|The Ambush - Albert Bierstadt, Oil on canvas, 1876|
Whooeey. Horace got that right. Every moment's an ambush.
I was ambushed yesterday. Wow, it took me by surprise, this wave of frustration and helplessness and futility at the circumstances surrounding me lately. It came out of nowhere and knocked the breath right out of me.
I've done lots of work in the last year or so on my practice of meditation, and thought I had come a long way in learning to separate myself from certain emotions. I've learned to acknowledge them, release them, and move back to a position of neutrality or 'emptiness'. It's been very healthy and healing for me.
Imagine my shock, then, at the surprise attack of...well, wrath that overtook me yesterday. THIS IS SO UNFAIR!
I was nothing short of "Sybil" yesterday, exhibiting extremely different personalities with each person I encountered.
I was a kind and Sympathetic Clara Barton Yia-Yia to my sick Little Beauty as she endured several more bouts with "Ivan the Terrible and his Tummy Rumblers" (story to follow some day with illustrations by his victim). I wiped her brow and stroked her soft golden hair, and offered an occasional cracker with her cartoons.
I was an Engaged Yia-Yia to the Little Scholar, who is gamely spending his cycle break from school in quarantine with the rest of the household in an attempt to squelch an epidemic. [Cycle break is the term for the 3-week break in between each 9-week cycle of classes for his year-round school. This break has been honed down to two weeks in order to make up for all the snow days this year.] I admired his lego creations, read Hardy Boys with him, and fixed him cookies and milk. Yay, me.
I was the Overworked Housewench, still trying to seek out and destroy any lurking virus in our midst. I actually even tried to 'get into the head' of Ivan the Terrible to imagine where he might be, waiting to ambush his next victim. (After all, this is the menace keeping me from being at my own mother's side right now...he must be vanquished so that I can be with her.) Goodness, it really is getting ridiculously obssessive...chapped hands, the ever present smell of bleach, and piles of sanitized and neatlyfolded laundry everywhere. Wait...did I clean that closet doorknob yet?
I was the Wise Mother of Adults, having very grown up conversations about work and world situations with The Scholar and his older brother, the Young Titan of Business.
I was doing okay. I thought.
Suddenly out of nowhere, Sybil, the Indignant and Angry Sister, appeared and ambushed me. She was followed closely by a rogue's gallery of miscreants, including the Sorrowfully Misunderstood Sybil, who soon morphed into the Distraught,Weepy, Needy Wife personality during a phone conversation with her on-a-business-trip husband, and finally, the I'll Think of This Tomorrow Scarlett O'Hara Sybil.
Yikes. It's exhausting being Sybil.
I guess we're all exhausted, needing a break that no one can take and answers that no one can find. I'll try hard to remember that.
I'll get back to my meditation and try to double the dosage during this rainy season. I guess I have more negativity to release than I realized. I'll try to remember to breathe deeply. I'll be more gentle with myself and with others who have no more control over the situation than I. I hope.
Most of all, I'll remember that every moment's an ambush. Anything can happen to any one of us at any moment in time. I will appreciate this moment. I will.
I hope you live each moment today with intent.
I usually try to find music that will comfort, soothe, or entertain, but not today. Noooo, today requires the firey tempestuous mood of yesterday. That mood can only be explained by Verdi's "Requiem: Dies Irae" (meaning "Day of Wrath"). It's really all about the day of reckoning, but has all the feel of being ambushed and the feeling of wrath that accompanies it. I won't say, "enjoy" as I usally do, but maybe "Appreciate" instead.
This is one of the finest interpretations I've ever heard. Claudio Abbado conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 in this very small but profound snippet from the Requiem.