Life has been swinging us up and down lately, in some cases with the noble aim to teach us some of its wise lessons, in other cases I guess just for no other reason than its own fun.
Why has it been doing so, I don't know. But just take the other day for example. I am not even going to discuss the morning. Maybe only the outlines. Mornings start at 6.30 or 7 am, the kids wake up hungry as two little tigers, Mila screams for different reasons - or for no obvious reason - until she has drunk up three full cups of warm milk, and her tummy has gotten round, warm and contented; Matteo would just sit on the table and eat up whatever I dig out from the fridge for him, boiled eggs, ham, bread, cookies, all but milk. Then dressing up. I am scared even to write about it, let alone do it. But, with just some more screaming, that is done, too. Then we usually are left with 5 minutes to get to the train station (while we need 10), some more screaming (Mila doesn't like us to run, exclusively in the case when we are running to catch the train), and we get our train! In the train I try to fix Mila's hair. You can probably already imagine what does this mean. More screaming, that's right. And so in the end, exhausted but trying to keep our human dignity, we arrive in the kindergarten, where the social life absorbs our offspring.
And the day starts.
Then, writing a dissertation.
Then, having lunch - that's an up!
But a well-predictable down is coming after lunch - the coffee is probably helping the digesting, but while being busy at that, it doesn't help me not to fall asleep in the library. A very unpleasant experience, in fact, so I take another coffee which actually helps me to the point that I manage to stay awake enough for browsing facebook and checking e-mails.
And then suddenly, in the middle of all that stress and glumness - a gift. A gift for our family, unexpected, undeserved, needed, it doesn't want anything in return - it is simply generous. This definitely makes an up, and makes me wonder how good can be people sometimes, for no other reason but the goodness itself.
And so goes the life itself. Kids are screaming, kids are laughing. Doubts and hopes go hand in hand through our day. Fighting the tiredness, searching for inspiration. Swept by sudden anger, lifted by a sudden joy. All these and much more are shaken into a kaleidoscope which changes shapes every time that you try to study it closer and to understand why or how it is as it is. The pieces in the kaleidoscope, in different shapes and colors, are not put there by my hand, but it is my hand that shakes it, my eye that looks into its depth, my heart that shrinks to the beauty and the sadness of the infinity I glance in it.
And it is all beautiful.
* For Poetry Wednesday
To Build a Swing
Hafiz (Persian Poet, XIVth c.)
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare-
Don’t mix them!
You have all the genius
To build a swing in your backyard
Like a hell of a lot more fun.
Let’s start laughing, drawing blueprints,
Gathering our talented friends.
I will help you
With my divine lyre and drum.
Will sing a thousand words
You can take into your hands,
Like golden saws,
Strong silk rope.
You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy,
Mix them, mix
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky