Friday, March 20, 2009


Sometimes I get feeling a little bit sorry for myself.

No, let's get honest here.

At times I throw myself into a heaving and throbbing purple ocean of vicious emotions. I frantically churn up ancient unresolved problems as I sweep in the turbulent burdens of real and imagined slights, cuts and bruises.

And by vigorously applying the salt-pack irritate of disquieting judgment, the vindictive verdicts and hypercritical odium oozes out between my own pores, causing myself, and only myself, to feel the incredible throbbing of self-pity.

Don't you just love the English language? It could be better in Norwegian or Chippiwaiian - and I KNOW it could be written better in English by any semi-bright third grader.

But I just adore the feeling as the words wash over my fingers, trip over themselves, try to straighten out as they stumble to ferret out the correct keys - frantically try to correct the copious blunders, misspellings (wait, does misspelling have two s's or only one?) to actually attempt to make SENSE Of this madness that pours out from my weary but wired brain at 11:32 p.m.

(Any sad statements on the quality of my life need to be put on hold for some other time - sorry)

HOWEVER (boy, is she finally going to get on to something that makes SENSE here?), Neal Maxwell, the absolute artist at compelling words to do double - nay, triple duty, puts it much better than I can:

"We are most likely to imbibe that nectar, by the way, when we feel underwhelmed or unappreciated. It is then that we may frequent the saloon of self-pity."

To me, he blends the line so deftly between homey witticisms such as: "In times of darkness, remember there is a difference between passing local cloud cover and general darkness" - and elegant idioms - "As you and I observe the valiant cope successfully with severe and relentless trials, we applaud and celebrate their emerging strength and goodness. Yet the rest of us tremble at the tuition required for the shaping of such sterling character, while hoping we would not falter should similar circumstances come to us" and does all of this in one single talk.

Last night my son was asked to speak in church to take the place of a cancelled youth speaker. I, being the dutiful and responsible mom (and not granting him Internet access at this time and place), as well as being blessed with an actual BROADBAND INTERNET connection (oh blessed wireless connection, you are beyond words!), have downloaded documents and talks and lessons far beyond reason or any practical application in a ten minute talk.

And they have bolstered me through my dunking into that saloon of self-pity and brought me dripping out, feeling more than slightly ashamed of my selfish stint.

I need to share just one more Maxwell quote -

"Though our view of eternity is reasonably clear, it is often our view of the next mile which may be obscured...

You have cast your minds forward and are fixed on the things of eternity, and all of that is proper and good, but there is sometimes fog in the next hundred yards.

You can make it through, but don’t be surprised when it is the short-term obscurity through which you must pass as a result of your faith in the long-term things."

I needed to read those words tonight.