Musings from a tree house...
I read books by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I meditate in my tree house. I garden. Sing.
When I exercise, I focus on being in “the zone”. I, in general, work hard at being peaceful.
why I’m not successful. I’m working at it. Not being it.
Mr. Kabat-Zinn, at a recent conference,
spoke of moments of consciousness--the “ping, ping, ping” of those moments and the stringing of them together
through practice. “Ping! Ping! Ping!” for me, means: “Forgive! Forgive! Forgive!”
had lots of professional “ping” opportunities. I’ve provided some as well, though not as many, I think,
as I’ve been given.
Here are some of my professional moments:
“Ping!” Forgive the brute who
targeted me for bullying!
Done. Check. Moved on to help other targets. That one took me awhile. But, now,
when I think of him, my forgiving heart just aches at the pain he lives—his own most probably, and the pain of those
working for him.
“Ping! Ping!” Forgive his sycophants! Forgive, too, the school district leaders who know
all about him and protect him!
Check. Done. Understood the fear. Fear of losing jobs. Fear of being exposed.
Again: loosening moments. Letting go. Mr. Kabat-Zinn, I think, would understand.
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping….” Forgive Pam Stewart. Forgive Marva Johnson. Forgive John Padgett.
Gary Chartrand. Rebecca Lipsey. Michael Olenick. Forgive Andy Tuck. Ah, but it feels impossible for me to forgive
these seven people. How is it that they are the boogie men of my nightmares?
They are Florida’s board of education.
rarely sleep through a night without a “what if?” question bubbling up in a dream and awakening me…. “What
if she doesn’t get a diploma? What if after all of her hard work—thirteen years of schooling—she doesn’t
get to go to college? What if she, like more than 150,000 people in Florida, receives a certificate instead of a diploma?
What if she just gives up? What if my eleventh grader just says “Mom, I’m not going to pass it, so
what’s the point?” after her third try at THE TEST?
Oh, dear God, what if she never, ever, passes their—my
seven boogie men’s—test?
“Wherever You Go, There You Are” is the title of one of Mr. Kabat-Zinn’s
books. I’ve practiced its “letting go” content wherever I go. I practice in a tree house and standing at
a stove, a washing machine, and a bathroom sink. I drive with the book’s content in my mind and heart. I use the
“ping, ping, ping” of moments of strung-together-peace to ease me through Miami’s traffic on my way to and
from work each day. I face the day’s challenges with a forgiving spirit.
But wherever I go—Miami’s
traffic, my office, kitchen or laundry room-- I’m there with a high school diploma. I earned it long before board
of education test and punish boogie men could keep it from me.
I find that it is not for me—at least on this issue—possible
to forgive. Fear will continue to float like a fishing pole’s bobber on the still waters of my mind. I cannot
forgive the boogie men who’ve put the pole in my hands.
Just, for God’s sake, give my daughter a diploma.