I'm in the parkdale library. taking a breather before the big Catholic Worker Christams party. It's ironic in a way...as I am so not in the mood to "party". Get drunk - yes. Sing carols - no.
The tinsel is on the tree. the deserts are ready. Everyone has probably been scampering around getting ready..the presents are wrapped. I havnt been around much for the pre-festivities. I am hiding in the library. I think H bought me some plates to break.... yipeeee.
It's Christmas and the bad parts of me are surfaceing as life is consumed with others. we all have this utopian vision of what it means to be living in authentic community - doing hospitality - living for and with others - living out our ideals of a more just and whole society. Then theres the part where you wake up and realize that it is not all idealistic. It is mostly the hard realities of life slapping you in the face...the day in day out living with each other...having to smile when all you feel like doing is crying - and sometimes doing that too.
I was thinking about all these things last night as we sat down around the table to eat our meal. I noticed the 'Gollum' in me come out as M was asking me for the fifth time to get her something - a glass of milk - more beans - 3 more peices of chicken - etc. and I hadnt starting eatign yet...I was grumpy and tired and emotionally spent...and I was stuffing the urge to literally FREAk out. And then I thought about what M said about what it is we really do here...more than the activism and talk and work and idealism etc:
What we do is attend to each other.
And sometimes very badly. We attend to all our sometimes cleverly hidden disfunction...and wierdness...and tempers..and exhaustion...and need. so much need.
I keep having to remind myself to try and be easy on myself...what with the hostage taking, the vigiling, the decapitated head at the end of the street. Nerves are frazzled way beyond the normal frazzles...and lately i've been forgetting about that. We are being daily confronted with the hard nugget of human pain and suffering. It is a hard thing to keep facing sorrow at it's most vulnerable and raw.