youth

And I’m sitting here supposed to be writing. And I find I have less and less blog entries in me anymore. Some of this is that time in life. Words fail when your entire being is going through such huge changes I guess. At least that is one theory. It certainly isn’t that things aren’t happening. We’ve had our share of stuff but somehow less and less of it makes it to here, to LJ to any written place. Things do make it to discussion with new and new/old friends though. Perhaps that is another reason–more actual talking is going on than the last several years. There is also the fact I need to sit down and concentrate, away from the house. The house is not a place I can write too easily–I just see what still needs to be cleaned.

And despite the sadness of Carl’s ill health (my mother’s husband, it’s hard for me to call him my stepfather really because, though he was around when I was young I was not getting close to any father figure but my own, and that had all it’s own issues) and our own losses things are fine,actually even better than the entire four years in Illinois.

I really like the folks here, both old friends and new. I like how our social life, which was nearly nonexistant in IL, is shaping up. We have parties with kids running around or we have people over for dinner and kids are running around . We have access to baby sitters, whom I like as people AND we have lunch dates. James and I spend more time together. We are getting physically healthier and I think mentally so as well.

Though sometimes I wonder–as I asked a friend today–‘Is this wisdom developing or just being tired?” I get excited by things still–but mostly they have to do with the Bean or with developing friendships or reading, or exploring Fayetteville as it is now. I find myself not excited by past traumas, revisited drama or sadly writing, though I’m trying to force that issue.

I spent so long in my own navel that I feel I’ve exhausted the trials of my childhood and teenage years. I do find that I must revisit the angst and sadness of high school as I come across some that were cruel then, either in conversation or in person. I feel deeply about the issue of bullying and how damaging it is in the short and long run–but I don’t feel traumatized by it any longer. It is just coming up now because I haven’t been here all this time to work through the last remnents of those wraiths. I’ve been gone for 19 years and time wore down those sharp edges, though there is still a bit of roughness here and there. I don’t care or hurt personally anymore–I just remember and I think that memory is valuable and I hope I can help others using that memory somehow.

And I’ll try not to be scared that the same ugliness will happen to my daughter. That thought is much more painful than the petty cruelties of the socially skilled, lo these 20 years ago. That something like that could happen to my wonderful, amazing, brilliant daughter. But I can’t borrow trouble and I can’t live in the possible future instead of the actual now.

The question of angst and joy arises. Can there be writing without angst? I hope so. Can there be a life with little of it anymore? Well, that’s happening to us. IS that being disengaged? Jaded? Yes and no. A couple of weeks ago, some earnest young social activists, full the rhetoric of uprising and the belief we *can* overthrow our government came through town. I loved their fervent need to speak and their impassioned gestures and stances. We need kids like that, and I thanked the powers that be for youth and the desire to change the world. But I know the government won’t be overthrown and that most won’t listen if you beat them about the head and neck with fiery rhetoric. I believe now, unlike many years ago, that it is best to convince by example and the willingness to speak your truth with kindness and courage. I will always defend my friends and their choices and for people to speak and believe as they think right, but I also now know we are ALL part of a fabric of souls that are worthy to be cared for–whether I agree with what you believe or not. This doesn’t change the fact that I think W and his frightening brand of racism,homophobia and opportunistic fear politics, are the worst things to have happened to the US in the history of our country, but I’m not going to try and force people to my opinion or belittle them for not sharing it. And I will speak this clearly and gently when the opportunity presents itself.

But there you go– 20 years ago I would have been on the bus with them, now I applaud their conviction, and their energy to pursue it but find it , not futile, but unlikely to achieve their aims. Which is fine, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it. They should.
I did, I just don’t do that anymore. There are a lot of things I did 20 years ago I wouldn’t do now. I only regret a few of them.

But I do wish to do something, other than simply state and stand by my beliefs no matter the result. Somethings are just right and ethical and that’s rather easy. There must be a halfway point between the youthful desire to overthrow the government and the adult knowledge that things are wrong and must change. Some *active* halfway point.

And we’re finding it slowly but surely. Things we support and volunteer hours we give. I just wish for a bit of the energy that goes with their zeal. To find a place between jaded and zealotry. To be engaged but not consumed.

Either by personal or political issues.

It is good to be content, but not too restful. It is good to be involved but not burn up in the fire as fuel.

Good, but strange to one used to a pendulum swing.

Location:Fayetteville Public Library