“When we are stunned to the place beyond words, we’re finally starting to get somewhere. It is so much more comfortable to think that we know what it all means, what to expect and how it all hangs together. When we are stunned to the place beyond words, when an aspect of life takes us away from being able to chip away at something until it’s down to a manageable size and then to file it nicely away, when all we can say in response is “Wow,” that’s a prayer.”
― Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers
We closed the learning center for two weeks on Friday. These two weeks will represent the longest break I have had in two years. It won’t be a real break of course. There are emails to write, lessons to plan, research to record, and of course, meetings.
But before all that, I pause to say this one small word about this inaugural year that contained a world of multitudes – a world of patience, emotion, and stamina.
I am utterly astonished we made it and in awe of how I am still standing ready to commit to what seems like a repeating Sisyphus-type feat.
How many times does that godforsaken boulder keep rolling down the hill? Just when I think I can rest or pause to take a breath, something goes wrong and I find myself at the bottom.
It’s amazing how many ways I can disappoint and offend people especially when I create boundaries that force people to take responsibility for what they want and to communicate it clearly.
As the people on the outside of my safety circle pick me a part because I am deciding to risk and put myself out there, carrying a lot of responsibility, I wonder if they remember I have five children who need me too. I wonder if they think about how my children are handling this situation where their mom no longer is devoted only to them, when she has to explain that there are others who need her too, and when she asks them to be patient and that she will spend time with them soon.
But it’s also amazing how many ways people can show me their support and understand that I am doing the best that I can. The beautiful testimonials from families who have witnessed this year of zigging and zagging and who have stood by me in the worst of times even when I barely had time to say hello, were what helped me endure.
My own children and my husband have been beside as I receive harsh criticism from the outside world but they see what I do and who I am all day. They are the ones both reassuring me and rolling up their sleeves for another collective push of the boulder.
And it is a different type of awe when I look back on both the fragility and the resilience of human beings. How delicate yet determined is this one wild and precious life. This life where we get to choose how to create and ask for what we want. When we do that, we are always stunned by the miracles that appear and all we can do is say,