Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Indomitable Struggle for Meaning

Hi folks, This is a real ramble this week. I was out having breakfast at my favorite little breakfast stop yesterday. It was late morning and I was the only one in the place. I took some pages of my WIP, bought my obligatory cup of iced tea (this is Texas), and picked up the provided newspapers to sift through. I still like to read a newspaper one or two times a week. It brings back warm memories of growing up when my family shared the Sunday paper. 

One of the employees was reading from her phone. 

"Oh, I love Shel Silverstein," she exclaimed.  

Her fellow workers all chimed back similar love.  Immediately. 

"Which one are you reading?" one called.

The phone reader called out, "You have to hear this. Hug O'War."

She read it. Tables stopped being wiped. The kitchen grew silent. The manager put down his tablet.

When she finished, I heard murmured happy comments of how much they all loved Shel Silverstein and how they have treasured him their whole lives (18 to 25 years). They called out his book titles; Light in the Attic, The Giving Tree, and Falling Up! And when this conversation ended they launched into the The Giver by Lois Lowery. 

I felt like a very happy fly on the wall.This conversation brought me close to my life's mission -- I'm caught up in the indomitable struggle for meaning.  I know, I have a life mission. I'm fighting the sound and fury part of life. I'm kicking against entropy.

This hunger to share something of who we are and what we want feels like rocket fuel inside me. Unfortunately, failure is an option that I have run into again and again. You see, I really want to create a morning in a breakfast shop in the future where someone reads from her phone, shares my words, and heads nod in happy communing over these familiar words. I so want to contribute a verse. 

I keep searching for that spark of meaning that will light the fire of human souls. I call this an indomitable struggle because I will not quit. I will not, but I must be honest. I've been feeling like Moses looking over into a promised land this week, wondering if I'm just barred because I hit a rock in frustration to make water flow. I'm feeling like Apollo Thirteen astronauts who got  mighty close to the moon but their story became one of just getting home and the wonders of duct tape. The worst of it, I'm feeling like the member of a host of women whose quiet serviceable lives are lost amid the clamoring voices of the flashier members of our species. 

I am the most pedestrian creature to have a far flung dream. I'm off the beaten track, dwelling in the yawning wilderness of suburbia, You really don't hear much about the "Voice that Cried from Surburbia!" I live in a "little box" on a street of ticky-tacky houses. I'm a housewife and a mother. I think the government calls me unemployed. My everyday projects are a garage sale and going grocery shopping. I might mow the lawn.  

And yet I'm caught up in this indomitable struggle for meaning. Here I am, hoping to rattle the bones. You know, a weed will spring up in any crack in the concrete. I hope that you hold onto your struggle. I hope you find meaning on this journey of life. I hope that you share it. Bloom, even in that impossible place. I have a deep seated belief that "every little thing is going to shine."

Will be back next week with more musing. 

Here is a doodle.

In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love. Marc Chagall


Mirka Breen said...

I hear you.

What is the grandeur of quiet decency?

Speaking of greats, Silverstein was a genius and an outlier if ever there was one. I wouldn't have wanted his personal life for all the tea in China.

MollyMom103 said...

Oh, Mirka, that is the most wonderful phrase, "The Grandeur of Quiet Decency."

I didn't know he had such a hard life. :( I'm glad he had his art. Art is such a great comfort in life.

Karrie Zylstra said...

Thank you for the breakfast moment, Molly. The suburban mom over here needed it, too.

Conrad Wesselhoeft said...

Molly, of your many shimmering posts, this one may shimmer brightest of all.

We all carry a sack of rocks--but the fact that we pull them out and examine them for meaning--that's what counts.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful words.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Conrad, I think a wise soul mentioned once that I should swim toward the shimmer.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Karrie, I'm happy these words connected with you. :)

Vijaya said...

Molly, I had a chance to share some of your words at the Carolinas SCBWI conf. Your words have already touched so many lives, but you won't necessarily know ... this is a beautiful post. Thank you.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Vijaya, I have so many thoughts. I am so happy you dropped. What a gift that you shared my words in North Carolina. Thank you.