Archives for May 2014
What bothers me is that you think your opinion is “the” opinion. You are unaware of your arrogance and your ethnocentricity. You actually believe that you think for everyone – but of course – you believe that you think correctly.
How mistaken you are. Your opinion is only idiosyncratic, in other words, it is your opinion and only yours. What offends me is that you assert your opinion importantly, as if everyone must believe the same thing that you believe. Of course, they do not. Your spectrum of the universe is admittedly limited, in fact, you would know, after investigation, that your spectrum of the universe is extremely limited. Your perspective is not only limited but very limited. So, give up, you know nothing. What you know is about your life, there are more than six billion lives on this planet. Give up.
I am so glad that I am healthy enough to exercise. I am able to walk without pain. I enjoy fresh air and I can breath deeply. By exercising, I know that I will be able to be a great grandmother. I dearly want to live to be a great grandmother.
I can feel my body stretch, it’s like the atoms are alive in my muscles, they tingle.
I am so tired, I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get up and I especially don’t want to walk over there, it looks far away. My muscles are sore and I don’t want to be sore.
This morning is beautiful, the weather is dry and it’s not hot yet. It’s only Tuesday, so I have lots of time to get the work done that I want to get done this week. I’m excited at the thought of accomplishment!
It’s only Tuesday and I am already exhausted, how will I make it through this week?
In Ireland, there is a place called the Bridge of Tears, it is named because for more than a hundred years, when family members decided to go to America, the entire family would escort them as far as possible and here on the Bridge of Tears the families would separate. Family members going on to America would leave their beloved families to travel onward, who then returned home. The bridge was named to reflect the experience of the families, who often knew that they would never again see their loved ones.
Five years ago, when my family and I drove my daughter to Virginia with her queen size bed roped to the top of the Yukon, I believed we were going on a temporary mission. As often happens with single parents, we make our world revolve around our children. We have to, rarely do couple relationships become serious when your baggage include 3+ kids, particularly if they are teenagers.
Since that time, my family has changed significantly, we all tried moving to Virginia and that did not work out. I even got married to the most fantastic man I have ever met.
It wasn’t until this week that I realized that with all of those familial changes, I still have not left the Bridge of Tears. As my daughters and I tried to plan this year where we could see each other and I felt rejected by their responses, I realized that I still stand by the Bridge waiting for them to change their minds and return from their destinations.
I have not left the Bridge of Tears because I am afraid if I do, the mere act of leaving the Bridge will mean that I have truly lost them. I am afraid I will not be there to welcome them home, I will not be there to guide their way back. I lament what cruel twist of fate would take them from me for so long. But it is not to be.
My daughters make their own homes now, they make homes for their own children, they do not return to me or the childhood of yesterday. What I realize that I must do today is, I must leave the Bridge of Tears. I must make a new life. I must learn to make a new home, I am very lucky and – by the best twist of fate – I have someone showing the way – my husband.
Written by Bessie A. Stanley and published in 1911.
Reworded for Emerson’s quote:
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
It doesn’t surprise me that people keep attributing this work to a man, when it originally came from a woman. When I was in school, I wrote a paper about the idolatry of male artists, while female artists are often ignored by history. I just wanted to acknowledge Bessie A. Stanley for her enduringly positive philosophy.