Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crazy Love

I was awake off and on last night, and three songs kept weaving their way through my mind. The gentle, lyrical Aaron Neville song Love, Love, Love, Love, Crazy Love. Then a haunting song I heard recently by Lisa Loeb..."the time between meeting and finally leaving is sometimes called falling in love". The third is a song our daughter wrote, and the line that kept playing was "We can choose to be happy in each others arms", ( J-D's Song,

Anyway, I kept thinking about building a life with a person. About what makes love last. We all know the usual progression: attraction, infatuation, devotion, respect, commitment, love. Sometimes we think the beginning phases are love. And they are. Otherwise the music industry would be out of business. But after spending thirty eight years going through the phases (and some awesome is that!) I realize that we often get to the really good part years into it. When we are lucky enough to have found someone who wants the same things we want from life and spend years working together to fulfill our dreams, the trust built over time can be bedrock itself. It sees us through those times when we wonder what on earth we were thinking when we said, "I Do" (admit it now, everyone has those thoughts sometimes!).
But back to the songs. I think the theory about dreams is interesting that says our subconscious spends our dreams trying to figure out the mysteries of life that we give up on in our waking hours. I can see right off why Crazy Love wound its way through. My brain would chose that over "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" for sheer romance. And the Lisa Loeb song addresses all those heartbreaking endings that people live through when they can't make the leap to the next stage of love, for whatever reason. I know many wonderful people who have lived through this sadness, and I'm not saying they just didn't try hard enough. But Sally's song was the one that resonated with me in the end. Sometimes, the glue that keeps us together is choosing to be happy in each others arms. When we do,when we both do, when we look for the good in our partner and choose to give them the same grace we want for ourselves, a little miracle happens. We find, years later, that we love them more than the day when we stood there in our white dress and held flowers. Crazy Love.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not a Rational Place! No Little Feathers in Sight

Many people in the world rely on reason, on rational thought to process life and all its issues. The thing about reason that doesn't work for me is that you need to know all the variables. You can't have gaps in your information due to unknowns, or your conclusions are no longer rational.
It has always been puzzling to me that people will allow guesses put forth by scientists (Big Bang Theory, Darwin's Theory of Evolution) I suppose because they are posited by educated, rational folks. But if others fill in the unknowns with a different guess, well, it's just plain ignorant. There doesn't seem to be a disconnect for some when questions are asked about the origin of the physical properties that caused the Big Bang. Or the creator of the amoeba that became the fish, etc. It doesn't matter so much to me how it all began. I'm not sure we'll ever know that in this life. What matters most to me is how treat each other now, today.
I think kids have a corner on truth. They know for a fact that they don't know it all. And they are OK with that. But something happens as we grow up. We become convinced that it is NOT OK to say we just don't know. Our society places intellect way up high on an altar. Almost as high as athletic skill (yes, an attempt at humor). We are happy to degrade others for their lack of sophisticated thought. And what does that get us? A judgmental hierarchy of thinkers. Yikes. No wonder we are so out of line priority-wise. It's not how we care for each other that gets the big bucks, or teachers and nurses and social workers would be paid better than lawyers and first basemen.
How do we model responsible adulthood for our kids? I hope it includes what is really important in life. I hope it includes stewardship of our bodies, our minds, our environment, and most of all, our role in building up a society that honors the individual's right to determine their own destiny. That includes religious freedom. Who can tell me who God is? No one. Certainly not my government (shudder).
The messages our kids get about what is important often come blaring from the TV, and we all know how shallow, how self serving and self aggrandizing those sounds bites can be. I am hopeful that kids today are hearing from their parents that the really important things in life come from within. From a desire to be a good person.
I know many young parents who are doing a great job of that. I hope it's a generational trait. The world hangs on that hope.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hope Floats

Last night we watched a movie in our little community clubhouse; Hope Floats. It had really sad parts, more than I remembered from watching it before. It was a very human story of betrayal, abandonment, fear, death, illness, humiliation. But it didn't end there. As the title suggests, the human story is also about loyalty, forgiveness, redemption, love, friends, family...hope.
In the night I thought a lot about the movie. About how we humans put our trust in things or people that prove not worthy of our trust. Like society's approval, or other shallow and unreliable validation. And some things are hard and sad simply because the people we love grow ill and die. If we stop there, life can be too hard. So we don't. We go on. We wake up the next day, or the next, and find beauty in the world around us, beauty in the people around us, and hope floats up.
It is an old, old story. "Nothing new under the sun" was old when Shakespeare said it. Maybe even when the writer of Ecclesiastes said it. For a long time, I thought that was a fatalistic saying. But now I realize that the fact that all the parts of life that we deal with, all the hurt and longing, all the joy and fulfillment are part of an ongoing human story. We are new each day, we are making our own choices that lead us down paths that no one has walked, exactly. But the old truths are eternal. We struggle. We grieve. We heal. We grow. Hope Floats.