Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Leaving my line to define my plane

I was lying in bed last night, thinking.  Just random thoughts coming in and flying out even quicker.  I was thinking of my friends and of my  books and places I’d like to go and how I’m going to fix my house.  Randomly, I remembered that day at the coffee shop, in the little town where I grew up.   Our table was wiggly and we spilled our coffee.  I asked him, “Why do tables have four legs anyway?”

He said, “Huh?”

“Well, three points define a plane,” I said.

He just looked at me funny.  Sometimes he says I’m crazy.  Sometimes I think he’s crazy.  Finally he simply said, “Yes.”

So here’s why that’s important: because I was lying in bed last night thinking…..about everything.  About this past year and everything I’ve been through.  I’ve been lied to.  I’ve been left.  I have seriously been hurt like I’ve never been hurt before.  And I hate writing that.  I hate even thinking that.  Because somewhere in me I don’t really believe that.  Because right now I feel fine.  In fact, better than fine.  I am happier now than I have been in 3 decades.  So it’s hard to remember the nights I spent curled up in a ball, crying into the covers, asking “why???”.  That memory seems so vague all of a sudden.

And I guess the thought I had last night is that perspective is strange.  It’s so crazy…so undefinable…so whimsical.  One minute it’s one thing, the next minute it’s another.  It depends on who you are, on where we are.  It depends on every experience we’ve had so far in our lives.  And it depends on where we are in the moment.

So it was dark and there were shadows on the wall.  I was lying in bed, down comforter crisp and cold.  I lay motionless, staring at these two chairs up against the wall.  And I thought to myself that if I had never seen a chair before, I would think that you either get this one or that one.  That there were only two types of chairs in the world.   Only two choices.  And I thought, “Hmm, if there was even one more chair, I would realize that it wasn’t just this one or that one….and I might wonder if there were more out there…more choices…Hmm….”  And then I fell asleep.

Three points define a plane.  The thing is, they cannot all exist on the same line.  Very interesting….

You cannot define your plane without leaving the path you are on.  It takes that other point somewhere else in space in order to gain perspective on where you really are.  It takes that third point in space to say, “Yes, I am right here.”  And I am fine.

So my point here is only this: Things aren’t just one way or another.  There is always another point to be found, in fact, an infinite amount of them.  Maybe you can’t see it.  Maybe you don’t believe it’s out there somewhere.  But science doesn’t lie.  That point is there somewhere.  And when you find it, you will have a table — sturdy, steady, where coffee doesn’t spill.  That third point will give you perspective on where you’ve been before, and better yet, on where you are right now….and where you’d like to go from here.

Just know that when your table is wobbly, look for your third point in space.  Reach out for it.  Don’t just stay stuck on the same path you’ve always been on.  You might believe in symmetry, but you have to believe in trigonometry, too.  Your third point will be there and it will save you.  Because you will suddenly realize it’s not just this way or that.  You will have a new perspective and for the first time you’ll see a million opportunities ahead.  Your third point will define your plane, and that’s what will make you steady and strong.  And it really will all be ok in the end.

(And yes, those really are the kinds of thoughts I have before I go to sleep.)


January 1, 2009 Posted by | A New Paradigm, Just me | 4 Comments

I Even Tried an Acrobat

I realized I was at a crossroads.  A stupid road, with a stupid point, where I had to decide which way to go.  I hate roads like that.  But every road is like that, so maybe it’s just me.

I’ve come to realize that everything I’ve ever needed to know, I’ve learned from the fire in my living room.  The way it takes such care, and contains so much power.  It can either save your life or kill you.  You either have to stoke it or let it die.  And long before you can stoke it, you have to find a tree, chop it down, season the wood, split the logs, chop kindling, crumple the paper, find a match…..there is a lot that has gotten me to today.  So much planning and pain-staking, back-breaking, labor.  But none of that matters when the fire goes out.  All your work is for what?  For practice?  Because you get to do it all over again.  And again, and again…and again.


The proof is in the fire. It’s not something you can fake.  It’s either going well or it’s not.  You’re either warm or you’re cold.  It’s either blazing or it’s going out.  And it might be cold inside, but it’s always colder outside.  And sometimes you see it dying, and you look outside at the 5 cords you have, and sometimes you just think to yourself that it’s easier to just curl up inside the down comforter on your bed and worry about the coldness in the morning.

One thing I’ve learned is that coals are only good if you plan to light it again.  Or if it’s already too hot.

Well, this is neither of those things.  I’m cold and I don’t plan on relighting this fire.

And he has been trying to tell me that.  But I wasn’t able to hear him.  I so badly wanted it to keep on going.  I had convinced myself that it would.  Someday.  But it’s not.  It’s not going to blaze again.  It’s over.  It’s dead.  The fire is out.

And I really did even try an acrobat.  (Thank you, Wilma.)

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Just me | Leave a comment