I can help you find your contact when you’ve lost it in the bathroom, while it mysteriously fell from your finger while you were putting them into your eyes. I know exactly the places to look… sometimes it falls on your cheek, and it just sits there, waiting to be picked up. Or, it’s sitting lightly on your hair, precariously balanced — untethered by gravity’s pull. If it’s not in either of those two places, I can usually find it hanging on the edge of the sink, or the edge of your toe. No matter, not to worry, I will always find it, no matter where it has landed. To this day, not a single contact has ever been lost under my care.
The relief of finding that lost contact gives you a not only a day of sight, but also a sigh of relief, no need to rush to the phone in the hopes that the Dr. has your prescription in-stock today, and no hassles. But what else can I do? Is the simple act of knowing I’m here and will always be able to find your contact enough? Have I mastered the critical skills? It’s hard to know, but sometimes as I watch you navigate through the mine-fields of life, I feel inadequate and helpless.
I can help you create flash cards to help you remember that lava is above ground, and magma is below, but I’m unable to run to the store to replace all the things the smoke has robbed from you, I’m still inept at sending birthday cards at the time they mean the most, and unable to put your self-esteem back together when they’ve battered you to a pulp. I can’t undo the wrongs of this world, the wrongs that are shutting you down from dreams. But, I can make a kick-ass muffin that will keep you nourished and on-your-toes for 10 hours straight. But what good is that, really, if I’m missing the big things that can get you through? What are the big things?
Do I feel distant when you’re hurting? This is just me coming into the full awareness of my own limitations. I’m observing your hurt, and perhaps I’m thinking of how I could have prevented this for you.
I read once that most of us only use 10 percent of our lung capacity. The inability to breath deeply can lead to serious illness, as deep breaths eliminate many toxins out of our bodies. I told her this, explained it in detail, yet she still died of pneumonia. I thought I was so clear when I explained every step of a good deep breath to her. Something I couldn’t fix.
Just before I wake, inspiration comes to me in the form of some great and grand act I can take to eliminate a problem, clear an obstacle for someone else, or clear a whole new path. This idea usually stirs out of deep sleep, into my clothes and down stairs where I do first thing first: I start cooking breakfast, I make sure lunches are packed, I drink my warm lemon water, I pour cereal, I break-up squabbles, and find lost pieces to important costumes that will be worn today.
In about 40 minutes, the inspiration that has brought me down to the kitchen in the first place has withered down to a puddle of liquid that has no feet to move. I can no longer find its beginning, middle and end, and unable to see my role in its master plan. At this point, my raison d’Ãªtre is now cleaning breakfast dishes, working on dinner and clearing a path through the toys, and realizing that today, I will not conquer world peace; I’ll be lucky to get everyone to bed on time.
No Mother really wants to admit that the act of caring for her children takes her away from her “higher purpose.” Actually, children create inspiration, the desire to better things, and my children build the resolve wtihin me to do the right things and to get what needs to be done, done. They are wonderful inspiration feeders. So, it is not the children themselves that blocks us from doing something great, it is the work that comes with the children. It’s difficult not to believe, (or is it that we want to believe?), that our destiny lies beyond the purvey of washing dishes, and scrubbing floors. Worse, is the feeling that the presence of these very acts on our daily agenda is what is keeping us from our destiny.
This feeling of helplessness, unable to foresee the tragedies that life will throw at you, makes my skills of making a perfect ghost, a so-so marshmallow, great olive-oil or spreadable butter, so trivial. Even though I do all these things with great love, I feel sometimes, when life is especially hard, that it is quite simply not enough.