Thursday, December 24, 2015

Layers upon layers, question after question...

As a child I was curious about the world. I wondered how people became the way they were, why they did the things they did, said what they said...

I had trouble wrapping my mind around hating someone different from myself because I found them fascinating.  I loved tales of travel and of different customs. I remember my favorite book was "Faraway Ports" a 3rd grade reader of my older siblings. I still own it by the way.


I was a voyeur from an early age. I loved when we drove by people's homes at night, their lights on, offering me a peek into their lives. I would glimpse people sitting down to supper, watching TV and laughing, or quietly reading. In my mind I would invent stories about them, spending hours creating various scenarios.

Even after becoming an adult, I still found glimpses of lives led to speculation and imagination.
Living in NY, I rode the F train which came above ground in Brooklyn, traveling beside rows of dwellings, again letting me see into windows and creating momentary snapshots of lives. Fascinating...

I read voraciously losing myself in the story, visualizing characters and settings that become almost real to me. I majored in theater and minored in folklore as an undergrad, only later realizing both were all story telling... which later led to my getting a degree in Social Work and becoming a therapist. Because of all the stories...

I love getting to know people, hearing their stories, learning about what makes them tick. In some ways this is a strength. In some ways it is a weakness. Because I tend to overanalyze EVERYTHING. Picking it apart, trying to understand, moving pieces around, seeing how the puzzle will come together. I do this with my life at times. Replaying incidents, trying to re-script conversations, drowning in the pool of "what if?" or the "woulda/shoulda/coulda" pond.

I question and delve and sometimes get stuck in the process. 
Other times I jump ahead and try to get to the end, attempting to bypass the process. Sort of like when I read the last page of a book first... but even that is to try to see out how the author got from the beginning to the end by going back and reading the middle. Or so I tell myself.

Learning to live with unanswered questions is probably one of the hardest things about my profession. I work in short term interventions. I don't always get to see how the story ends. Or even the middle chapters. I can't see the future, even knowing the past. I can only work in the present. 

It's been a hard task for me. To stay present in the moment. To NOT anticipate or expect or try to see the future. 

I was sent this quote by a friend. I love it very much, now I must try to live it...


“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke



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