This project's goal is to give each family member and myself just 10 minutes of unconditional positive regard every day. All attention is focused on the other person for those 10 minutes and only positive comments or thoughts are allowed. Just 10 minutes often becomes much more. Try it and see. You'll find the Just 10 guidelines on the right side of this blog.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Powerful Memories

My husband and I lay in bed this cold Saturday morning and reminisced about our childhoods.  Our laughter soon brought our children who wanted to be included in this mornings celebration of the past.  Their childhood is so different from ours just as our childhood differed from our parents and grandparents.

Both my grandmothers told stories of horse and buggy rides.  I remember how interested I was in the story of how my Grandma Laux (I called her, Gram) took the long buggy ride up to Jordan, (a settlement at some distance from home especially by horse and buggy).  It was there, at a dance, she knew that my grandfather would be a permanent part of her life.  He marched through WWI and 5 children up to the winter of 1929.    He died that winter from complications from pneumonia.  In her story, he was young and handsome and life stretched out before them in a straight line. 

Once, my life stretched out before me in a straight line.  Now,  it throbs like an EKG, jagged and severe but  still it throbs. I am alive and I can still steal moments like this morning, where past and present merge and memories are shared.  Happy memories that provide a warm barrier from the yawning darkness that swims the grid behind the jagged line of life.

We lie there with our warm, happy memories.   The people that we once knew and loved were alive with us in that moment.  I tried to indulge myself in the sweet misery of longing but the memories pushed it back.  All was right with a world in which so much was still so wrong.

A sweet day began.  Breakfast tasted better than usual, the coffee more satisfying.  I went through mundane tasks quickly and efficiently.  In a room, that I have been avoiding, piles awaited dispensation.  I have not wanted to let the things go.  This morning for the first time in a long time, I made progress.  I tidied up the chaos, putting things in boxes to be sold.  My attachment to the things had made this task a dreaded chore.  This morning, I was able to see that it was not the things themselves but the experiences and the memories that those things point to.  All things must pass.  I knew this to be true.

The past serves us best when it lights the way to tomorrow.  All the disappointments, the crises, the failures can serve me well if I let them.  This morning, they taught me how precious the people in my life are and have been.  They taught me that I am a survivor and often a clever one. It taught me that I stand on the shoulders of clever survivors. They taught me that my life has been filled with a wealth of experiences.  They taught me that people are always more important than things.

This morning, I gave the finger to poverty.  Money, I have little but life has made me rich.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Over the years, I've eaten a lot of things: words, junk food, vegetables, the bread of life, my pride.  Many of those things have also been eating me.  My daughter and I have toyed with going vegan or at least vegetarian for several years.  We both like meat and don't have any harsh feelings toward our fellow carnivores.  After all, I came from solid rural folk where a meal wasn't a meal unless there was some kind of meat on the table except, of course, for those Lenten Fridays and Ash Wednesdays.  Currently,  I'm married to a carnivore who believes that he needs protein from meat.  In his mind, his life depends upon it.  Maybe it does.  Sometimes believing is all that is needed to make something real.

For me, real evidence keeps adding up.  My aging body is in decline.  I'm sure this decline is a bit premature.  My weakest points have been created by a diet that has had little regard for optimal health.  I've been trying to consume what I feel I've lacked.  Food has been love, comfort, and companion.  Food is really none of those things, at least, unless I believe it to be and I have. 

So what happens one morning when snow gives you a reason to have a sudden day off, and you think about your relationship to food and realize that what you've been eating has really been eating you?  What do you do with that awareness?  Embrace radical change?  It's a nice notion but one that is often doomed to fail.  Novelty is difficult to sustain over time, especially as the new wears off.

Yet, at the moment, this idea is consuming me.  It spins around my cranium, like a mouse trapped in a 5-gallon bucket.  There is no way out.  I've got to sit down, talk to this mouse and figure out if it can be saved.  Mice can be very cute.  They also can be a darned nuisance.  Many earn their way into a trap or the jaws of a cat.  "Ah, I'm on to you evil mouse distraction.  You're trying to lure me away from my point."
Under my breath, I mumble, "Where's my "mind cat" when you need her?"
But the mouse is so cute, so alive, so helpless as it tries to scramble up the slippery sides of the bucket.  It would be a waste of a tiny life for it to die in these attempts to escape.

