Friday, August 10, 2012

on whining and adventures.

The air is cool. The sun is rising. Minnesota has its moments.  Coughing sick children were the soundtrack on repeat last night… rather all week.  At a definitive point this morning, I determined more sleep felt inferior to an hour of writing with a cup of steamy tea and silence.

Last night I fell into bed, upon hearing some news from a friend and all I could do was feel incredibly ridiculous for the ways in which I am skilled at complaining.  I mean, what in my world is even worth a complaint.  And it’s not just a case of wow, their story is so hard.  It’s more like you think of the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years and you are so judgmental of them, seriously people what is your problem, didn’t you learn your lesson already

But, before the sentence has a punctuation, comes the moment when you realize you could have auditioned for ring leader of the pack.  It’s never anything major, just all these little bits that we bemoan over and over until as Shauna wrote in Cold Tangerines, “It’s been really hard in my head.”  We make it so hard in our heads.  When it’s not really any harder than the normal hard parts of life.

Once I had this conversation with one of the dearest and wisest people I know.  My infant son was unhappy and making his demands.  I wish I (adults) could just whine and scream until I got my way, like babies do.  And in her gentle, truthful way, she answered, oh, but we do don’t we.  Oh. Yes, we kind of do that.

Here’s the problem, whining does not go with being an adventurer and if I have my say, I choose the latter.  We can paint it on canvases and scribble it on pages and whisper it to the wind, but at some point we can’t be really adventurers if we are always marching circles in our heads. It gets pretty heavy and has this way of distorting our vision and without knowing it we get lost in a desert of sorts for a very long time.  All the while, we’re marching and shouting, what is your problem everyone else, didn’t you learn your lesson already?  (when all we are saying is, I’m the best complainer EVER.)

My kids have been sick all week and people I know are moving to really fun places. Pretty tragic stuff, I know. 

And the adventurer me can’t find any reason to open my mouth other than with gratitude.



  1. since you mentioned the israelites and their 40-year detour, i thought of this quote:

    "not all who wander are lost." (j.r.r. tolkien)

    while i agree that gratitude is certainly the quickest way to be "found," also remember not to be so "hard in your head" for the wandering, either. the miracle is that He weaves us all together when we let Him love us and come to radical honesty, as you have here.

    i love the way you write.

    1. I totally agree that all wandering is not in vain. I think in a way, we are always wandering, you know.

      It is amazing though in our own ways of making things harder how he weaves everything together too. What a great idea.



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