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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Disappointed Madonna

The portrait is the 14-year-old Virginia Woolf, so the year would be 1896. I believe that is the most beautiful face I have ever seen. She is possibly the most English looking woman who ever lived. I've read all the books twice, of course. I've read all of the biographies. I'm an Anglophile, so lots of things about her would pull me. But we also share some human experiences that are uncommon and terrible. I came through as simply a twisted sister. She suffered for 59 years, put rocks in her coat pockets and jumped into the river. I think she was disappointed every moment of her life. I have this portrait on a little pendant I love, and I wear it around my neck. Frequently.

I like things to work as intended. When a car does something to me, say get a flat tire, I don't want to have that car any more. When my computer loses its mind, I want the Badger to build me a new one. When I snip a thread on a piece of clothing and a seam running the length of the garment unravels, I want to send it to SafeNest. Disappointment unsettles me. It makes me feel uncertain and insecure. Unable to trust the car, the computer or the garment again. For many years, I was so rigid, I behaved almost as extremely as those feelings suggest.

Yesterday it was Blogger. I noticed early on that some of the blogs I follow had new posts, but they were not propagating to the blog lists of the followers. It lasted until the afternoon when slowly, one by one, the new posts began to show up in the blog lists. First Tree, followed soon by Erin O'Brien. Sometime during the middle of the night, the Badger's Digital Existence updated. Everybody's updated except mine. And my post was an invitation to an imaginary party with 'tend friends! In addition to appearing in no blog lists, the post has repeatedly reformatted itself. I glance at it and there's the text I wrote . . . matched up to the wrong photo! Repeatedly. This gives me angst. Doesn't Blogger like me? Why wouldn't Blogger like me, as I really like Blogger . . . . .

So as I walked this morning, I thought about disappointment and how we handle adversity, big or small. I thought about Tree's post of yesterday, speaking of broken things. I thought about the comments made from fatalists and optimists. I decided stressing about an aberrant blog posting is probably not worth any more energy. I decided to land on my own little Pollyanna take on things: keep at it, don't give up, try some more. I approach many things that way. For, you see, I can feel disappointed, but behave rock steady. It's called balance. I'm glad I've found some. I lacked it for most of my life.

But I sure as shootin' wanted some of the bloggers to come to my party!

In my ears right now: the seminal disappointment / reemergence pop tune, "I'm a Believer".

Something that has never failed to charm me: A phrase someone special says to me quite frequently. It means more than the small simple words that comprise the sentence. There are layers and less obvious meanings present. "I'm glad I know you."


  1. Limes, if you have not read Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Diary, compiled by Leonard such to highlight those entries that spoke to the writing, I would highly recommend it--in fact, I'm not so sure this isn't one of the best things she wrote. The picture you posted of her is on the cover of the paperback version. I didn't know she was only 14 in that photo. Wow.

  2. My edition is tattered around the edges (it's officially a venerable thing), but I love that you know her well and have read some of the works. After her death, Leonard spent MUCH time re-presenting, reissuing, reminding the world about her. Their love story is uniquely beautiful. Do you know about her sister Vanessa and the rest of the Bloomsbury group, including Forster and other well-knowns? My little green bird is named Bloomsbury for obvious reasons.

  3. In the spirit of the Bloomsbury group: Live in fragments no longer. Only connect. -E. M. Forster

  4. VERY good, Badger! I wish you could tolerate sitting down and getting through A Room With a View, Howards End or Where Angels Fear to Tread with me. Do you know what the "M" stands for?

  5. Limes, what is your favorite Woolf book? And if you've read The Waves, what are your thoughts there?

  6. P.S., Badger: so do you "get" my "connecting with others" label? I think you must.

  7. Tree, my immediate gut reaction was "To the Lighthouse" but I'm chewing on some other thoughts and will give you my definitive reply as soon as I land on it. One Christmas, the Badger gave me a collection of ALL of her works ~ what a delight! New, clean, fresh books, inscribed to me from he, new perspective . . . don't think I won't present my thoughts!