If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

08 February 2006

Pressure can also create diamonds

I know that I've been gone for a while, and I'm sorry. I've missed you. I hope it shall suffice to say that I've been in the midst of a few weeks of intense work and my blogging skills are directly proportional to the number of hours' sleep I get in any given night. As I've been averaging about 3.5, my blogging has been - as you know - nonexistent. It's all I can do just to slam a little mascara and lipstick on daily, and paste on my perky 'good morning / managing a crowd of 1000 with one hand tied behind my back' work face, much less be keeping up with this.

Capt. Silver Fox has a saying: "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All." I know from firsthand experience that this is true. And when I hit that point of fatigue, if I do not have the luxury of cowardice(hiding in my hotel room until 11 am, when I had to actually confront reality today), then I am generally an exhausted and easily-triggered puddly emotional mess. A fascinating juxtaposition for someone so normally publicly 'together'.

It takes about 10 days of continual pressure to reduce me to this point ... (the 10 days of no sleep and overblown expectations and constant barrage of inquiry that I have just been through)... after which, on day 11, anyone I remotely respect can reduce me to tears simply by saying something nice to me. It happens, predictably, every year, 'round about the last day of our conference (which coincides with a much more important anniversary in my life - the day my father died.)

Last year, it was 'Tearjerker' (the Poet Laureate.) This year, the dubious honor went to John. I could find a nickname for him, but it wouldn't do him justice. So for now, he's just 'John' -- sufficiently anonymous that most wouldn't know him, but unique in the world to those who do. His words ... his outreach ... his humanity in a sea of anonymity, meant everything to me this week. Noisy bowling alley be damned, 'there are moments in time that are meant to be held like fragile, breakable things,' and that was one of them. The ability to ignore the chaos and selflessly offer a quiet piece of your soul in a world where superficial connections are the norm is a rare talent and gift. Thank you.

Our life's wealth is measured by the connections that we have made, and I am a rich woman indeed.


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