Today is Robin Williams’ birthday, and I am honoring the occasion by watching Dead Poets’ Society, rethinking my whole life, and ugly crying.
I did not like this movie that much the first time I watched it. Don’t stone me. I was looking for something lighthearted and irreverent, and DPS is not irreverent. The next few times I watched it, I liked it more, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. I was looking for something with a message and a happy ending. I needed a happy ending. I needed to hold on to the hope that there was some happy at the end of the ish I was slogging through. But this time…this time I think I was ready for it. Maybe it’s my age, or my situation, or just the state of the world right now, but it clicked in a way it never has before.
I’m overall much happier without Facebook. I peek in on Twitter and a handful of local news sites each day (my job keeps me up to date on the big headlines), and that’s really all I need to feel informed. The world’s sucking. I don’t need to read a timeline full of politically charged links to get that. There are good people, and not so good people, and some change is occurring but not enough, and a whole lot of people are dying. Got it.
The ache in my core has lessened since I stopped visiting FB every day. I miss the people. Some of the people. I will eventually figure out a happy medium that allows me to interact with my people without having to deal with the full blast from the wastewater valve, which will likely involve blocking/unfollowing/unfriending some people. I’m in a position of emotional exhaustion, though, so I need to focus on fixing that first.
This time and space and quiet is welcome.
I have been indulging myself a bit in this space. Looking beyond purpose, beyond practicality. Fragrance is my indulgence of choice these days. After so long away from scents and perfumes, I am loving my pretty smells from Sucreabeille. Fragrance is more meaningful to me these days; it’s how I pump myself up, calm and comfort myself, even connect with the kids — they like to match smells with me. We’ve spent so much of the past few months indoors, away from the scents of nature, so it’s nice to revel in a beautiful smell.
I don’t remember the exact wording of the goal, but someone on 43t had a goal about wanting more colors, more scents, more flavors. Yes. Enough austerity. I want music. I want color. I want taste and scent and texture. Every day. What else are senses for?
I also want to create again. There is a great emptiness in me that creativity used to fill. I work and I eat and I clean and I sleep and I need more than that. I haven’t decided what, exactly, I want to create — or, more to the point, which creative thing I want to do first. I’m narrowing the options.
I’m also contemplating shifting my career to something more creative. Much as my persnickety heart loves the minutiae of my job, it’s severely lacking in color and texture and scent and music. When I am working on a creative project, the hours fly and I feel energized by challenges. I don’t really get that same buzz from editing anymore.
Back to DPS again. This quote:
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
I thought my verse was motherhood. And it was, and is, and will be. My children will forever be my greatest creations. Parenthood was a calling, and while individual moments are…challenging, it is my purpose, my driving force.
But behind that force is a quiet voice that has not yet had her say. I’m seeking out moments of stillness so I can hear her better.