I consider myself a flight risk. I used to think it a liability; an apology for my flitting-from-one-thing-to-another behavior. I have recently come to embrace it. My way of being in the world. My way of experimenting with things I will never have expertise in, just desire to delve into new ventures. I can't hang on to everything--there isn't enough space--so I dabble and move on. I admire people who are maestros in their field; who stick with it through thick and thin and learn their music backwards and forwards. But it's not who I am, and I am going to stop making excuses for it. Perhaps that is the gift of the sixth decade.
I have lived in four states and nine towns; all but two of the latter as an adult. I count sixteen dwelling places (not including the orange VW van I lived in for one magnificent rambling summer). As a university student, I lived in three dorms in four years. I won't even count the number of jobs I have held; but except for my current job of ten years, they lasted just four months to four years. I have flirted with playing musical instruments. Under my parents' influence, the piano lingered--though I no longer play; the flute, organ, recorder, and violin did not. I dabble in art forms until I tire of each and jump to a new one. Currently I am a gardener, a writer, and a photographer. (Yes, I do, therefore I am. I don't believe one has to be an expert to name oneself fully.)
Sadly, I seem to be a relationship flight risk, too. I do have regrets in that arena. Two primary relationships that lasted many years, but are no more. Many friendships that were fully with me, and now are past tense. I am sorry for their loss. And without their endings, I would not be parts of me that I most love. Some things are hard to reconcile. They just are. Motherhood and family are relationships that are with me always; but are, of course, ever-evolving.
sermon, given by Mahan Siler, helped me make sense of me. He spoke of the thread that winds through our lives, that we hang on to, even as the beads change. I would carry it a step beyond, and venture that the beads are kept on the thread with a knot on either side. As the thread wears and stretches, the beads may slide off over the tightened up knots and be lost; but the knots remain, keeping the thread strong. The knots are the part of us made strong by where we have been, who we have known, the experiences we have had.
There is a thread you follow. It goes among
Things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what things you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
Or die; and suffer and grow old.
Nothing you can do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
the phoenix rising. The single hyacinth my friend Porter gave me, is five plants this year. The snow drop leaves have, as they do each year, threaded themselves through my garden goddess. In looking for photos that represent my One Little Word, I find a goddess on the stump of a cutoff tree limb. The limb is gone, and beauty remains. The lenten rose--in ice and sun--the rain and the dawning of the day, like the thread, are constants.