Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, I feel like an unenthusiastic failure , and unburdened with optimism. The Burden of Optimism might have been the title of Obama's bestselling book, if he had wanted me to read it, but he settled on The Audacity of Hope, which was clearly a wise move. The subtle difference between the two titles delineates the difference in character between us. Don't ask me to explain it. And unfortunately that book will never be written. (But if you get around to it, send me an autographed copy.)

Some nights you go in to kiss your 3-year-old daughter good night and she shoes you away, "No, Daddy. Go downstairs." And some days you wonder how they haven't repossessed your part of the cul-de-sac yet, and as well you have no energy for polite deceptions, and so you just suffer amid the simple truth: that you really don't know what you're doing. And every promised endeavor remains undone, and every distant hope just that. You want to blame God for planting those hurdles in front of those well-intentioned hopes, but you know the truth. And if you feel this way from time to time, then from time to time you are like me: an unenthusiastic failure.

500th post! Okay, I admit that at least half of those posts were really not post-worthy, either in their bitter excuse for not posting, or in their just plain biting bitterness. Solly! I'll keep trying. Still, 500 posts could be a book, even if you cut out much of the bitterness. Perhaps I will. When I get to it. Put it on the list.

This year is well past half over and I'm still only up to #3 or so on my 10 Goals for the Year. How unfortunate. At least I'm at #3, I say, since I'd be even less of a success without them. "Audacity" is not something I particularly lack, now that I think of it...

audacity |ôˈdasitē|


1 the willingness to take bold risks : "Her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency." (See note at temerity.)

2 rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence : "She had the audacity to pick up the receiver and ask me to hang up."

ORIGIN late Middle English : from medieval Latin audacitas, from audax, audac- ‘bold’ (see audacious )

The willingness to take bold risks can come easy to me, as does the rude and impudent behavior. It's the consequences of the audacity that I seem to have trouble with, and nearly every time. So there's the rub, I guess. The Big Question: are you willing to be responsible enough to manage and suffer the consequences of the risk? I guess I try not to think of such things at the time, pre-leap. If I hesitated like that, the risks would never be made.

But not Obama! Our president was ever-willing to hope boldly and impudently! Anyway, I'm still finding the title confusing and mildly odd, however... inspired!

500th post! There were some news items today that piqued my interest: A plant that eats rats, and a lady who is pregnant with 12 babies. I wasn't going to mention them -it just didn't seem worthy of the occasion, but then I thought... aw hell, they're both pretty audacious. Some days the carnivorous plants are the most significant things.

I know what it is: it's PCDS. I get it around this time every year. "Post-Camp-Depression-Syndrome". It happens when you have an utterly profound seven-day stretch of a spiritual and energetic high that is unparalleled the remainder of the year. It's camp! Then you come home and find yourself wondering if those messed-up campers are going to be all right, or if you made a difference in the world at all, or even if you can at home... So I diagnose myself with a made-up disease to excuse it all. At least I don't get PCDS like I used to, now with a pretty wife and cute kids and a lovely home to return to, but still, it's there. I'll get through it. It's a rat-race, but I'll get through it.

Just gotta keep one eye on those rat-eating plants, unexpected hurdles of God, Himself. (For the rats, that is.)