Thursday, April 19, 2012

Notes from the field

Nana is having a good week!  Hallelujah.  The kids are pondering mortality and of course, our beloved Beta dies this week.  That is the way.  And then, not to talk too much about the most painful professional week I have ever experienced let me just share this newly minted pearl:  It is a bad work week when Fox25 news shows up at your place of employment.  Not enough time has passed for me to write coherently about the experience except to say when the media gets involved, the world becomes less a contemplative place and much more a reactive place.  We have lost the ability to sit with hard truths and painful, ambivalent situations and instead reach for a part of something:  a part of a story, a part of a solution, and just a part of our best selves.

Sometimes the universe throws up on you and you have to make sense of it all or reframe it or just hunker down and get through it.  The Dying Warrior pose is apropos, as is any kind of long run in severe conditions.  Now is a good time to read the German existentialists, along with listening to Italian opera.  Sink into it because the only way through it is through it.

Years ago I worked at a residential school for emotionally disturbed (that was the term then, I think things have gotten more PC now) adolescents.  I remember these things:

1.  (posted on my director's wall)  Life breaks us all.  Some people become strong in the broken places.
2.  Trust the people you work with.  If you don't, change jobs.
3.  Children carry the symptoms of their families.
4.  Structure and boundaries save us all.
5.  Fake it 'til you make it.
6.  Finally, sometimes people you care about deeply will wound you out of a place of pain and despair.  Hold onto compassion for them.

I'm trying to remember these lessons this week