Thursday, August 25, 2011


Hope must be an inherited gene that some folks get, and others don't.  I've always been hopeful.  It doesn't mean I don't have dark moments, but in general I know things will be alright.  And usually I think they will be better than alright.  Maybe my bar for how bad it can actually get is fairly low.  I know I can live without a savings account, health insurance, a new car, or an i-phone.

The other evening, a friend and I decided to take the kids to the Missoula Symphony in the Park.  It's a free public performance that happens once a year. Our kids were enjoying themselves and so were we.  It was a beautiful evening, we were sitting on the fringes of the park to allow plenty of room for our kids to be active and noisy, as kids are.  They were climbing in a tree, talking to each other with the volume a little above "inside voices", but not yelling.  A woman came over with a pinched up face and told me to "shut him up", talking about my kid.  And, wow, just retelling it now, my heart is racing, my stomach slightly nauseous, and my hands are shaking.  I don't talk to people like that.  I don't talk to my kid like that.  What I wanted to say was "go fuck yourself you stuffy bitch".  But instead I told her I didn't appreciate the way she was talking to me, and that she was being really rude.  More words were launched by her, and then this nice man sitting behind her came to our defense and said he was enjoying the sounds of kids at this free public event.  Thanks dude.  We have every right to be here.  And, contrary to popular belief within the fifties-something crowd, children deserve to be treated with respect. 

Anyway, this all got me thinking that some folks need to have such tight-fisted control over their environment, that if it doesn't pan out exactly how they envisioned it, they lose their shit.  Maybe they just haven't had enough hard experiences in their lives?  They haven't had enough taken away from them, or they haven't lived without, so that small annoyances become so intense for them, that it ruins an experience that would be otherwise perfectly enjoyable for a more well adjusted person who hasn't always had to have control over everything.  The sun shines and I see a beautiful river raging before me, and I am happy.  I don't care so much that someone else is doing something I don't care for.  I'm just loving my scene. I can't control the nineteen year old who is annoyingly smoking a cigarette three feet away from me. 

We, meaning my family, are going through some trying times. On any given day I feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, relief and fear. And also hope.

Today, I feel hopeful for the future, and ready for change.  My kids are healthy and happy.  I have a lot of really great friends.  My family loves me.  I can make really good food from cheap ingredients.  We have pear cider in the root cellar.  I soon will have enough time to make apple cider with my family.  I have a new studio in a really inspiring environment.  I have confidence in my abilities. 

That poor lady who felt so enraged by the sound of kids enjoying themselves must have it a lot harder than me.  To feel that out of control must feel really bad.  I imagine if she is that tightly wound and prone to rude behavior because of it, she might not have many friends.  She might not find joy in anything but the sound of a symphony, and her moment was taken away by noisy kids, so she didn't even get that. Maybe she doesn't feel any hope at all.

I'm not sure where I am going with this except that, I'm glad that I've had to overcome a lot.  I am easy to please.  I know it can always get way worse, and that I can always find something awesome in pretty much any situation.  I feel pretty hopeful about that.


  1. Same thing happened to us at the symphony. Stuffy for sure! We ended up moving way to the fringes and thinking that maybe we will skip it next year.

  2. I know! It is too bad to feel like we shouldn't bring kids to a free public event whose focus it is, is to invite folks to appreciate this art. They need kids to appreciate it if it is going to survive as an art. We won't be going again.


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