Tuesday, when we flashed by B&N in Duluth for a few minutes to pick up more reading material for T.D.,I took advantage of their free wi-fi and I was dismayed to discover that there was upset at OutsideIn. Actually, that people were upset with me. And, I think, rightly so to a certain extent. I didn’t take enough heed in getting posts ready to go before I left and I asked FG to just scan 4 or 5 letters and I went ahead and posted them, complete. Beyond this, and what I said in the comment section of that post, I have nothing more to add on that subject. Thank you,Roberta for your e-mail and I’m truly sorry it caused you to feel so angry, Jim.
I have many many flaws (Hey! That could be “the hundred things about me” list…) but if there’s any one thing that I consider a character strength it’s my ability to suspend judgment on others. Although I used to live a life on guard, keeping constant vigilance , I finally figured out it just didn’t help or make sense to live that way. It took way too much energy. It made true intimacy and good sex nearly impossible, natural childbirth difficult and I didn’t want the children to grow up all fearful and anxious. Even though there is much to fear in life and I am sometimes fearful and anxious on their behalf.
On the second day of our vacation we were sitting in a Perkins restaurant along the interstate eating breakfast when this happened: A young woman with two small children was driving her SUV on the two lane that ran past the restaurant when the entire right rear wheel shot off her car and flew down the embankment at 70 mph. It raced across the parking lot and struck a woman in her mid-sixties as she and her husband were leaving Perkins and going back to their car. Initially, we thought she was dead. There was a lot of chaos and calls were made to 911 and it was incredibly upsetting. The poor mother was holding her two crying children and she herself was nearly hysterical over this freak accident. The husband of the woman struck was silently patting his wife’s face. Some bystanders were trying to be helpful, some were weeping.
The woman had opened her eyes but wasn’t moving when we pulled out and the EMS arrived. We didn’t want to be a part of the parking lot clutter and we were fairly shook up by the incident. I don’t know if she survived. I’m sort of afraid to do a search of the local newspaper for that day. After we got back on the road I kept thinking, alternately, “How could that possibly happen? “and “How could you possibly guard against something that awful happening?”
I often leave my doors unlocked. Some, I figure no one else wants squirrel taxidermy but mostly I trust other people. I error on the side of naivete rather than cynicism. I don’t keep secrets about myself even though I’m in a business of keeping other people’s secrets. I’m pretty open about the ups and downs of our family life because I know that most all families are on the same continuum of struggle and success, some doing less well, some doing better- and sometimes it helps me and others to share those ups and down. I don’t talk about my sex life but not because it’s a secret; I’m just not comfortable doing that and I seriously doubt it would help anybody to hear about it.
So, what is the unifying thought in this? Just that the only way I can get by is to have a little faith. Faith that most people, especially the ones that I associate with, won’t bring harm to me or those around me. Faith that people won’t judge me too harshly when I error. Faith that people won’t get hit by flying tires coming out of the blue into their path and that, if they do they’ll be helped in time and survive, God willing. And if they don’t, I still can’t abandon my little pocket of faith because how could that be any better?