Thursday, January 1, 2009

Beginning of Days

I love new beginnings. I love brushing off the lumps of yesterday's what if's and if only's and flinging them behind me. No need to let those awkward mistakes, regrets, and irritants pass through the fine sieve of the new year. Why stay at their mercy?

So I kick my miscarriages and Paul Hastings job fiasco to the gutter. I first stomp on them, with my fists clenched, face scrunched, all my effort concentrated on landing perfectly in place, and crush them like empty beer cans. I draw in a breath and swing my leg swiftly, aiming as far and high as I could. They land with a thud. May the dust settle where they will.

I squeeze my way into the new year, keeping my eyes wide open. I already feel lighter. And more hopeful. It is only the beginning of the year, and I have yet to grow my onion layers of spent days. From here, I will try to remember that things grow outward from within, and that it is my core I need to cultivate. I will try to remember to be kind to myself, nurturing what needs to grow, protecting what tends to cower. And I will try to see things with a clear perspective.

Like the ability to see that all I have to discard from 2008 are the miscarriages and the job fiasco. Just those three from a year's worth of living ain't too bad. And these are not purely unfortunate events. The Paul Hastings termination is a blessing in disguise since I would have surely been miserable had I worked in a law firm my whole life but may have lacked the guts to leave on my own. The experience was so shocking only because I had been so sheltered for the past decade. As for my miscarriages, I remind myself that just two years ago, I was whining about the possibility of being alone forever, and here I am today, with the sweetest man and the possibility of someday having children. The miscarriages are setbacks only because I did not view them as a normal byproduct of trying to have children, which I now am beginning to appreciate.

And if the tears come -- when the tears come -- I will tell myself that they are natural outgrowths of all that I have. Which is not necessarily a bad place to be.


  1. Happy New Year! This year will be a good one.

    Could you write about your trip to the Middle East? And what, if anything, you witnessed? The news here is hardly worth relying upon.

  2. stomping NOT stopping!

  3. I'm stopping with you babe!

  4. Happy New Year. Good luck with your writing!

  5. Happy new year, everyone!

    I'm a little hesitant about writing about Israel because I think it's difficult to write about that region neutrally. Even being a tourist becomes a political act. Not that I'm adverse to political views, but my knowledge is based on not much more than the occasional newspaper article in the NYTimes (which I find biased at times) and Thomas Friedman's From Beiruit to Jerusalem and Amy Marcus' Jerusalem 1913, which I am currently reading and am finding fascinating. In a post later this week, I'll try to post some pictures and point out a few surprising things I saw. (We stayed in Tel Aviv and visited Caesarea, Haifa, Jaffa, the Dead Sea, Masada, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Galilee.)

  6. No matter how someone may lean politically, there is NO denying the current casualties among the Palestinian population.

    Even though journalists are prohibited to enter the areas affected, there are many (highly disturbing) photos that can be viewed via Facebook and other sources. It is hard to imagine what the children, elderly, and other vulnerable groups are going through right now. Where can you go when there is no place run?

  7. 2:34, I couldn't agree with you more. I am chagrined by the US's blocking of the security council's call for a cease fire.

  8. BTW, I too had a miscarriage after over a year of trying to conceive. I was devastated by it and found that most people really couldn't understand my feelings of loss. To this day, I still think about the baby I lost. I have 2 children now and they are the joys of my life.

  9. Try Tom Segev's "One Palestine, Complete," - very interesting account of Palestine, and the Jews and Palestinians (and British) therein after the Ottoman Empire fell and the British took over. Lucid and fun. His "1948" isn't bad, either. I think you'll find his biases, whatever they are, palatable.

    Hard (impossible) to write about Israel without it becoming a political act. Does going as a tourist contribute to the suffering of Palestinians? Does being an American, which supports Israel, contribute to the suffering of Palestinians? Does Israel deserve to have rockets launched at it? Should Israel have waited until a school or kindergarten was hit, or its southern cities were perpetual bomb shelters, before acting in Gaza? Many, many, many sides to a neverending story - where to begin?...

    [ Feel free to delete - I know you don't want this to become a political blog. I wouldn't either. You're much more interesting. :-) ]

    American Jew who took classes from Walt and Mearsheimer when both were the U of C, and liked and respected both of them immensely, and still does.

  10. Hi, T, I expect that if I'm lucky enough to have children one day, I'll probably be saying the same thing.

    11:03 -- thanks for the book recommendation. I'll check it out. And I do agree with you that it is very complicated. For some reason, now that I have visited the place, I feel as if a peaceful solution is possible -- let's hope strong (and persuasive) leaders comes along soon to that region. I too am a big fan of Walt & Mearsheimer. I've been reading their book The Israel Lobby -- and finding it fascinating.