Needing a Kick


Chandeliers.  I have a chandelier that I never really liked until I installed some really bright small halogen lights.  Now the dining room is the brightest in my home which I particularly note on the dark mornings of November.   

Chandeliers.  Kristallnacht.  It was 70 years ago yesterday, this night of the broken glass.  The night was symbolic of the darkness about to descend on what seemed to have been the civilized world.  In Israel yesterday, residents were asking to turn on all of their lights to remember the past.  This Jewish identity from one horrible night was from a historic past of nation which would never be forgot, would never leave them.  It had not been a historic accident.     

I went to bed last night reading the introduction to Vanishing Ireland.  One man’s grandfather knew someone who was a participant in the 1798 revolt, another whose family had perished in the Great Famine.  History was real.  The suffering had been there for people whose ages seemed all over 90.  People with high ideals whose suffering was finally replaced by affluence, at least for their grandkids.  Until the recent economic downturn.  And the old-timers said that would give up nothing that they had had. 

Skin tests.  My fair skin was one sign of my connection to generation of the past, generations from the Emerald Isle.  Because I was Irish, I was fair of skin.  It was why I had an annual skin test, to look for skin cancer.  The connection of generation to generation was in the skin.  My view of moral relevancy was the connection to the past.  And the past, no matter how far away, was real. 

Curling.  This week I was asked to move up from what is called the lead to the skip (the clean-up hitter).  And I did not think I was good enough.  Until I saw the performance of my team mates in the third week of the season.  We were not winning in a contest when winning was the purpose.  Today I thought I might finally be ready to assume a role of leadership, as the team was playing to win. 

Twice in a week my mother has made reference to my need at birth to get a kick from an aggressive twin sister to survive.  A lot of kicks actually.  I am not sure if my mother is cognizant that it was at a time in my life when I now seemed to need a kick.  I was born 6 weeks premature in a day when neonatal care and perinatology were in their infancy.  Her point was there are some things about a baby, as her own pediatrician who became my pediatrician, told her that never changed.  Some things were innate.  Her point of this discussion centered around the turbulence in the life of a cousin who had been adopted, turbulent in her relationship with her parents.  I had inquired on the marital status of the cousin, as she had been married what I though was at least twice.  The cousin was in a motorcycle accident last Sunday, had two broken legs and was scheduled for her 3rd surgery on November 10th.  The cousin was seeing somone, the driver of the motorcycle, who has been in a coma ever since.  His ex-wife and 14-year-old son had been over to see her, which was more than I had done.  It was a tough week for that 14-year-old. 

It had been a month where I have been doing my own questioning about a present day need to be kicked.  Nudged towards a new job.  I thought I might finally be ready to assume a role of leadership, to something relevant to my talent. 

God was real.  In this day.  In all of us.  In the past. In the present.  A lot of life was just getting comfortable in what was relevant.  In good times and in bad.  And life eventually was a response, with the confidence to do something about it. 


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