2. A lot of other stuff happened this week that made me hurt for my friends. I have mostly been doing a lot of listening on this score, and not much talking. First, because of the aforementioned 8 days of jury duty, and second, because I find I am unable to pull myself out of something that feels deeply personal. This is, of course, a flaw of mine. I cannot seem to shake my heart and the knee-jerk reaction toward compassion and wanting everyone to get along. I know that it has been argued that this is not necessarily productive for effective institutional progress/change. This is maybe true, but I cannot help the skin I live in. We work with the parts we're given and try to cobble together a life and get better each day. I know many people have to fight every step of the way for their life and I wish it weren't so. But this week, more than any, has shown me something very true about myself: my instinct is to love someone through their fight, not take up arms and fight too. I feel deeply flawed on this front. But it is also the reason I choose to work with rape survivors in the ER as opposed to being a lobbyist on Capitol Hill. I'm better at the former. About a month ago, I was talking to a friend about all the energy she'd had to put into getting something accomplished in publishing. I was exhausted even just listening to her and at the end said, "This is why I'll never be truly successful. I don't want to expend that kind of energy on a fight like that. Not when there are rape survivors who still need my help." We all have roles to play in this world. I sometimes wish I could play a bigger role in things, but I am very aware of the cost of that to me.
3. My friend Patsy is a rape survivor and photographer. Her husband wrote this book called Working with Available Light after her sexual assault. This phrase has popped in my head over and over this week. How, to get a clear picture, we must take into account every situation and work with the light that is there. How sometimes more light has been provided to us than others. And what we know and don't know is a result of how much light is available. I don't want to be a person who makes judgment calls in low light anymore. I want to slow down and wait until I can see as much as possible. I want to ask for more light. That is perhaps what jury duty has done for me most of all, reminded me to wait and listen and maximize available light.
4. I have listened to this Fresh Air interview with Maurice Sendak no less than 6 times. I don't know why it wraps around me so much and digs in, but it truly does. I sometimes think it's my own fear of being left, and I sometimes think it's my fear that one day I'll leave others and I won't have much to show for myself. Sort of that moment when you realize that maybe half your life is gone and you're still struggling with things that you've been struggling with A LONG TIME. And you wonder if you're going to be 80 and still struggling. I don't know.
5. My favorite thing about this whole blog post is that I know my mom will call me and ask me what's wrong. Or she will text me wine emojis and suggest I lighten up with these things I worry about. I hope I am like my mom when I'm in my 60s. For me, I evidently have not outgrown the need for my parents to be my parents. I am grateful for them. I hope everyone in their life has someone who is looking out for them in one way or another.