I’m down to one complaint: Not complaining. A hell of a year I picked, I’ve told everyone, walking down corridors, sitting at tables in coffee shops, lying on examining room beds, whispering into the phone at night to an empathetic friend. I haven’t had any Isaac Beshevits Singer catastrophes (no little children have died), but I’ve had a lot of head-reeling crises.
But still, here I am. Crazier, calmer at times, more hopeful. I’ve got an abcess on one hand that has yet to be explained; a failed root canal; a virus eating my cerebellum. These are just a few of things about which (she says, with a nod to JLW), I’m not going to complain. And not even the biggest ones (insert rueful smile).
I sat in a friend’s home yesterday, talking with her and her husband. I rocked in their chair and listened to her husband talk about his new job, as one of a small number of retired Episcopal priests ordained as a Catholic priest, serving now in a parish in a poorer section of Eastern Jackson County. He talked about the 250 families he serves, and his voice grew quiet, round and warm. My friend talked about the death penalty post-conviction hearing she will start in a couple of weeks, of the terrible, abusive childhood of her client which formed the half-crazed young man who stabbed and killed in a fit of uncontrollable rage. Her voice, too, grew quiet, serious.
I rocked; they talked. Then I spoke of my son and his adventures and I felt the stillness grow within me. I rocked, I sipped cold water, and I let the peacefulness overtake me. Then I took the home-grown tomatoes with which they gifted me home and made lovely meal of one of them. I’m 7/12 of the way through this year without complaining. I’m still here.