Thursday, May 18, 2006

What I'm Looking For

It was gloriously sunny and hot today, with just a hint of a breeze to carry the delicious scents of spring across the fertile fields. Running into the wide blue sky scribbled with soaring contrails, a driving beat blaring in the ipod, I felt, for that moment, strong and optimistic and happy.

The truth is, right now I deeply envy my husband his profession. To leap straight into the sky with all that speed and power at the command of your fingertips, to blow stuff up - loudly, decisively and to unmistakable effect - well, it has a certain appeal.

What have I done for the last decade and a half? I've been Nice. Day after day, I've practiced Active Listening and Infinite Patience. I have educated, encouraged, pleaded, cajoled and begged patients to eat real food, quit smoking, exercise, ditch the jerk and generally DO something - anything - positive for themselves. And when they came back visit after visit to complain about how they still didn't feel good and their lives sucked and they hadn't taken even the most elementary step we'd talked about - I would patiently educate, trouble-shoot and encourage all over again. With very few exceptions, it was in one ear and out the other. I totted it up once - thousands upon thousands of hours of my life spent earnestly saying stuff that nobody listened to. It's enough to make a girl feel ineffectual.

As far as Good Listening and Empathy go - lets just say I still believe on some level in that lighting candles vice cursing the darkness business - but the darkness doesn't look any less dark then when I started, all the candles I lit seem to have gone out in a hurry, and I'm just about out of matches.

So what's a liberal peace-loving, gay-friendly, feminist, tolerant, breast feeding, kind and sensitive girl to do with all that righteous fury boiling a hole in my gut? Not this, apparently.

"But", to quote a song that brings me to tears every time with its way too close to the bone truth, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."