For me, driving to here...
I take the mountains for granted all the time. I live ten minutes away from this height, and only come up here maybe once a year to just sit and watch. I look at the tiny, cardboard houses, and the miniscule cars inching along, I see the grandeur of the lake and the mountains rising up all around, I pick out the tiny speck that is my home in the distance, and I feel my cares and stresses ebb slowly away. They are but one more small, momentary thing amid a sea of other small and momentary things.
Then, when I come back down into the melee of the close-up, life-sized, fast-paced world, I know where I am on the grid again.
Sometimes a bird's-eye view of the world becomes a God's-eye view.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
It's unfair to be so happy.
It's unfair to be so much happier than some of the people I love the most.
This is what I feel today. This is the thought that keeps pulsating through my mind. Why? Why have I been given so much and others have not? Why have I been so blessed? I have done nothing, NOTHING!, to deserve it; I am still an "unprofitable servant"as the scriptures say. And yet... why have so many blessings been entrusted to me at this time?
More importantly...what am I supposed to do with it? The happiness, the blessedness? So often I feel the need to hide it, to dampen it somehow in order to shield others. I wish to avoid all appearance of gloating. My happiness is not a badge of honor I wear on my sleeve. But, still, the fact is...I have so much. How do I share it? propagate it? Radiate it?
Why? Why is it so hard? I have been through my fair share of hard. I have been raked across the coals of shattered hopes. But somehow, my hard no longer seems to mean too much to me. I remember the lessons I learned from the Hard, but the "hardness" of it all has faded, and I am light--LIGHT!--with promise!
But today I feel heavy. Not for myself. Heavy with the sense of life's unexplained injustices and hardnesses and heartaches. I feel...I feel like I want to cry someone else's tears, and know--if only for a moment--what it is like to bear their burden, if for nothing else than to be able to honestly say, "I know how you feel."
How can I feel such joy when there is trouble all about me?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Well, I fell off the ski lift and then spent the next hour falling down the "bunny" hill. I quickly abandoned hopes of engaging in any real skiing and made my only goal to keep my bones in tact and my tibias in their sockets. I was frightened. It was the kind of frightened that surprises you, electrocutes you, into survival mode. It still kind of makes me angry to think about it--the fear, that is.
I really don't have too many irrational fears. Spiders constitute one of them, and so does getting a flat tire. But the fear of dying at a high speed on a ski slope just really didn't feel like one of them. It kind of felt like the most dangerous and most idiotic thing I could ever do. I resorted to tipping over whenever I got up too much momentum. It made for a very slow and frankly harrowing descent. French-fry/pizza wasn't working; my legs and arms were shaking and my hip hurt pretty bad from repeated falling. I needed to gain speed to learn properly, but I needed to NOT gain speed to keep from flying off the edge of the trail into a tree. I was having visions of Sunny Bono, Natasha Richardson, and Michael Kennedy... I was far too young to die.
And there was Travis, patiently snow-plowing the entire run to keep from getting too far ahead.
Inside the lodge, I slumped into a chair and watched hundreds of people clunk by in their ski boots. Many of them were children, most of them seemed happy. Their biggest concern, whether or not the fancy-shmancy restaurant had "kid food" on the menu. The temptation to indulge in a good cry was strong. I didn't want to ruin the day for my more experienced ski companions, but I knew when to accept defeat. I'd barely started...but I also know when I'm licked, and I was licked.
Humility and humiliation are but two or three steps away from each other, and often the only difference between the two is what construct we choose put on the situation. It is the humiliation that brings tears of rage and frustration. Humiliation says, "How can so many people do what seems so totally beyond my potential? Humility, on the other hand, seems to bring a calm acknowledgment of our limitations--and the hope of someday overcoming them. Humility also sees the unexpected positive outgrowths of a bad situation. Like an opportunity for two people to work through a hard day and grow closer as a result.
That was good.