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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Opening Your Heart Will Crack it a Little

love on the riverside-- rocks from today's walk
Nothing says Friday night middle-aged fun like watching an animated video in the basement.

For some reason no one in the house will own, Toy Story III arrived via our mail-vid account a few weeks ago.  Tonight my sweetie announced he was sending it back since apparently nobody was going to watch it.  I'm a child of waste-not parents and decided we better pop it in the machine.

We exchanged several sideways glances the first twenty minutes, trying to figure out if anyone was enjoying it.  It was typical Pixar goodness-- funny, with snappy writing, brilliant animation and the reasonable semblance of that Quest Tale/Hero's Journey plot essential to all good stories.  But something was obviously missing, and I finally narrowed it down:  utterances of the F-word, or a person under 12.

We bravely persevered, and it was a good antidote to a long work week.  I love my job, but it's neither mindless or light-hearted, so that's exactly what I want for entertainment.  No Oprah Book Club tearjerkers for me, thank you.  Give me Buzz Lightyear dancing the tango and Ken doll as the Original Metrosexual.

But even kiddo comedies tug my heartstrings. (Caution:  Spoiler Alert!)  I was in full on tears along with Andy's cartoon mom when she entered her son's room and saw it packed away for college, his boyhood toys in a box.  It was just a few months ago I played that scene.  Life's changes are bittersweet, with each advance a goodbye of some kind.

There are some things we say goodbye to unnecessarily.  I hope to never lose a sense of play, wonder at the natural world, and a love of learning.  Yet even as I type those last words I think of how reluctant I have become about adapting to new technology.  I don't even try to figure out how to turn on the television--why the hell one should need four remotes to watch a show is beyond me.  I feel young enough, but as I watched the animated tango scene I realized I will not be learning how to do that dance, because my sexy can no longer trump my clumsy.  I don't mind making a fool of myself most of the time, but I have my limits.

On the other hand, age has brought its benefits.  I grew up hearing people get more close minded as they age, but that hasn't been my experience at all.  The more I know, the less I know I know, and the less black and white the world becomes.  Judgement is replaced by compassion and certainty by a softening of the heart.  As a young idealist, I had lots of (self)righteous anger.  Although I talked about love and connection,  the world was full of "thems".  I can still get my Crank on, but I see how complicated things are, and how easy it is to become hoarding of the little piece of pie you think is available, or to make lousy choices based on resources that are or you perceive to be limited.

About the artist
Wendy, from her website
And I get how life's sweetnesses are all mixed in with its sadnesses.  How you don't get one without the other.  You can have the kid you lovingly raise to be independent, and s/he will leave you.  Or maybe you have a child that can never leave you, and that brings a whole nother truck of sadnesses and joys. If you love someone enough to let them in all the way, they're in deep enough to cut you.  Most won't, at least not on purpose.  But it will ache some when things change, even when it's what's supposed to happen.

This blog was lost in the shuffle after I wrote it last month.   Tonight it has a new meaning for me.  One of the first friends I met in Corvallis is moving with her family several hundred miles away, to be closer to her widowed dad.  Wendy's welcome helped our family know we'd found a home here.  She's been a source of creative support, gentle spiritual teaching and inspiring mothering. Take a look at her art at divinebitsofbeauty.com. I'm one of many who will miss her luminous smile and beautiful spirit, even as we wish her happiness on this new adventure.   Godspeed, Wendy, Peter, Ella and Buddy!
"You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."   -- Anne Lamott

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