Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flooding, And A Motley Collection Of Thoughts

The sun is shining, and I've just come in from a glorious lunch and iced coffee on the deck with a good book for company.  I'd like to think it's my reward for spending yesterday stressing about the hot water heater (we had no hot water at all yesterday and I was terribly afraid we were going to have to replace the whole tank, but luckily it was only the thermostat) but my more sensible self is pretty sure today was going to be lovely whether I paid my stress-dues yesterday or not.

I did find time yesterday, however, to walk down and look at the flooding in the park.  The creek hasn't flooded the park since the mid-1990s, and even then I don't remember it being this extreme.  There was water running down both sides of the highway as well, and Lincoln St. was completely flooded.  Luckily it seems to be subsiding somewhat now, and the dry weather of the past two days is helping immensely.

I have, without question, an extraordinarily good life.  Sometimes I feel rather guilty about it... that I have what others do not, that I can spend an hour absorbing sunlight and reading delicious prose, that I have a good husband who encourages my various obsessions and thinks it's cool that my dancer's feet have serrated edges.  I feel guilty for having what others lack, and I feel guilty for wanting... other things.  True, wanting is part of the human condition.  Everybody looks for the perfect life that is free from any sort of longing; yet longing, striving, craving, is so much of what it means to be human.  Healthy striving makes us grow.  Unhealthy striving distorts and shrivels us.  I think mine is the healthy kind, mostly.  I want to succeed in my various creative endeavors.  I want to not be dependent on others.  I want days spent in the sunshine with a good book without feeling that I should be doing something more important.  I want to travel.  I want to help people.  Sometimes I want pie, or a massage, or red shoes and a striped ball gown.  But is it healthy?  Or is it reaching for the ridiculous?  Ought I to be content to share my creative endeavors with my friends, sans fame and fortune?  I've already traveled more than many people my age.  I can bake my own pies, paint my old shoes red, and sew myself a striped ball gown.  (Here my mother's voice calls in my head, "Where would you even wear a striped ball gown?")  I already spend days in the sun.  Is it so important that they come without remorse?  Perhaps I should be striving more in the material sense, picking up more work, but I come from the school of thought that says if you spend all your time toiling for the perfect life you miss the good one you might have had.

So, for now at any rate, I shall enjoy my hours in the sun, and use the twinge of guilt as a motivator to keep me from abusing the privilege.

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