RIDING TO WORK in the morning, I am pleased to find I am facing outward again. I am not in love with anyone, and I depend on no one for the completion of a happy day.
I can’t ride Ian (her husband) piggyback into heaven. I’ve got to work out my own categories, find my own salvation. My temptation is to take his sweat after it is fashioned into ready-mades and try to wear it as my own. No wonder it sometimes doesn’t fit, as close as our ideas may be.
These are quotes from the journal of novelist Gail Godwin. I enjoy her writings because they make me think. I agree that I can’t piggyback my way to heaven, but I do think that not only is it okay to occasionally piggyback, it’s part of God’s plan. We all share the road back home and we need to carry and lift each other as necessary. And while love isn’t necessary for the completion of a happy day, it certainly makes the days much more meaningful.
On happy days, I find that I’m in love with more people than I can count on my fingers and toes. I prefer happy days. On cranky days, I take note of the way Chester chews his chips (certain family members have complained about being featured in the blog, so I’ve since decided to give them pet names) the smell of my dog (which isn’t really her fault, since I’m the person who bathes her) and the volume of neighbor’s voice as she talks, incessantly, on the phone in her backyard.
I’m happier when I love rather than when I nitpick and fault find. And of course, if I’ve practiced being loving it’s much easier to find a piggyback ride when I need one.
As, sadly, I occasionally do. We all do. No man is an island, and all that. I heard a quote I liked this past week. I believe it’s from Walt Whitman and I wish I could say it as well as he did. (A sudden vision of Mr. Whitman rolling his eyes and groaning.) A step towards self-sufficiency is a step towards ingratitude. I had never thought about it like that before, because of course, as a society, we appreciate the self motivators, the doers, movers and shakers and shun the lie-abouts, but if we’re too self-efficient we don’t learn to lend the occasional shoulder or to ask for the ride when we need one.
And learning to ask can be as difficult as trying to give an elephant a piggyback ride.