"May You Live in Interesting Times"

Although it's allegedly an ancient Chinese curse, there have been times where I wished, in the face of a mundane point A to point B routine, that something interesting would happen. There have simply been times where I wished I had something significant or surprising to ponder.
I was thinking about this phrase again as I contemplated the events of the past two weeks. They fit the bill of "interesting" which makes no judgement or promise of events being welcome or tragic:
1. Got engaged. Undeniably good.
2. Fell on the ice in our parking lot. My feet slipped right out from under me to the side, creating a sequential impact of knee, hip, shoulder, and finally the head. Ouch. My freshly minted fiance, on the cell with his brother, was heard to say, "Oh shoot, I gotta go." Not a big "event" but it sure was unfortunate it occurred the same day we'd become engaged, since this involved much looking up adoringly in-love at Jason and darn it, my neck hurt a lot when I had to raise my head to look at his inches taller eyes.
3. Got promoted. Not sure if I deserved it, but now I'll have to work hard to prove it.
4. Got a new office. Goodbye cubicle. Same stupid old phone though.
5. Dentist visit. I had to go back again this week. Ok, also not really that significant, and maybe this making the event list just speaks to the banality of my life, and why I sometimes I wish there were more.
6. Finally, we said goodbye to a well-loved, affectionate and ebullient, but ever soulful and admiring dog next door.
It made me think about the day, a month or two after we brought our own cat Teedie home, that I looked into his curious bright eyes and thought to myself, "Shoot, I've just gotten myself attached to something else that I will miss when he dies." In the remainder of my internal conversation I considered that I might be able to count on my two hands the number of people who I'd painfully, anguishingly, miss if they died (ok readers, stop wondering if you made the list; there is no real LIST, I'd miss you all.) It might be better to just tightly control the group of those you love, so there would be fewer to grieve and miss later. And this philosophy had been an intention after Mom and Dad dying. But somehow this darn cat slipped in, curled up on my couch and now here he was and I loved him.
In the time after both mom and dad died I became a minor collector of quotes, especially those that seemed to express grief better than I could on my own. I began with a quote and I want to end with one and although I opened my 1996 diary tonight to find a different passage, this one seems more fit:

"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
"
- CS Lewis.
I can't pretend there weren't times when I read this and being tightly wound in luxuries sounded like a much more appealing idea. But I'm better for knowing the people I love, the animals (and the neighbors that love them) too. Goodnight, Winston.

1 comments:

Andra Sue said...

Thanks for posting that quote...I really needed it today. And I am sitting at my desk sniffling over the loss of your dog friend. Be well and enjoy your new office.

 

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