This tiny mouse distracts and consumes me.  It wants to show me something.  It points up over the edge of the bucket.  "That is where the rubber hits the road.  That is the real world, Baby.  This bucket isn't where it's at.  You've got to get into the race, girl.  You've got to take action.  You've got to show them what you're made of or they'll eat you and spit you out." 
With one mighty leap, this tiny mouse and sometime beat poet, makes it over the edge.  As he scampers away, he calls back to me, "Don't wait too long to get out of that bucket.  You're burning daylight."
For a rodent, my new mouse friend, is pretty smart.  I call, after him,  "Who's they and what's this talk of being eaten?"
He doesn't hear me.

I slump to the bottom of the bucket in a pensive heap.  "What's been eating me?", I wonder.   This thought makes me angry.  "Just where am I on the food chain?  Am I consumer or the consumed?" 
The alpha beast in me wants to always be at the top.  I sit with my anger and watch it fade.  I know the answer to my question.  I say, "I am both" to no one but myself.

The walls of the bucket fade and I stand alone with the world and my life before me.  I am consumer and the consumed.  I want to be consumed by only the best.  I want to consume what's best for me.  Filled with a ravenous hunger, I start walking toward another day, another meal, another life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Fairy of Frustration

This is the face that my fairy of frustration might have.  He's been dogging me all day.  Most of the day, I was able to ignore him and pretend he wasn't there.  But this fairy of frustration is persistent, if he is anything. 

He hid just out of sight as I fought against boredom all day long.  By the time, I entered the 2 o'clock hour, boredom and the fairy were winning.    When I arrive home, I expect to have the house to myself.  This is not to be.  Eager to soothe my frustrated inner landscape, I sought the comfort of words and a chance to write in this blog.  The computer crashes, a glorious, program stifling blaze of magnificent binary chaos.  I sit with my head in my hands and just groan.

One eager husband comes to the rescue and hooks up an old computer alternate.  It sits beside me now saying "Server not found" while it tries to download an update from this lost server.  Meanwhile the first computer coughs up a "lung of filthy pond water" and slowly grinds its way into some semblance of working order. 

I try again.  Every thing loads slowly.  The dog sits on my feet.  Translated into human talk, this means she has to go to the bathroom.  I call for assistance with that disruption.  A happy dog returns minutes later for her praise and "acknowledgment pet fest".  Husband disappears into the bowels of the house.  Now, I hear him chant a new mantra in the distant bedroom, "crap, crap, crap."  I do not ask what inspired his mantra.  I don't want to know.

Suddenly, my daughter, home from school, cookie in hand, appears behind me.  "What do you need, honey?",   I ask her. 
"I only have one more problem to do in math on the computer would you mind opening up a window so I can see what it is?"
Again, I groan, "Honey, ordinarily I'd be fine with that but the computer just crashed and is still working slowly.  I'm afraid if I stop now, I won't get back to this.  Can you wait another 15 minutes or so?"
Thank goodness for her wonderful disposition.  She agrees.

The phone rings.  I hate the phone and ignore it.  Fortunately, I'm the only one in the house who can successfully ignore the phone.  The computer next to me still spins in its download from a server that it can not find.  I think we have a lot in common.

Today, I wanted to write an inspired piece about time and the intersection of the now in a singular moment.  The universe seemed to have other ideas.  Now is a hard place to be, let alone write about when it's filled with interruptions, dogs with bathroom needs, the "crap, crap, crap" mantra and a mind whose circuits have now fused into a wad of insane frustration.

The evil fairy of frustration is locked in a maniacal grin.  I'm going to put a bag over his head and set an extra place at the dinner table.  Looks like he's today's unwanted guest.  I hope he enjoys leftovers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Too Small

It's been a struggle to write about my weight loss challenge.  This morning, it became obvious why this was true.  It's too small a topic.  It's still a great thing to strive for and my efforts will continue but it just wasn't inspiring me to write.

This morning, I watched a documentary that I'd checked out of the local library.  It was entitled Beyond Our Differences.  I listened to it while copying recipes out of a vegan cookbook.  Part of me was busy resisting its message.  The universe seemed to have other ideas.

The challenge of losing weight is just one of many challenges that I currently face.  It's obvious that the loss of our home is inevitable.  We wait for the official notice, as do so many other Americans.   My job will most likely end with the school year, if not before.  My husband still looks for steady work as he has for the last five years.  Our son is having trouble at school.  Our efforts to impact the situation and improve the conditions for him have been unsuccessful so far.  I want to homeschool both our children but the necessity of finding work, and some kind of shelter is the priority.  Most of the things I think I want in life seem to lie just beyond my grasp.  I'm stuck in survival mode.  Finding the courage to persevere isn't easy.

