I haven't posted for a few days. I've had a virus, but it's also the end of the semester, and suddenly I'm swamped with all the articles my students were supposed to be steadily turning in over the course of the semester. Instead, I've got, at last count, about 35 articles to edit, and there's more on the way.
My 13-year old plays on a basketball team. Earlier this week, the mother of one of her teammates was crossing in a crosswalk and was run over by a SUV that kept going. I see constant reminders of the fragility of life. Iraq is about that, of course, but in a way, on days when I don't want to deal with Iraq, I simply don't read the news. But my child is trying to understand how you can say goodbye to your mom in the morning and then find out in the afternoon that she is dead.
I had my own near miss in October, when I was involved in a serious car accident that everyone on the scene told me I was lucky to have survived. I'm not depressed by this; I think the sadness I feel for this woman's children is appropriate. But I also feel grounded by it. It makes me aware that life can't be controlled, it can only be accepted on its own terms. It doesn't mean you don't fight like hell for the living, or to change what you can, but it seems to me that there's a certain grace in being aware of where you really are in the vastness of the universe.
I always thought that serenity would involve a form of ecstacy, and there is joy there, but serenity is more quiet.