Monday, March 12, 2012

How We Do It: Part IX of a series


Sometimes the humming goes on for so long and so loudly that I say shut up to her in my mind. I put her in her wheelchair, her stroller we call it and decide last minute to walk all the way to the Farmer's Market and Oliver rides his bike and asks to go ahead and I know he wants to get away so I say yes. The day, the blue of the sky and the green of everything else stops the humming and I can hear the cars rush by and the slap of my angry feet on the pavement. I'm pushing up a hill and thinking of guilt and regret of who I hate and why I shouldn't. I'm thinking of the years to go and the woman in the private room who tells me like the woman at the well gives water that it's so hard, you're working so hard, it's too much. So many people stare and one tilts her head with sympathy but it's the wrong kind, she's trying too hard, so she's the one I'll remember along with the too-narrow aisles and the fruit out of reach, too many people and I feel for a moment, that I'm in a painting, a circus painting, perhaps by Lautrec, Oliver stands on the seat of his bike in this painting and takes off, flying away into an orange sky. On the way home, the cars rushing by sound like waves and the sun glints off of her curls and Oliver is just a speck ahead, free.

Sometimes, we don't do it and that's how we do it.


30 comments:

  1. Your honesty is like an anthem. Your writing is like a deep, brass gong, proclaiming your truth.

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  2. ah elizabeth. there are those days. thank you for telling the truth. i learn so much from you.

    if you feel like answering this, what does the right kind of sympathy look like? if that's just one more intrusion, then please ignore and hold only the love instead.

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  3. I wish I had more to offer but all I can say is yes, to your words and yes, especially, to the truth of it all and the last line, we don't do it and this is how we do it. Yes. We hear you.

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  4. Angella: you are do kind. I think many people are sympathetic, bit it's tinged (or overwhelmed ) by pity. We all hate yo be pitied, but I'm sure, too, that I'm impossible on some days and thus it's more about me than others. You know what I mean? That woman's intent was good -- I wasn't receiving it. Then again, there are those whose looks convey everything but pity and you just KNOW.

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  5. I've had nill of times involved in the care of a love one with special needs. The one time that I most remember and as well I was unsure, was as a teen with my friends brother who was mentally challenged and suffered with epilepsy as well. He was age 17 and we were 13. He had a seizure and I was scared. She just did what she had been taught, as calm as could be and so gentle. I learned a lesson in life that day that I would not have known.

    Real life for you is the humming that while it may bother you at times it also is your rhythm with Sophie. Like when our little ones pick up a new song from school and they want to sing it all the time. At first it's fun/sweet/ and then the repetition sometimes wears on you except it is your sweet child' voice that you hear and that is what makes it bearable.

    People that give the looks...they have the problem don't they...they don't and can't understand...

    "Sometimes, we don't do it and that's how we do it."....yes that is so true Elizabeth.

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  6. I, like so many others I am sure, wish that we could be there to say, "here, let me take that for awhile, you go rest".

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  7. To me, your thoughts are like Sophie's humming... honest, raw and persistent. I want to listen but I don't want to listen, since I am afraid it is all that I will hear. You are a beautiful writer Elizabeth.

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  8. I'm thankful for you, Elizabeth.

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  9. But you did do it. You did it with all of the human-ness you have, getting frustrated and angry and knowing that Oliver needed to be free for a bit. 'Doing' it doesn't mean perpetual grace and acceptance and happiness, it sometimes means getting aggravated but getting on with it, anyway.

    Thank you for sharing. Today I will visualize you getting a moment to be Oliver on his bike - soaring up ahead. Free.

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  10. Big Hugs to you from here, Dear One. x0 N2

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  11. Because nobody is perfect and hard is hard.

    The most amazing part is that you exercise the presence of mind to shout on the inside while you let Sophie hum, and to let Oliver go free when you can't.

    In some religions you'd qualify for the next dimension. Although you may sometimes feel like you're living in another dimension now.

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  12. I understand every word you have written....synchronicity

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  13. I know what you mean about those 'looks.' My mom and I get them when I am out pushing her in her wheelchair. The other look is the quickly looking away and complete avoidance. People are just so damned uncomfortable. I get that. I wish it were different.

    Thanks for your raw and honest words.

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  14. your honesty
    too many of us SAY we ARE doing it
    and we think that's all there is too it
    liars all of us

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  15. This reminds me a little bit of the philosopher Kant. He's criticized sometimes for talking of the duty that underlies love, but I remember thinking all that motivated me, after just haven fallen asleep and whatever baby just cried out, was duty. Not anything else, because I was not alert to it or feeling it. It was the pull of... just tinny, metal on metal, duty. That got it done sometimes.

    If you agree with that (don't know) then sympathy would not be the right reaction. Kant would agree with that!

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  16. you slay me in all the right ways.

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  17. Terrific. That really takes me into your experiences.

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  18. The way you do it, is to allow your boys to run free, while being so part of it all at the same time.

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  19. I love your writing.

    -Julia O'C

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  20. This piece is a miracle of love and truth. If there is not a book of this series of How We Do It in the works, a whole lot of people are going to miss out on a whole lot of wisdom and honesty.

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  21. Doing nothing is doing everything..


    Loved this.

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  22. There are no bad thoughts, only bad deeds. This post IS perfection, because it truly describes how you do it.

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  23. absolutely. sometimes we don't do it. but it's good to know that there are others out there, in that place, sometimes, too...

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  24. When I read these posts sometimes I don't know what to say. All I can think of is how brave you are. And I think when we spend too much time with anyone they drive us crazy. Sometimes the inside of us breaks and hates and wants to run away. Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where they lady had the ability to yell "shut up" and the entire universe froze? Anyway, we all want to do it sometimes and your burden is heavier than most.
    xo

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