My life has felt without purpose.  While I have remained dedicated to my children and to my husband, I have also suffered.  I've experienced a life that is too small.  Finding meaning when so many things beyond my control have reduced my hopes and dreams to microscopic particles that I can no longer see with the naked eye has been very difficult.  

Once I was a religious person.  I am no longer.  A spiritual kernel still remains.   Today, as I watched a documentary about transcending our limitations and differences and entering a "place" of peaceful coexistence that uses love as a guiding principle, I understood my place for the first time in a long time.

My life must be a bridge to hope.  When I feel small, I must remember that love is the guiding principle and it is a principle that can be applied no matter what the life circumstances. Love, how it impacts a life, how it impacts others and how it is the only force that will effectively impact the world is a huge topic about which to write.  It's also a huge challenge to live. 

It's easy to get lost in the dirt and grime of daily life and the challenges of some very real and difficult problems.  Figuring out one's meaning and sense of purpose and how an abstract thing like love can translate into daily life is very difficult.  I, who have lost my way, now cling to this challenge.  It's about the only thing that makes sense.  I am determined to take my "too small" life and live it as large as possible.  There should be a wealth of stories ahead as I struggle to be a bridge to hope and to love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If God were one of us

Would God be overweight?  "Just a slob like one of us?"

Today, I'd like to think so.  It makes God so much more accessible.  God needs to be accessible. He/she hasn't been lately. 

I hadn't heard this song in a long time and suddenly, this afternoon it was playing on the car radio.  When I got to my destination, I pulled out a book and read of reconnecting with our spiritual side by allowing oneself to access the gifts of the right brain hemisphere.  While sitting in a high school class on mythology, the teacher spoke of that "which can not be seen or proven".  Do you think today was trying to tell me something?

Finally, I found out that I managed to lose 2 lbs.  I'd made up my mind that this was a lousy day but it really wasn't after all.  "What if God were one of us?"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Power of a Positive Perspective

Stuart Smalley always made me laugh.  He tries to use positive self-talk and the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous to facilitate positive change.  Life has a way of challenging Stuart every chance it gets.  Today, I decided to apply a little Stuart and tell myself I was going to have a good day.

For years, I resisted the simple, "fake it until you make it" idea.  I was certain it wouldn't work.  Finally, in desperation, hating how I felt about so much of my life, I decided to give this simple-minded idea a try.  To my utter surprise, it often worked.  My inner old crone was not pleased to be proven wrong.

This morning, the alarm rang.  The day stretched out before in in a crooked line that I didn't want to walk.  Sleep, warm and comfortable called me back but I made the decision to get up and have a good day.  The fact that I didn't feel like participating in this "carnival of the positive" made this decision even more important.

Recently, I stumbled across a speech by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. on TED.
A Harvard-trained, brain scientist, Jill experienced a massive stroke when only 37 years old.  Eight long years passed before Jill felt she'd recovered.  Her positive attitude and the positive reinforcement from the people around her, were huge factors in her recovery.  In her book, My Stroke of Insight, she states simply,

"Before the stroke, I believed I was the product of this brain and that I had minimal say about how I felt or what I thought.  Since the hemorrhage, my eyes have been opened to how much choice I actually have about what goes on between my ears" (Bolte Taylor 122)

Who am I to argue with a stroke victim/brain scientist?  If Jill Bolte Taylor applied this thinking to recovering from a severe brain trauma how could I not try and apply this to the challenge of losing weight or having a good Tuesday?  Perspective may not be everything but it really does determine a great deal.

No where is this wisdom more obvious than within my son.  My son is my "personal Pope of Pessimism."  His glass isn't half empty.  It's empty and broken with a jagged edge waiting to cut him to ribbons.  He can approach the most basic tasks with such deadly dread.  He has revealed to me that a negative attitude is only one way of seeing.  The opposite can exist at the same time.  If the positive remains the focus, a task can be easily achieved.  So often his wall of negative energy creates an artificial barrier that doesn't have to exist.  This grumpy old man, sometimes disguised by the body of my 10-year-old, has been an amazing blessing.  That is exactly what I have to keep telling myself or dealing with him becomes can become an exhausting chore.  When I chose to believe that we have so much to teach each other, I open myself to the realm of the possible.  Problems become opportunities.

