Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Calm Acceptance

It was 5 am when I originally journalled about this, a few days ago.

As mentioned, can't sleep, have cold, hotel has a fan system with the a/c and it's a loud-ish white noise. I'm an oldest child. I need total silence to sleep.
So, it seems does Mike, who just irritatedly told me I was keeping him awake typing on the laptop with the light on. I had a flash of my own irritation--he was up and about before, happily eating a sandwich and having a drink, while I tried to write.

We had a talk about this a couple of weeks ago, my need for some quiet sometimes while I'm writing. And I hate "shushing" him, but sometimes I am mid-line and the thought eludes me when he says something and I get distracted. (Ah the joys of the newly-married I can hear people thinking...).

This cold also won't leave me and is seriously robbing me (and now Mike) of sleep, so it doesn't do much for either of our moods.

But the point of this post is not to whine about something that is so fix-able, so minute. It just brought me back to a phrase, and idea, I read about in the Agassi memoir "Open" I finished reading a couple of weeks ago. He was on safari at one point in South Africa, on a trip to attend a special dinner with Nelson Mandela. He had the observation of watching all the wild animals, the giraffes, gazelles, lions, predator and prey alike, waking up to a new day 'in a dangerous world, with a calm acceptance'. I immediately felt a pull to this concept, to these two simple words that, when strung together, provided a mantra of sorts--I've used it repeatedly since I first read it--leading up to my wedding, the cold day that is was, calm acceptance that my father would not be lending his physical presence to the day. While travelling. Calm acceptance of the line-ups, the slow-downs, all very very opposite to my impatient nature.

The next situation I applied this to was with Mike's wedding ring. Made of tungsten, it has somehow caused him to have a reaction on his skin once we arrived into the hot weather of the Caribbean. I had him take if off and leave it off to prevent any further skin sensitivity.
This is something that, in the past, would have bothered me. I would have maybe even seen it as a bad omen and had feelings of internal panic. But not now. Calm acceptance. We have the receipt, it's completely exchange-able, completely fix-able, and it's all okay.
Not earth-shattering I know, but for me, oh-so-big as a milestone of my personal growth.
Even now, as I write, light on (guilt towards Mike, I know he's trying to sleep under that pillow over his head), coughing away--calm acceptance.
My cold will run its course.
I will learn to write, as Madeleine L'Engle did, without needing complete silence (she said the experience of a boarding school and being surrounded by noise sharpened her concentration skills, something I took note of).
We will get Mike another ring, another metal, one that won't bother his skin.
The sun will rise shortly (it's almost 6), and another day will begin in this sometimes perlious world.
With calm acceptance.

*footnote: Mike went, the next day, found a little jeweler on the island and bought a $ 5.00 ring made out of some type of non-reactive, inexpensive metal, so he still had a ring to wear for the time being. My smile was broad.

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