When I was married, my husband went to law school, and when he was about to graduate (after 4 years of study), his professors told him that now he would go out in the world and learn law. Studying is a wonderful thing, and I have always loved being a student, but study has nothing on practice. Study is fun; practice sucks. Study is reading and discussing and exchanging ideas; practice is falling and failing and flailing over and over again.
And it is the only way to live. I mean this: being in the muddy huddle of life, down in the stink of it and the muck of it and the hurling humility of it is really the best thing in the whole wide world. After my little hissy fit, Dad sat in his chair and I propped myself up on pillows on the bed and we talked. Yes, he still bites off his words in anger and frustration, but he also laughs. And when I can shut up and listen with my heart, turn off my frenetic brain's stories, I get to hear Dad's stories.
I feel so darned lucky I can hardly stand it.
Friday, April 03, 2009
From Verna Wilder writing at Out of the Cube