I thought I was back—here, at the blog—but apparently there's quite a disconnect between my intentions and my actions.
I shouldn't be surprised. And I'm not. But I am disappointed. It's humbling to fail a commitment—to others, to oneself. In this case, both.
The struggle against failure is a lifelong battle, isn't it? This weekend I was participating in a book event at a riverfront park. Mid-afternoon the wind reared, and a sudden gust made havoc of our book table. A friend lunged to shelter what she could against the assault, using her body as a shield and grabbing at flying papers and broadsides and some lightweight signs that had been propped on the table. I had been standing back and away—useless in the moment—and just as my friend stood up again, I called out to her from behind, scolding like an angry parent, Bad! Bad! Bad! as if she had been the cause of all the mayhem. She froze, and when she turned around, I saw in her widened eyes a child's primal fear.
I had brought it all back. Whatever darkness that this gentle, caring, altogether magnificent grown-up has carried inside her for a lifetime was instantly roused by my unfortunate attempt at easy humor.
Oh boy oh boy. It's tempting to spin off from here into guilt for my own social clumsiness, but the point is that we just go on from our failures, don't we? The moment passed as quickly as a rare whip of wind on a blameless afternoon, and afterward, my friend and I laughed and shared an interesting conversation about how well and how poorly we carry our traumas with us. How they're always there, so very very close to the surface, whether our consciousnesses are aware of them or not. Sometimes it takes only the slightest of breezes . . .
It's time for grown-up me to stop blithering about my failures, all the things I've done wrong. It's time to just get to the business of moving forward. I'll meet you back here next Monday or thereabouts, come hell or a helluva wind.
Nancy Carol Moody
I'm a poet and a letter-writer. Yup, that kind. The kind who uses pens and paper and actual stamps. The kind who will leave the house with nothing on the agenda but to get to the mailbox before the scheduled pick-up time. The kind who understands that technology is a wondrous thing, but nothing quite beats finding a real letter with a real stamp on it amid the credit card solicitations, pizza coupons and seminar catalogs.