22 January 2017

Inaugural Wisdom

One perk of partial employment was being home to watch the inauguration of now President Donald Trump. I sat attentively, one third cringing in anticipation of an assassination, one third cringing at the reality of that comb over being in charge, and one third appreciating the pomp and circumstance - and impressive show of clenching bipartisanship - on the capitol steps. I confess to talking out loud to the television throughout the various speeches, nodding in affirmation and snorting at the absurdities.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, was the first religious figure to take the microphone. After all, Trump is Presbyterian. It seemed odd that a figure of another sect of Christianity should be the very first to speak - not to mention one from a relatively divisive sect in contemporary circles. By the second line of Cardinal Dolan's recitation from the Book of Wisdom, I was grinning oh so very widely. He could not have picked better words to serve as a subtle critique, call to arms, and firm foundation for the years to come.

13 January 2017

Finding Joy

Getting stuck in the mire and muck of life is easy, and a weakness of mine lately. Times of difficulty often overshadow times of joy. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel frequently evades me. I have been making a concerted effort to track the good things, to ensure I don't become some pessimistic, bitter cynic. Yet, these good things live beside not so good things. The difficulties and joys are entwined and intermingled so intensely, I can't just ignore the difficulties in favor of some blue-skied, grass-is-greener alternate reality.

Sometimes joy is pure positive emotion, an irresistible welling up of bliss that cannot help but overflow. But sometimes joy is not pure; it's mysterious; it's hidden and full of bafflement, confusion and surprise. Mysteries puzzle us and can only be resolved in time, with faith, trust, and sometimes a Sherlock Holmes level of intelligence. How can we understand and embrace that kind of joy?

05 January 2017

New Year, New/Same You

I want to be one of those people who always carries a notebook or sketchbook; who is always ready to absorb the world around me; who is engaging, thinking, and reflecting constantly. I want to be someone who is always prepared, but I hate carrying things, being weighed down by objects that could possibly be unnecessary, bothersome, or simply give me a neck ache from unequal weight distribution.

We are all full of these dichotomies within ourselves that we cannot seem to reconcile. We have fears we cannot seem to face, habits we cannot seem to change, goals we cannot seem to reach, no matter how much we want to. While this can frustrate both us (why can't I remember to take that journal with me!) and those around us (how can she call herself adventurous when she is afraid of heights?), it actually is a quality unique to the human condition that is rather beautiful.