Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day (not for everybody), Optimism (for the over-thinker)

Happy Mothers' Day!

Chip: Visiting me at my desk.
To all who provide mothering!

Not all mothering comes from biological mothers, and not all biological mothers provide good mothering. It's not even gender specific: I was a Mr. Mom for a couple of years after my first wife's death. I mothered (and fathered).

This week at school, a fellow teacher called and asked if I could host a boy in my class for 45 minutes or so. He had been removed from his home due to extremely poor mothering. He really didn't want to make a Mothers' Day card along with the class. Kudos to this teacher for being aware, and for giving the boy an option. This teacher knew some of my story, and knew I would understand and provide a safe, warm place... away from the majority, who, rightfully so, love their mothers. Regardless of the day being celebrated, mindful souls know that others may have good reason why they don't enjoy or even like a certain holiday. School mimics life in that regard. We are a multiculturalistic society, with majorities and minorities of every shape and hue. Even on Mothers' Day.

* * * * *

Optimism: Can it be recovered and cultivated? 

A month ago I read a post written by a very bright junior or senior in high school who was feeling blue. Some of her dreams were being reality checked as she got closer to college and adulthood was coming into closer view.

Been there. Disillusionment is a tough row to hoe.

So I wrote her a poem. A poem for those who are at a point of personal despair: great or small, or somewhere in-between. Especially for those who think a lot. Depth of mind can sometimes drowned optimism and hope.

I give you:

I  Wonder If
(for We_the_pieces)

I wonder if hopelessness is an affliction caught by those who think too much?
Chip: Investigating a bug sighting.

I remember considering the quote,
"This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel,"
and thinking,
"No, it's a tragic comedy to those who do either."

I remember sitting in my room alone,
listening to the mournful singing of Neil Young's
"Everybody Knows This is Nowhere."

I remember sitting in a church,
thinking about the fruitlessness of living.

But somewhere along the line...
Maybe it was Harold and Maude?
Maybe it was Cat Stevens' song:
If you want to sing out, sing out...

I don't know how, but...
I recovered my optimism.

Chip: Checking out Heidi, the dog.
And, I decided to cultivate it.

Perhaps hopelessness and giving up is like the flu
caught by young thinkers, who...
when mental health returns...
decide to live life with an informed naivety.

The Dreamer returns...
but now she knows some of the science of navigation.

The Dreamer returns...
but knows something of pace, goals, possibilities,
and boundaries.

I wonder if...
in the life of a thinker...
there are tides,
and turning points.
I spy: The Haan family (6 strong)

I wonder if...
health of mind is as much a game of fitness
as health of body.

Do you wonder
if you think too much?

I don't.
I. am. a. thinker.

And I like it that way.