Thursday, May 22, 2014

Real Life is Tough

Monica Weslowska's "Modern Love" piece, "Clinging to Each Other, We Survived the Storm," had a number of fascinating lessons. 

We think that it is the hard times that drives couples apart, but it may not be necessarily so. Her son was born, but doomed to die; she and her husband remained a solid unit, fearing this crisis would tear them asunder. Aware of the danger, they ensured a loving and considerate relationship during that harrowing experience. 

They believed that since they had emerged from this tragedy with a stronger relationship, anything would be easier by comparison. Every moment of health and happiness would be cherished and appreciated.

But everyday life, in the end, the petty aggravations of the daily grind, that is where the potential for drifting apart can lie. Weslowska fast-forwards a decade—deadlines, misplaced shoes, undone homework.
As we struggled together in the front hall, however, I felt the distance between us and that happy ending. Ten years on, we were living something almost harder to describe, something less dramatic, something so common people hardly ever talked about it.
We were in the midst of an ordinary life.
"Bikesh Yaakov leshev b'shalva," "Yaakov wanted to live serenely." Who ever pleads with the Eibishter for a disordered, chaotic life? But the calm existence isn't guaranteed, unless one focuses on it and makes it a priority, and is grateful for it.

To be thankful that life is boring—deadlines, misplaced shoes, and undone homework can be wonderful. It is the best there is.

For writers, Weslowska's advice: 
Up at the school, I was going to tell children that to write, they just needed to pay enough attention to their lives.  
While I revel in novels that imagine our galaxy a long, long time ago, I don't have that depth of creativity. But, as it was said, "Write what you know," and I shall stick with that. 

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