The Circle Game

A styilized vintage carousel

Going in circles doesn’t always imply lack of progress. There are two circles I am thinking about, one good, the other not-so-mugh.

The not-so-good circle is throwing me off the balance I’ve been striving to find in my new chapter.

In the midst of a conversation over how I spend my time, I realized, writing is my job. I am happy to spend time in other pursuits, including lolling about, but, I am so committed to my getting my voice heard, to getting better at my craft, I refuse to simply push aside my daily regimen, without very good reason.

My writing commitment has been questioned a couple of times recently. It has been suggested I am simply “acting like I have a job.”

I didn’t react. I found compassion. I think I understood where the comment originated. And then I responded. Gently but firmly. I had a confrontation. Without worrying I was going to disappoint someone for whom I care about. I expressed my feelings knowing that a friendship was in jeopardy, willing to live with the consequences.

That’s big step in my little journey. Historically, in conflict, I’d imagine negative reactions if I expressed myself. To avoid the negativity, I used passive aggressive behaviors, driving people away, avoiding ugliness.

Not today. I stood up for my self. I explained my feelings. I understood what is most important to me and acted on it. That feels great. End of circle game.

The second circle reflects my return to a kinder, gentler way of perceiving the universe.

Coming of age in the 1970’s, my cultural influences trended hippy-dippy. I was greatly influenced by Vonnegut’s novels, by Robert Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land, so forth and so on. I developed my philosophy. Everyone strives for enlightenment. Some are closer than others. Some are terribly misguided.

In the end, our bodies go kaput and our inner light finds in a new body and continues the work. I guess for an empath trying to make sense of the pain that is high school, much less society, I rationalized an ultimately hopeful, forgiving perspective.

Growing older, my focus shifted to the here and now. I followed the well-worn path of college, career, family.

Fast forward to the end of my path when my marriage ended. With a compass composing of dear friends, a therapist adept at helping me better understand myself, and a foray into Buddhism, a new path emerged.

The commonalities between Buddhism as a philosophy and my youthful trust in kindness are extraordinarily comforting to me.

Coming full circle, reacquainting myself with the dormant, kinder, gentler me has been a circular journey of the finest kind.

Keep in touch. Connect.

Jon

P.S. You were perhaps expecting The Circle Game? If anything, I’m not predictable. What’s remarkable about this performance, is it not sung by a 23 year-old girl but by a woman, whose voice says it all.

4 thoughts on “The Circle Game

  1. I realized your comment deserved a more honest response, than “don’t ask.”

    The reality is, the person who made the comment has been competing for my mindshare. She is familiar with my writing and has been extremely encouraging in her support and effusive in her opinion of my skills.

    I think the fact that I am so focused on my process, willing to put everything (and everyone) aside, led to the confrontation.

    It is remarkable how complex the dance of life is, no matter how simply I choreograph it inside my head.

    Like

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