun, adjusted and re-established. The Sopranos are winding to an end, and if you watch it, last Sunday's episode was a bit chewy, given everything we went through with my dad the past year. My mouth was just open in astonishment. One of the mob bosses was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to numerous other organs & to his brain. (While they didn't pinpoint "lung" in my father, it is very likely to have started there, or the liver, and his whole body was filled with cancer once they detected it.) They gave the mob boss 3 months.... and he died within the hour (of the show). Beyond the actors, kudos to the production folks and the director, because lordy, they nailed it. I didn't cry, partly because I was so shocked to see such a direct parallel being played out on my mafia crime drama, and I finally said, "Man, my dad would've loved the fact that the very thing that killed him was featured in The Sopranos." I guess/would like to think that my reaction is what healing starts to look like. Speaking of healing, and my dad, we bought and are going to plant five large ornamental grasses in our garden as a memorial to him. He loved ornamental grasses, and I still have the piece of paper he scribbled down numerous names and varieties for me to consider buying. They will grow, and return each spring, and I expect each year I will have a slightly different feeling when I see them. As much as I would like to think that grief is something you can pickle, suspend in a brine and know it will always have the same biting, sour flavor, I think instead it will constantly change in appearance, sensation, and intensity.

And no matter what - death, shootings, new business, laughter - it will all be ok.

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posted by PlazaJen, 2:54 PM