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QUINTESSENCE

Comfortable with the Crazy

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
- Mark Twain

My son has returned east for his second year at the Naval Academy, my daughter has returned to Yale for her senior year. What is left in their wake are the sandals and dog-eared books and rumpled leftovers of these few rushed, splendid weeks of summer. The last few “summers at home”… Today the empty rooms are chock full of ghosts and I close bedroom doors with a tightening heart: I leave untouched on his desk his scribbled notations on a song he was writing, her gym bag perfume remains tossed in a ratty running shoe. The dog eyes me with soulful sadness. Where has the pack gone?

Add to the unsettled feelings that out there in the big world it has been “that kind of day.” Crazy in spades. A day thrown in the spin cycle. Our digital world means not only do events happen in a split second, but so do their consequences. A banker pushes a wrong button and economies collapse. A clerk forgets an input function and someone on the cross-town bus loses an interview. Today’s energy is all about these human vortexes - action and reaction, cause and effect - and I am struck by the enormous amount of bureaucratic puppeteering it takes to resolve the most practical issue. Emails wing across the prairies.

As I stand in the midst of the wreck of my day, holding pieces of fallen plaster from what normally passes for a sane and practiced routine, I accept the chaos. I accept my inability to do much about it. I accept my family world is transitioning to one of individual independences. And with that thought comes a deep breath. Mark Twain is my inspiration. I can be comfortable with this chaos if I have my own permission. I imagine Twain’s remark refers to a more profound, inward approval - that of the conscience, the wrestling match between morality and an uneasy heart – not my struggle to find balance in upheaval. But for today, it is enough to just throw up my hands, yield to the crazy and be okay with it. I don’t have to fix the world. I can just be…comfortable with the crazy.
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