Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Just A Bone

Claire and I sat in the car at at the bus stop, watching the boys swinging sticks and hitting the tree.
Claire said, "I feel nervous about middle school. Sid seems to have it figured out, she seems to have settled in. But I'm worried about changing classes, what if I get lost. I hope everything's on the first floor."

It's only November. She won't have to deal with the reality of that new life change until next fall. But see? We all do this. We run ahead of ourselves, believing if we ruminate long enough, our worries and trepidation will be swept away. We'll have solved the perceived problem. Whatever ails us will be gone, ruminated to death. 

It doesn't work like that. I know this well. I speak from years of experience as an Olympic-ranked ruminator. Give me anything: work, children, marriage, parents, wrinkles, and I will chew that thing like a dirty old bone found half-buried in the yard. It may be coated in grass and leaves, clumps of mud, some bugs. This only adds to the deliciousness of the ruminating, the terrible, gnawing taste of it. I will work it over. And over.

But the thing is, when I finally let myself drop the bone, I'm exhausted. Bone-weary. There's no relief, not anymore clarity than when I started. Exhausted and agitated, I have lost the game.

Clarity comes when I drop the bone. When I stand still and see it on the ground at my feet, touching the tip of my black boot. 
"It's just a bone," I say.
That's all.

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