Friday, January 16, 2009

Perspective and forced perspective

I had a hell of a day yesterday.

It culminated with one of the boys chasing the other one, tripping and hitting his head on one of the (thankfully) rounded edges of the coffee table Beck made us for our wedding. The bump looked like a blue new potato cut in half. He has a mild concussion. He's OK; he gets Tylenol every 4 hours, has a big bruise and is otherwise in a better mood than he's been in for weeks. And I have a new definition of what a bad bruise looks like. So my perspective has changed.

Perspective is a funny thing. I was listening to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Greenday the other day while driving, and I realized that the song didn't speak to me the way it might have once. To be honest it's not my favorite album; it just happened to pop up on shuffle. But it would have spoken deeply to my angsty teenaged self. But I am no longer on my own, and I do not walk alone. I walk with at least one small person with me nearly all the time. I don't even go to the bathroom alone most of the time, and while my dreams have changed, I think it's a natural thing. My perspective on what "alone" is has changed, because while I can not take a whiz solo, or get any quiet at all during the day, I feel quite alone most of the time. I have very few people to talk to that are aware of compound sentence structure during the day. My main concern is whether nor not someone is 1) pooping 2) washing their hands properly 3) doing something dangerous 4) eating that 5) what the hell is on your mouth?!

This is vastly different than 2 or 3 years ago, let alone 10 or 15. My perspective on success has changed. I no longer feel that I am a failure for not being nationally known. Owning my own business is enough. Having a family, a loving husband that I love too, a warm house and friends I can depend on is enough. It's freaking great, actually. Re-discovering sewing, learning to make things with my hands and the the other crafting stuff I now know has made me feel, to use a horrible word, empowered. I can learn to do anything, almost. I may even make a sweater soon, just to go a little crazy.

Lately my perspective on violence has changed, too. I found out this morning that there was a shooting here in our neighborhood, too. Not just up the road. There is more going on than just red cloths being left on cars. It's getting scarier. Even before I heard this news, however, my perspective had changed. I'm nervous about where I live now. Not as nervous as when John and I lived next to a psycho in the ghetto with helicopters flying overhead with searchlights all the time. But I knw that place was bad. This is a nice neighborhood, which is I'm sure what "they" all say.

As I thought about our nice neighborhood, I also thought about war zones. I thought about Iraq, Palestine and Israel, Afganistan, Iran, and inner cities across the country. I've never liked war, or the idea or living in fear. I believe no one should have to live in constant terror. Children should be able to walk down the street and play outside without worrying about stray bpmbs or bullets. But having these isolated incidents in my neighborhood has changed my perspective a lot. Not about wars and gangs and violence, not at all. It changed the way I feel about what's going on. If I found the person who is cowardly enough to randomly target our neighborhood, I'd laugh at him. I'm glad he or she is an amateur. Then I'd ship that person to a real war zone, and give his or her place to a woman and her family living in fear of the Taliban. I'd give them this chance for education, for a relatively peaceful and free life. I'd give that place in the world to any man or woman fighting daily for the strength to go out of the house to get food, not sure if they'll make it back. Fuck the red cloth asshole and the horse he rode in on. Is it scary? Yes. I can't lie about that. But taken in perspective, it's nothing. My heart goes out to the families this has more directly affected, but the truth is that they'll live. They'll probably move, but they are intact. These are isolated incidents that suck. In reality, we are lucky. I'm not going to forget that.

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