The rains flood my world this week, washing the brightness, floating leaves yellow all around. I walk under dripping canopies, trees sending waves of shine through wet air, a pale golden hue whispers stillness as the leaves paint their way to the ground. It’s been surreal, beautiful and real. A rainstorm of compassion on my world in the form of many kind gestures. Some from myself, some from instructors and sisters and dearest friends. It’s a week of deeper commitment to a layer of growth not found in the halls of education but it has certainly been provoked by it.
At some point this past Sunday I faced the truth I’d been running from for 3 weeks: Statistics had to go. 4 classes after 22 years of absence from formal education is a hell of a lot to ask of someone with 3 kids and concerns for maintaining a level of health I’ve fought hard to attain and it’s not perfection by any stretch. I had not taken any other math courses since the age of 19. That’s a long time. The truth is, I had a B average in that class but the past 3 weeks left me stumped. It wasn’t sinking in and I didn’t have time to get help. I could cram and spend every spare second beating my brain around the subject but it would hurt my 3 other classes. Since I could still drop without it reflecting badly on my GPA, I took the leap. But what a painful leap. I loved that class. Oddly enough.
Sounds like no big deal, just life, lah tee dah. But it’s a big deal for me. All of this time is a big deal. And it’s been frought with tinges of frenzy to compensate for a sense of lost time. But what a black hole that idea becomes. “Hurry up Ruth! You’ve been losing time parenting and crawling out of generational wreckage and obsessing over what to do next and LOOK AT YOU! MOVE IT.” I can be ruthless. Lost time? When I’ve been giving my energy and time to things immeasurably precious? You can’t squeeze the equivalent of two lifetimes into one. But I have a tendency to want to do that very thing. And then I feel like a freak when I can’t pull it off, sure that everyone else is far more “together” than I am.
Then I ran into my very Italian Lit. instructor. Scorpio wonder supreme. She became part of the shower of compassion this week. I’d not done well (in my estimation anyway. it really wasn’t that bad, actually) on the last test and wanted to understand how my essay had gone so wrong. The timing of our meeting to discuss the essay was perfect. It turned out to be a rich flow of sharing life situations and encapsulated therapy. And encouragement and support in my choice to cut back. “Ruth, when I was your age and had one child it was too much! I took TWO classes.” This one 30 minute slice of pragmatic and generous aid was healing. Just watching her in class, waving her arms around and speaking her New York Italian accent is a wealth…and she’s another refugee of the worst of religion. Great simpatico sustenance in her presence.
So, a reality check via respect for limitations and a love of self’s trails and trials leading up to now has been the order of this week (including a birthday that initially started out loathesomely blah). I love to use Roots of Asia tarot and for weeks and weeks I kept getting the 10 of wands. H-e-a-v-y burdens. “you are over-doing it.” Duh, I do that! But, I usually let it crush me before I actually change things. Not this time.
And the rains keep falling all over this world. Everything drips wet, pregnant with promise, a promise of deeper resilience in the moment whose guarantee is only of life’s transience. And immeasurable value.
On with it…(lighter load!!!)
(good luck Kristy!!!)