This summer I’ve had a couple of recurring themes running through my head and there is definitely a connection to them I just have to figure out what my lesson from them is.
A while back in my post “My Head Hurts” I wrote about the overwhelming concept of sonder. This seems to be something that I just can’t escape right now. Summer should be a time of ease and joy. We have finally escaped the chains of our long and harsh winter which was followed by a wet grey spring. We are free to move about unfettered by layers and layers of clothing and a concern over hidden ice. We can bask in the warmth of our beloved sunshine with only a necessary layer of sunscreen to be concerned about. Yet that doesn’t seem to be the case this summer. I seem to be hearing story after story of personal tragedy.
I know that life is a roller coaster ride, a continuous flow of ups and downs with a few straightaways thrown in. Personally, last summer was a rough one for my family. This summer should be filled with a sense of ease. I strongly feel that we need to relish the times when we are just moving through our lives, enjoying the flow of normalcy. We need to savour these benign days as much as we celebrate our joyous occasions because when we do hit another low we will be wishing for those simple days when everything was just okay and just okay is pretty wonderful. Yet, I’m feeling that luxuriating in my incredible nothingness is somehow disrespectful to all those who are in the midst of their own lows right now.
This brings me to my second ongoing thought this summer. I like to think that I am a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of person. That is the type of person I’m attracted to. I have no interest in or trust for people with hidden agendas. However, I’ve recently decided that the person that I thought I was really doesn’t exist. I am an iceberg. I am so much more than what you see or more appropriately what you think you see. I am the embodiment of my personal history, all of my thoughts and experiences. I realize that I am as complicated as the rest of the people in the world. And all of those people have got to be as complicated as their experiences. It is that damn idea of sonder coupled with the depth of human experience.
But, if you were to see me on the street or more likely in the grocery store and you were to smile and to say hi and ask me how I am I’d smile back and say, “Great”. If you were to ask how my summer is I’d say, “How can you complain when it’s summer?” Whoever you are, you’d probably say something similar to me. I do wonder what you are hiding in the depths of your personal ocean.
What I won’t say is that I have a weight on my chest and it won’t ease until my twins are safely home from Israel and that even then the weight will partially remain as I think about the soldiers who have died in the battle for a continued Jewish existence and their families who have paid the ultimate price. I will continue to think about the helpless Palestinian civilians held hostage by leaders who use their people to protect their weapons, glorying in death and destruction instead of celebrating each day of life.
Maybe that’s my lesson. That’s why I need to fight so hard everyday to celebrate the beauty of the mundane.