The worst injury is feeling you don’t belong so much
to you –
– Claudia Rankine, Citizen, An American Lyric
Several times this week, I heard friends and colleagues say that I looked calm and content. One added:
“You seem really in the moment.”
Given that I am getting through a bout of bronchitis, I am a bit surprised by the assessments. I am also surprised because I just wrapped up a semester teaching at the university where I was challenged by my husband having recently died, pissed about the deplorable assaults on higher education in my state, and concerned about the significant struggles that so many of my students seem to have. A few friends and I are also preparing to mount an exhibition of art work, items laden with meaning for all of us. Oh, and then there’s my daily work, preparation for my encore career, and the transition of the agency I founded to its new leader.
Still, I heard calm, content, in the moment.
Someone dropped a book in my mailbox, a book she likes a lot and wants to share with me. Another friend stopped over with manikins to display vintage ballet costumes in the upcoming exhibit. Still another is taking care of my dog for a while. I got messages that people are moved by an invitation I extended. A luncheon was devoted to commending me on my work. From Sunday morning walk to Thursday night framing session, I have been wonderfully supported and loved.
Each of these kindnesses has been a filament of sorts; each, something onto which I can hold – a web of security in community that is not injurious. I belong to myself, right now.