“Stay soft Sarah G.” was the implied refrain in Sarah's mind earlier this fall, and I've been reminding myself of it regularly, applying it to myself. Stay soft, kristy. Don't let yourself grow defensive. Don't let yourself give up, don't let yourself harshly judge. Stay soft. Stay open. Stay calm and stay loving. Though I still think that Mrs. Drummer's concern for me and my prickles could have been left unsaid or differently said, I wonder, now, whether there may have been something to that. Possibly not at that time – I think I needed confidence at that time – but these past years.
Is exhausting. Trying to remain patient and soft and generous is hard work. Good work but hard. Hard because it is moral in the way Bauman discusses – there is no measure against which I might measure myself. There is no end to patience, there is no goal. There is no minimum level above which my obligation eases. No. At every moment I am responsible for my actions and for my responses, and at every moment I must love better than I know how.
I have been so emotional lately. Weird. Cried over my Glamour magazine (the 31 days of giving, and the woman of the year awards.). Cried over the Christmas cd Hugh Miller made for me a few years back (the poor cat! and the poor mouse – the poor lucky mouse. and the generosity and futility of the cat's gift - why this mouse? it will die like everything else and probably sooner rather than later. but the cat chose to be responsible. and that precisely is moral.) In particular, generosity moves me more deeply than I remember it having done.
I've been having the hardest time getting out of bed lately. I am quite sure that it has to do with the enormity of the dissertation I am trying to prepare to write. If I had a plan ... If I had a comfortable chair ... If I had a hot breakfast waiting for me ... If I had laundry money ... If I knew what I would write ... If it weren't so cold ... If I didn't have to shower ... If there was coffee hot and waiting ... If ... If ... If ...
It seems as though I must be 'all set' before I could possibly begin. If I write half of my dissertation before I get a comfortable chair, it seems I must start over – how much better would my first half have been/could become if only it were written in the comfortable chair! And since I cannot begin (because I am not 'all set'), I may as well stay in bed where it is warm, where I can daydream, where cat is curled up, where it is soft, where it is dark, where nothing is expected.