Now to assemble the bits and pieces that have been raining down this day and apply it to the challenge of becoming healthier i.e. losing weight, exercising more and taking better care of my physical and mental self.
The lesson is simple.  If, I focus on how I'm failing, how far from the goal I am, I have little energy left to even try.  Focusing on my successes remains the obvious winning strategy.

On this rainy Tuesday, I made great food choices for breakfast and lunch.  I woke up more rested because I went to bed earlier and I deliberately choose not to worry last night.  All these things are small steps in the right direction.  I took a bigger step when I decided not to write about fighting inertia and went with this topic instead.  Just thinking about inertia was making me feel hopelessly unmotivated.  Writing about the power of a positive perspective has made all the difference.  Today was a good day.  It could just as easily have been a bad one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Good Loser

Stepping out of the shower this morning, I got an idea.  It's time to focus my energy and my writing on being a good loser.  (The opposite of Rowan Atkinson in the above clip.)  Let's face it, my writing is much more interesting when I'm sharing some of the struggles in my own life, past or present. 

I've struggled with my weight for over 27 years now.  Most of the time the fat is winning.  Lately, that extra fat has caught up with me.   Not only do I need to take two different medications to keep my blood pressure down, I am supposed to take medication for high cholesterol.  The side effects were so unpleasant that I stopped taking it.  So far I haven't really changed the way I eat.  I have, however, done a lot of thinking about it.  What keeps me from doing what I know I should be doing?  What do I need to change in order to become a good loser?  For my vanities sake, I'd like to be a "good-looking loser" just like the kind that Meiko sings about here.

So for the sake of my health, for my children and most of all for myself, I'm going to really focus my Just 10 energies and writing on the journey to lose weight.  Along the way, I'll find myself, the self that has been hiding under my fat costume.  While I have the genetic predisposition to assume the shape of a German beer stein as I age, my eating habits have a huge emotional component that I have hidden under a mountain of empty calories.

In the days ahead, I'm going to record my efforts to become a good loser.  I'm going to also apply the Just 10 principles to the problem of losing weight.   The game is on.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mumford and Sons: "The Cave"

Heard this on the radio this morning on the way to work.  It said it all for me today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just Me in the Temple of Quiet

I feel very guilty.  I've left the kids with dad and sit in the library, alone.  There are many people here.  A lot of them are rather noisy even though we are in a "temple of quiet" called a library.  Maybe the library is no longer such a temple.  No matter.  I still come here to "worship."   Libraries always help me feel centered, alive, whole.

Actual books aren't as popular at they once were.  More and more people are using technology to download books and periodicals on little brightly lit squares.  This square will never smell or feel like a book.  I won't hold on to the book determined to never yield to technology.    I'll adapt.  I will still love the printed word whether it be on paper or on a screen of liquid crystals.  As sad as I might be to have books disappear, I'll be sadder still if libraries disappear. 

The library shelters those of us gathered here.   Next to me is a glass-walled study room.  It is rarely empty.  There is always a small child fussing somewhere.  Most of the time they are upset because their grown-up wants to leave.  For the grown-up, life is beckoning them elsewhere.  For the child, this is where life is.  The magic of books and pages holds them fast.  The eccentrics in their distinctive costumes sit along side of the people who are just stopping by on their way home from work.  We're all here to get out of the cold.  To step outside the chaos of the world and to find our way home.

I come to the library to be alone with my thoughts.  To find time to write, to think, to get to know myself again among all the other seekers.  I came to the library to be alone. 

I've neglected my alone time lately.  I haven't taken time for my own Just 10 and as a result, I've not made time for each member of my family.  I can feel a huge difference in me.  Just 10 might be a benefit to my children and my husband but I'm the one who benefits most.  When I get so busy with the daily stuff of life, I lose my way.  My values become hard to find.  My motivation to reach the end of another day wavers. 

While at the library today, I stumbled into a song called,  "Before I Go" by a group from Alaska by Bearfoot.  Funny, how things converge in points of time.  Here at the library, "the temple of quiet, I find myself in a song from a distant blue grass group.  They/It reminds me that I have some miles to travel before I go. 

This realization doesn't leave me sad.  Today among the books, noise and computer screens, I found a piece of myself again.  A piece that is much like all the other pieces we all search for.  Alone in the library, I am not alone.  I can try again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Monkey People in My Trunk

Dishing the inside dirt on convent life was a lot more interesting to readers than the daily fare of my life.  Dirt sells, especially at the check out line and on TV.   It's too bad we don't spend more time with our minds on loftier things and looking for the goodness in others.  Is it really how we are wired or are we products of an environment manipulated by the media and business?  I tend to lean toward the latter explanation but I'm afraid there is probably also a natural tendency to be drawn toward the flaws in others.  I bet it has something to do with survival skills and our primitive beginnings.  We're not very far from our primate cousins.  We are  "monkey people". 

