Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A life observed

My daughter, Silvi, will be born any minute now. At the risk of being a stereotypical new father, I feel this huge, almost overwhelming, desire to change everything about myself, and the world, to ensure that Silvi is safe and loved. As someone who tries to control the chaos of life, I realize just how much there is that can come between that safety and love. Life is dangerous, and love even more so.

I have chosen to call this journal Narrow Ridge because I believe that I must walk along the narrow ridge in this world. I must live between hope and despair, between certainty and doubt, between laughter and tears, between community and solitude. Truth be told, I am not very good at walking the narrow ridge. It is all too easy for me to slide into a life of despair and doubt and sadness. And solitude.

As my daughter joins our family, I realize that I will live a life observed. Lately, I've been feeling as if I'm about to meet my inlaws for the first time and they will be staying with me for a week. I got rid of all our old coffee mugs because none of them matched. We now have six new matching coffee mugs. I sold half of my books. I took three carloads of clothes and lamps and old furniture to the thrift store. The closets have been straightened, the dishes done, laundry washed, floor swept, carpets vacuumed, and we're buying a new coffee table this week. And I bought a soccer ball to lose the spare tire(s).

None of those things, of course, address the real issue. I want my daughter to look up to me, to respect me, to love me. And there's just so many things about me that are, well, unfinished.

This journal is an attempt to share just a little of a life well-lived along the narrow ridge.

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