Friday, April 24, 2009

Fundamental Breakdowns in Communication Are Fun

I got bee swarms and money trouble. A chick has disappeared in the laundry room and I'm hoping it doesn't fall out of the dryer, you know, dried. My house is a moveable feast of mess as piles and laundry baskets get shifted room to room, so I can feel like, in the space of one living area, I have accomplished something. And kabang-kaboom-kabap, I am also heartless, but not really. Just poorly informed, slightly judgmental and too quick to smack back, even when I'm trying to be more measured.
Oh, how often we can feel justified in coming down on another person, not knowing what the truth is. How easily we can be misled. (Honesty, for real, check it out.) I should be more sympathetic. I should be the slowest person in the room when it comes to conclusions and how quickly to jump to them.
I wish I knew people better. I wish people knew themselves better. I wish they knew me better. (I know what the next step in this progression is, something about knowing myself better, but I'm not going to say it. We're pretty familiar.) 
Where do the lies come from? Why do so many people dive so deeply into deceit they can't resurface? That isn't life. That's suicide with language, killing yourself with every word you speak. 
Sweet Jesus. And I mean that, completely. Sweet, sweet, sweet Jesus. 
I don't have a perfect marriage. But I have an honest marriage. Even when our gears aren't quite meeting up right and our talks are troubled, the ground is even beneath our feet. Betrayal makes a bitter, bitter heart; two bitter hearts, in fact. Add another for each kid in the mix.
Sweet Jesus.
Sweet, sweet, sweet Jesus.
Brew a dishonest tea, serve it as sweet, and you'll quickly teach your kids a different definition of life than you intended. Your every move, as a parent, informs your children. How you handle rejection, bee stings, torment, the truth, all of it, instructs them in how to be people; how to move through the world; what to look for in a relationship - spousal, professional or friend.
Teachable moments, all. And whether you're actively teaching or not, they're learning.

My problems - bees, dollars, dehydrated chicks, and mess - are no problems. They are fodder for funny stories, told later, over popcorn (except the chick part - that takes a special kind of friend). My life is the choices I make in how to conduct myself and who to surround myself with. And so far, I'm doing okay. 
What do you do when everyone's a villain and a victim of the other? I guess you can't pick sides, can you? And maybe that's better, drawing a circle in the sand around yourself, rather than wasting time with lines and divisions. 

Life is an inestimable joy. It is a gift, no matter who you believe bestowed it. Don't waste time gorging on refuse, when there is fruit to try. We all fall. We all break and splinter. But who do you want to be when you die? And how much time are thinking you have before you get there? And I'm not talking some afterlife, either. I don't care about some punch-card entry to Heaven on High. 
I'm speaking of the today. The now. 
The unexpected accident. 
The step off the curb. 
The hidden aneurysm. 
And you're gone. No time for teary apologies. No time to get right with your family. No gentle slope into death. Just WHAM. It happens. It happens to the good and the bad every day.
And this? This is the legacy? This is the last moments of you? 
Don't you think you're worth more than that?

Right now, the lives of so many people we know are in flux. So many of our friends are hurting and being hurtful. It's not up to me to sort it out. It's like a slo-mo tornado, ripping a path through the lives of people we love, and while we are screaming in horror for them to get out of the way, they are pouring gasoline and lighting matches...because what's a good tornado without a bonfire? 
Just make sure the kids have marshmallows so you can tell them it's a party. Maybe they won't figure it out.

(Damn. I am a heartless B, aren't I? Did I mention I have bees? And money problems? And a missing baby chicken? If it's dead in the dryer, I just hope it was a rooster. It's so hard to tell.)


Norm Deplume said...

I love your posts, Miss Jenny.

My sister had bees. And money problems at the same time. Do those go hand in hand, I wonder?

Jennifer said...

I don't know how you do it, but thank you. What a spot on way to say it - that even when you have struggles in a relationship you absolutely must have the common ground of honesty. I am an epic FAIL in that department. But I'm learning. At least I hope I am.

Jennifer said...

double take! that's not the author (me) Jennifer, but another author Jennifer.

Christi said...

Jenny --- NEVER STOP WRITING. You are gifted in many wonderful things, but this is such a MAJOR gift for you. LOVE reading your posts (but sorry about the bees, moola & perhaps dehydrated chick).

wish more people in the world were like you. :)