(I'm no expert on evolutionary theory.  If you're a creationist, please don't be offended.  I just happen to favor the evolutionary theory.  I see too many "monkey people" every day and I think that God is clever enough to use evolution as a mechanism of creation.  You are free to believe otherwise.  Sometimes following your heart is more important than being right or wrong.  I respect the free will concept and the right to believe what one chooses.)

If you have any doubts, check out the play structure at your local park or within one of the fast food chains pandering to exhausted parents who need a break and bring their children out to eat and swing and yell among the plastic "vines and branches".  When our children were small, my husband and I both often sought refuge for our sanity within the plastic jungle.  I knew if I took my children out in public, I was going to be on my best behavior and stop feeling the need to nip and snarl at them.   For my husband, this dynamic didn't appear.   Ever the alpha male, he'll put his little chimps in place whether he is in public or not.  As the less dominate of the pairing, I tend to use cleverness to insure my place within the tribe.  I'm all about the strategy.  He's more about the thumping on the chest.  Got to love that crazy testosterone.

Humans often behave in divine ways.  The art and beauty that can spring from the human mind gives testament to the beauty of the soul and for me evidence for its existence.  Personally, I'm convinced "my soul has touched the face of God."  I doubt my dog can make a similar claim but since telepathy is not part of my unique skills set, I'll never really know.  Unless, of course, I can use my Vulcan nature to achieve some kind of doggy mind meld.

But back to the "monkey people" concept. . . all I have to do is be awake in traffic to see the animal come out.  It's as if all the "trunk monkey's in the world have taken the wheel.

Acknowledging our "animal side" doesn't seem like a bad thing.  We get in to trouble when we forget and assume we aren't  driven by some pretty basic instincts.  By acknowledging our " inner monkey" we might be better able to keep it in check, or at least in the trunk.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Beautiful Truth

Today I stumbled upon a beautiful truth:  you can't subtract a negative number from a positive.  For example:

Ally can be naughty or nice. So Ally's parents have said
"If you are nice we will add 3 points (+3). If you are naughty, we take away 3 points (-3). When you reach 30 Points you get a toy."
Ally starts the day with 9 Points:
Ally's Mum discovers spilt milk: 9-3 = 6
Then Dad confesses he spilt the milk and writes "undo". Mum calculates: 6-(-3) = 6+3 = 9

So if you subtract a negative, you gain points

(ie the same as adding points).  This fun example was copied and pasted from the following website:

Since, I spent my early school years convinced I couldn't understand math, this is a new discovery to me.  It makes me want to fall in love with math.    Now, I've known that two negatives make a positive when you're working with words but the fact that it also applies to numbers is delightfully new to me.  This mathematical truth has waited a long time for me to stumble into it.  Maybe, I just wasn't ready until today.

At 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, it stared back at me from a white board.  Disbelieving, I asked for clarification.  This just can't be.  I couldn't even hear the explanation.  It was as if the teacher were speaking another language but a beautiful one just beyond comprehension.  My mind sat in awe.  Beauty was hiding behind these numbers, some form of mysterious poetic justice.  In the distance, I could hear faintly the music of the spheres.  Something wondrous and amazing was standing before me.

As a small cadre of sullen students slid out the door, I lingered to ask the teacher to explain this mystery further.  He drew a box and said that "This box contains positive numbers.  If you try to subtract a negative number from the positive box, you can not.  No negatives exist within it."

My mind raced along some new continuum where two negatives were busy making a positive.  I felt like I'd discovered a secret alien race that has long lived amongst us.  I left the classroom with a silly grin covering my face.  After that miracle of clarity, the day was sprinkled with the dust of pixies.  Two negatives had clashed and cancelled each other out.  In the act of that oblivion, they'd created a positive. 

Now, if I could only apply this to everything.  Imagine starting the day in a bad mood.  Suddenly you meet someone else who is also in a bad mood.  In this moment of connection the negative moods cancel each other out.  Two negatives become a pair of happy optimists having a great day.

