Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Marching Onward.

“Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”
Henry Ford

Yup, Hank, it’s pretty hard to realize this alright. If your musing has any truth to it, then I’m a giant marchin’ fool right about now. It’s been a character-building few days.

But seriously, now– he’s got a point. Too often our disappointments and feelings of disillusionment stem from our own overblown expectations or egotistical assumptions that when we’re riding a wave, it’s got a responsibility to keep on carrying us right to shore. Here, one of my favourite Isak Dinesen quotes comes to mind: “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.” Ride that wave when you can, but never think for a second that it can’t or won’t dump you head-first into the sand whenever it wants. Be happy when you’re happy - but never let yourself get too cocky about it.

No unspeakable tragedy has befallen me. No horrifying setback has occurred. It’s more the re-crystallization of an understanding that had maybe liquefied and slipped away from me a little recently.

I was unexpectedly and unceremoniously released from my car jockeying duties on Sunday, seemingly mere milliseconds after I blogged about how much I love the job. Just not busy enough, plain and simple. Rush is over. We strolled to the accountant’s office, the cash was counted out into my palm, and off I went. No chance to say goodbye, as half the guys don’t work on Sundays. It has happened to countless others on countless occasions before me. There was nothing special or personal about it. But this was me it was happening to. One small world, removed.

Once, not very long ago, I had four jobs. Then it was down to three. Then two. Now I have one. Who am I now, in this new reality? What do I do next? I must strip away the ego and regroup once again.

In this life we are jolted and jostled about like so much space junk; cosmic commuters on a crowded subway platform. There is little control; you go where you are pushed, though it may well not be where you were aiming. The best you can do is hang on, hope to make it through in one piece and reorient yourself when you’re spit out on the other side; a strange new orbit to explore.

And eventually, the universe corrects itself again. I baked up a storm and took the boys in a ton of treats during their break on Tuesday, ensuring we had a proper farewell. My boys; my friends, who quietly and without ceremony took up a collection amongst themselves so that I could join in on the go-karting fun with them last weekend.

Then, shockingly and with uncannily perfect timing, Revenue Canada dropped pennies from heaven into my bank account; the result of an overlooked T4 slip somewhere. Thanks to them I need not worry so much about 3 weeks of lost revenue from the garage. I can rustproof my car so that it might hang on through a few more obnoxious Montreal winters. I can buy my little niece and nephew an activity book for Christmas.

And where a few days ago I was faced with the awkward reality of spending my first Christmas alone in Montreal, my sister and brother have now graciously offered to fly me out to their home in Big Sky Country so that our whole family can be together for the holidays, for the first time in forever.

I am humbled by it all.

Up and down, back and forth. Elastic souls stretched so often to the point of breaking, only to be released with a relieving yet painful snap at the last second. We are astonishingly resilient.

In this life, there is good and bad. Lightness and dark. Yin and Yang. We are foolish to forget, and more foolish to grasp hold too tightly of only one truth or the other, ignoring the inherent grace or furor that will surely be bestowed upon us.

And we must march onward, with characters brimming and hearts anew.

It is written in the stars.

1 comment:

mommacita said...

Hey Baby Daughter - this is an amazing blog, one that paints a vivid picture! Your talents need to be recognized and rewarded!