Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

the virtue of hard work on fragile boxes

"Don't make me warn you of stars, how they see us from that distance as miniature and breakable, from the bride that tops the wedding cake to the Mary on the Pinto dashboards, holding her ripe, red heart in her hands"--Beth Ann Fennelly

I think a lot of folks experience so much emotion, that it's amazing how well they function. It's as though some physical autopilot must "kick in" to get the mundane work tasks done, while the inner life resembles all those tornado storms which seem to afflict Oklahoma lately.

Sometimes the LiveJournal experience points up for me the way in which the inner life can be such a roller coaster. I think of one journal, not on my friends' list, in which the journaller, a bright, capable person, went in the space of literally about nine weeks from break-up-and-declaration-that-all-relationships-are-a-sham to met-the-new-person-and-we're-going-to-the-chapel-someday. Of course, the journal's fiction-like qualities make me unsure of the literal truth of either set of emotions--but what a sea change! The part of me that secretly always wants to carry an extra portable pencil sharpener and safety pins, to ensure that I'm never caught in 7th grade class unprepared (though, in fact, I was always unprepared for anything), gets tempted once in a while to post something like "hey, slow down! perhaps the reasons that your relationships never last is that you're already talking closing the long-term contract before you've even had someone look at the foundation!". But what business would I have to post such a parental comment? I don't like the parental comments I already post, because I am not a parent at all in life, and would not be a good one, if the evidence of my journal comments were the sole indicia. Besides, I'm not sure my "life on a calm lake" perspective gives me much insight into stormy seas.

I just wonder at the way in which some folks are so full of life and energy and tremendous fragility. They work so hard, with super-glue pasting together the most tender egg shells. They run headlong into huge, impregnable walls, confident that they can break them down. They see themselves as failures, but I see them as so brave. I note that their deep valleys often come with huge, magnificent mountain heights. I just wish sometimes I could give people the gift of seeing themselves as being as cool as I see them, but the sentiment could never really translate into effective words. But people are so brave--and so fragile.
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