This negation of the negatives could have global applications but then again, we are living on a finite earth, with finite resources and an infinite number of problems.  Some how the math doesn't add up. Those problems often defy any resolution short of a miracle.  This beautiful math truth seems to represent an ideal that can not always be applied to a broader and more chaotic existence.   No matter.  Great beauty still resides in this beautiful math fact.  It filled my day with hope.  Just maybe, the world has yet to stumble across the truth that will solve todays problems.  We can hope.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Librarian vs Super Hero

If I were a super hero, my mild-mannered alter ego would be Marian,the Librarian.  No, I wouldn't be as pretty as Shirley Jones in Music Man.  I'd be way too conspicuous if I were.  If I looked like me, no one would ever suspect I was a super hero.  It would be the perfect cover.

As for my super power . . . flying would be nice but I'm not sure it would be very practical.  Even if I could circumnavigate the globe in minutes, I could still only divert one disaster at a time.  Even a whole Justice League can only handle so much.
Our sphere of impact would still be limited by our small number.  Super heroes are not a dime a dozen.

But back to flying.  Flying has a huge downside.  With only my super hero frame between me and the great blue yonder, birds, the occasional meteorite and insects would be waiting to really muck up my fancy super hero costume.  It's all about the costume you know.  Even with a super hero body hurtling through airspace at amazing speed it would either be bitterly cold or beastly hot.  Flying is out.

Invisibility then? Nah, I already overhear more than I want to.  Super strength?  That doesn't appear to me either.  There are already a lot of machines and people running those machines.  I don't need to use super strength to put any body out of work.  X-ray vision?  That gets a loud, "NO".  Enough said.

My ideal super power would have to be none at all like Batman.  Batman matches his intellect and commitment to goodness to triumph over his adversaries.  He's a good Dr. Moriarty.    I think Dr. Moriarty has a much better outfit.  That Bat Suit is way too figure contouring.  I shudder to imagine how badly such a get-up would look on chunky me.  Oh, I've got to get that picture out of my mind.

I'd love to have Wonder Woman's invisible plane and bullet-deflecting bracelets.  You never know when a girl might need a set of those bracelets.  There is a problem with the plane though.  Where would a mild -mannered librarian park it?

So maybe a good super power is speed, like the Flash.  I could run from enemies from everything bad on earth.  But wait!  On a round planet, the faster I run the sooner I return to the place from whence I started.  "No place to run to, Baby.  No place to hide." 

Forget the Flash, forget running, speed, strength, x-ray vision and flying.  All are strengths that have a pretty significant down side.  The ideal super power doesn't seem to exist for me.  I'd make a much better full-time librarian with no alter ego and no heavy baggage, invisible planes or otherwise.  It's easier to be me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Recently, I learned of a documentary that chronicles one man's tightrope walk between the World Trade Center Towers in 1974.  Just thinking about doing something like this makes me shudder.  Lately,  I've had trouble balancing on solid ground.  Despite the tightrope skills this man brought with him, I'm convinced he was more than a little crazy.  Wouldn't you have to be to risk what would be certain death for the vast majority of mere mortals?

As I begin my daily tightrope walk, trying to balance all the pieces of my life, trying to decide what's important and what is not, a small part of me envies this man.  Not the walk itself but the desire to undertake it.  I would love to jump out of bed in the morning, ready to meet the day, enthusiastically embracing the challenges that lie ahead.  I may not be crossing a tightrope between the old Twin Towers but balancing the details of my life is my own personal feat of "daring do".

Come to think of it, my new tightrope idol may shrink in fear at what I have to undertake to safely cross my day.  We were never meant to swap places or envy each other.  I view his life from a great distance.  Hurtling back through time and space, he walks high above me while I walk on the street below almost a country away.  I do not see him there, nor he me. 

My current knowledge of him comes from an idle conversation.  The tightrope walker captures my imagination while remaining a complete mystery to me.  I am even more a mystery to him.  A mystery he doesn't know existed, especially back in 1974.  I like being a non-existent mystery.  I find freedom at the heart of this thought.  I am suddenly a non-existent mystery that encompasses all.  I climb into this thought and close the door behind me.

Today, at 2:13 p.m.   I stumble into the spot where truth resides.  I am not a separate self walking a tightrope between impossibly tall buildings, nor am I a separate self balancing the pieces of my life.  I am everything and I am nothing.  I am tightrope and towers.  I am children's schedules and dirty laundry.  My life does not define me.  It is merely the stage that laughs and cries its way across the world.  It gives my spirit human form.  It allows me to make life tangible while my spirit floats on air between the towers. 
Tightrope walker and I are one.