I’m starting to think that quite possibly the best trait to possess as a human being is not beauty or wit or talent of any kind but instead: resilience. I’m not a fan of that twerpy word, indicative of rubber bands and girls in galoshes jumping over muddy puddles. But what is life but a series of often ugly and uglier pools of ick and goop, with glimpses of grey-blue skies and rainbows periodically flashing amongst us to keep our spirits high? The great moments of joy and wonder are so often far and few between and how do we make them last or at least keep us from getting dragged back into the great muck of bitterness?
If it seems as if I am swimming in an overabundance of watery metaphors, well, it’s because our plumbing has failed us, again. Our basement was already completely ruined in February, in round one of our clogged arteries. Those arteries of our home were made of the cheap sub-standard scrap metal that became the pipes material of choice, during and then after WWII, until better legislation was enacted to protect hapless homeowners.
When I was growing up, I lived in an old Victorian house. It was filled with quirky details and beautiful craftsmanship but one thing that gracious old home did not possess was decent plumbing. Nor could my parents afford to replace and overhaul the pipes. So I took showers that did not have full power (and mostly took baths in our gorgeous claw foot tub: so charming!) and we all lived in fear of the shower’s thin stream of moisture completely conking out, throwing us into ruin, I was afraid?
Well, we have received the quote for the basement on Thursday and it would actually ruin us, financially, to pay the pipers and purveyers. So of course, we needed to have another plumbing crisis on top of all of this, so we can have a lovely view facing our own financial ruin.
I exaggerate. Sort of. I’m a writer. What does that mean, even? I called myself a writer on my new Twitter profile, I was even named a top Infertility writer by AllParenting last week. Being called a writer by someone else made me happy. Most significantly, I announced the news that I had been called a writer to my real Facebook friends and family. To a bunch of side-eyes and yawns, I am sure. But a few kind souls commented.
What creates resilience? Is it faith? Often, yes. I envy those who can embrace their beliefs in those lonely and awful and bone-weary moments. Is it a folly, a cock-eyed optimism that blinds people to the reality of the muck, the puddles, the deep ruts in the earth? For those lucky to be in the folly, the deep ruts filled with brown water somehow mirror the sky, so that when things are full of cannon fire and thunder crashing they can still see the sky, the clouds moving about, the jet streams from the airliners billowing curlicues so high above.
But for me, the thing that makes me resilient is seeking the truth. To shine a light on a truth, in the hopes that even one person would see how things really are.
Today, someone asked my daughter what she thought of the poorly prepared and undercooked chicken that had been served for dinner.
“It was…not so good,” she clearly stated. In that moment, I realized that she had inherited my husband’s gift for correctly seeing the way things are, with no filters. And I had hope that, like him, she will one day try to make the things that she sees are wrong, right.
And that, that was my perfect moment.
For more perfect moments, please go visit Lori here: