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Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Just Breath (Day 81 of Lose the Temper)

Oh hello,

I have not blogged in too long, but I have been writing madly on this book. I hope so much that it’s good.

So temper . . . I think I’m okay, no big big ones. AND I went to the genius shrink! (He says he’s not perfect nor is he a genius, and I shouldn’t think so — but I do.)

He imparted a few humdingers that I will now lay on you. One was, “love the rough diamonds.” Okay — got that one? Do you have any rough diamonds in your life? I do — and in fact, I AM A ROUGH DIAMOND! Filled with imperfections and tiny cracks. LOVE THEM. This is so important, and so hard. How I wish sometimes I was a big, shiny five-karat sparkler.

The other thing he said was — I have got to chill out THREE times a day by listening to a song on an iPod. Let go. Part of my tendency to get upset and angry is because I am too wound up. Too worried. I told him that the blooming daffodils in the park, so pretty and yellow, only choked me with worry because it was March instead of April — too early. He looked at me like, “Uh oh.”

SO, this morning was a little tough. (I would like to point out here that I seem to blog when there has been a brush with temper. I never feel the urge to blog when I’m having a really good day, like last Sunday, when I was as mellow as all those mellow people I admire.) This morning I was a rough diamond and my rough-diamond kid was a rough diamond. For about seven minutes we got into it about how UNGODLY, STUPID, BORING, WASTEFUL, POINTLESS the state testing is that all fourth graders in public school must take. They are so horrible. And the kids spend so much of their precious day practicing for them.

PLEASE someone in the government fix this. PLEASE someone rid the public school system of these useless tests so teachers are free to teach what they love and students are free to learn and grow and discover. Goodness I feel like losing my temper when I think about these tests. But they have to take them and I’m afraid that the pressure of it is getting to me. It’s my dyslexic/ADD self (undiagnosed, but I’m almost positive) that is taking over — a nine-year-old Isabel. I am reacting to the tests like a stressed-out kid not like a grown up.

So it was no bueno (sigh). I dropped the kids off from school and remembered what Dr. W said, “Let go, listen to a song.”  I got on the bus, got out my iShuffle (whatever iThing it is) and looked at my choice of songs. I saw Pearl Jams’s JUST BREATH. That’s the one I thought. It’s a gorgeous day out — a beauty. I sat down, and put on the head phones. It only took  four bars of music and one line of Eddie Vedder’s transforming voice for tears to start rolling down my cheeks on the crowded 79th Street crosstown. I couldn’t stop crying for the entire ride. The bright, new, sunny leaves on the trees whizzing by and the blue sky above only made the tears fall more quickly.

By Madison Avenue I was transformed into what I am not quite certain, but changed for sure. I’m not sure that in this state-of-mind I would have freaked out about the stupid ELA tests. Letting go. It’s not easy, but music is the key to it. How crazy is that? Music is the key.

I’m going to try something new. I am going to start the day off by listening to one song before I lift the covers. I am going to keep the iThing next on the bedside table and I am going to listen to one song. I think I have to let go before I even start . . . I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here are the lyrics to JUST BREATH.

Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw-huh,..
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..

Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none, huh-uh

Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
never gonna let me win, aw-huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw-huh,..
Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
to make me bleed.

Stay with me,..
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw-huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave…

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean, ah-ah…

Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.
Love you till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.

Xxx

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