Waiting

We adults might not jump and down, shake our bodies in anger, stomp, cry while waiting, waiting, waiting.  But it can be just as frustrating, tiring, hopeful, as we sit, stand, lie trying not to look like we REALLY need for time to be stopped, the second hand lingering WAY more than a second over each tick-tock of the clock.  And waiting can be for the good/bad/ugly/dreaded/anticipated…..

what sex is the baby?  will this pregnancy ever end? 

was the contract for new business signed? or, did i get the job?

will she go out with me?  will he sleep with me? will they follow their hearts or their brains when they hook up?

is the traffic unmoving, as i am in a critical hurry to reach my destination (as if no one else is), hands on horn, toes tapping?

how long in hospice until peace descends?

will my “friend” return my third, fourth, fifth phone call/text/email?

when will spring arrive, turning the earth green again?

smell the banana chocolate-chip bread cooking?

i have been at this gym for #@*& weeks?  when will i have the body i imagine, after all this work?

how do i always find the slowest check out line?

We wait for the mundane, the life-altering, the tragic, the hip, the meaningless, the meaningful, the glorious, the dreaded, but we wait.  And hope. And hope not. 

C

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View from the Back

Wow–Monday is tough.  Not only are we back to work on a cold, snowy morning, the economy worsens, another of my friends has lost a job, another house in the hood has not sold, and I have to pay bills with a knot inside as the  dow drops yet again.

I try to move forward, keep my spirits up, knowing that today I have my family, my work, my home, my friends, my health, my hobbies–albeit much scaled back, potential for another project. But I will keep my world close, hold it tight, watch it carefully, and wait cautiously for the sun to rise again, the air to warm, the ground to bloom in tiny swells and hope, hope, hope. 

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Sometimes the view from the rear of the boat is more glorious than the front.  We move unknowingly to the back, then sometimes we huddle there–dance amongst friends, laugh with strangers, sing with ourselves, and wait watching, together, as the changes abound. 

We will hope for the mundane, maybe see the wonderous.  But we will see it together, smiles and tears blended into the waters below.

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C

A Wonderful Cliche

Thanksgiving is such a relaxing holiday to enjoy once all the shopping, cooking, and travelling is complete. There are no expectations of gifts or glory, just a time to spend with family, friends, watching or playing football, eating, drinking wine, catching up on days gone by, more eating, and walking some of that extra food off.

Even as the world around us is full of dire news about the economy and our country, there are so many things I am thankful for this year: my three incredible children, a husband who supports all the many tasks and jobs and ideas that fill and escape my brain, a family that stretches from New Jersey to Oregon who will jump to help when we are in need, fun-trusting-caring-sometimes wild friends from New York to California to fill my home and in-box and mailbox with hope and (sometimes) tears and are willing to join us on this journey of life, steady jobs, hobbies that fill my free time and give me opportunities to expand my soul, all the volunteer work done this year, no more children in car seats and diapers on six hour drives to Michigan, dogs to hug and horses to let me feel free, a sun that breaks through winter grayness, an unexpected phone call, a Caribbean cruise, a stolen moment to write, a photography class.

And Thanksgiving brings me hope for renewal, for a better world, that we may find peace in 2009, that we may breathe and loosen our wallets as the economy improves, that the press will BE QUIET, that our soldiers might come home, that the Christmas season can continue a feeling of sharing and giving and hope.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, my readers. May you find your stolen moment of quiet this weekend to do what you most love. C

Obama Idolatry

How can Barack Obama possibly live up to the hype about him in the media since the election?  And how can Michelle?  They have suddenly been turned by media into ideal idols, mixing amongst the people but every touch will be gold–for the people, for the economy, for the war, for the world, for the fashion designers and fashionistas.  And everyone already clamoring for their touch.

In the days immediately after the election, I didn’t want to read the Chicago Tribune in the morning or watch the evening news, everything was so saturated with even the mundane being hyped as news. What type of puppy they should get and how many times can they analyze it?  My two cents is that I think that whatever breed they buy is sure to sell thousands of future dogs, so I hope they visit the pound or a rescue group of a particular breed to find their new addition.  Shouldn’t every child get a new puppy?  And the oval office?

I was extremely sick of the interviews with many African Americans asking what it meant to them to have Obama elected, even 6-7-8 year olds.  But, then we watched the excellent Denzel Washington film The Great Debaters, and I realized why the reporters were asking all those questions.  Though women have fought hard for their rights in the US, it has been nothing compared to the blacks–expecially the southern blacks–as they have fought for their rights and equality through years of mindless bigotry and ignorance. 

I encourage all families to watch The Great Debaters or Mississippi Burning (neither for younger than teens) or Roots or other movies about the history of African Americans to remember the lynchings and wrongness and evils that happened–and still happens–in this country.  And now I listen differently, when I hear those interviews on TV.

Our country is ready to pounce on change, and I hope that Obama is the man to be the last one standing in the tangled game of Twister.  Or is it like playing Twister blind folded?  As we watch his steps, we should remember the shadows behind him, hidden from view, of our history and his people and our people and hope that he does not get too tripped up before victory. C