Moment to moment: the mystery dance

Last weekend I had a couple days out of town. Nothing major, just a quick trip to visit with friends in Philadelphia, chill out in a nice hotel for a spell, take a short break from work. I love getting away from it all, as a way to see it with fresh eyes upon my return. I’m always amazed at my change in perspective, refreshed and renewed by the phenomenon of viewing my life from afar. It happens every time, in ways that never cease to surprise me.

For instance, when I left, some major things were happening to people in my extended circle. A friend’s father had just died and my cousin and her girlfriend were about to become one of the first legally married couples in NYC, while another friend was off on a major extended family vacation in Italy with three generations of parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews. One friend who was preparing to get partial dentures was advised to pull out her few remaining teeth to instead opt for full dentures, another couple was coping with a father’s steady decline into dementia, and then he passed, while my younger sister is busy making last-minute preparations for her wedding next month.

Outside my circle, a Norwegian extremist had just shot up hundreds of his own people because he felt threatened by their politics, while a Hasidic man in Brooklyn had recently murdered and then dismembered a young boy for no reason I could even begin to understand, let alone articulate. Against this backdrop, I continue my own struggle to regain financial footing after last year’s disastrous bout of unemployment, while at the same time, the start-up company I’ve been working for over the last year has been steadily gaining a foothold as we strengthen our product and our brand.

Hope, horror, excitement, joy, grief, anxiety, stress, happiness – how is a woman supposed to maintain her footing in such shifting times?

If you think I have easy answers, think again. I have boxes filled with decades-old self help books. I save them because they belonged to my mother. They are a collection of recipes for success. I see them as simplistic attempts to articulate the complexity of life’s ongoing struggles for people who are afraid of not knowing. Most of the time, I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I retained enough facts to get through until tomorrow.

I “know not” a lot. I sometimes lose track of basic facts like which is the right brain and which is the left. I just keep forgetting, or I don’t care enough to find a secure place to hold them in my head. I am comfortable in the haze of not being sure. It affords me that little extra added bit of suspense, and then allows me the satisfaction of figuring out the solution to a problem.

I think I could do with a little more certainty, though. Even though I’m not looking for a magic miracle, a bit more serenity would be nice. You know, as opposed to random bouts of panic, which are never fun.

I’ll share this tidbit. My house is a mess right now. We’re in the midst of getting rid of a lot of stuff. Selling, donating, a general purging, a clearing out. It’s created a big mess, and that has in turn stimulated my sense of inner chaos. But you know what I think? Tomorrow, after I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I’ll wake up a little early and clean one corner of one room, and that will be a good little step in the right direction. Oh, and did I mention? I’ve been really, really happy lately.

Photo by tanakawho


One Comment to “Moment to moment: the mystery dance”

  1. I also know not a lot. e.g. today my four-year-old told me that butterflies can eat w their legs. I often wonder what keeps people going after such madness as the Oslo-massacre. I think its hope. and knowing something sometime. for example that time heals and that getting and giving love is the most important. the rest is just stuff.

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