Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Four hundred little bits of me

I just realized that my last post makes it an even 400 entries on this blog-o-mine. A few years ago I wrote about why I called my blog Narrow Ridge (taken from a quote by one of my favorite philosophers, Martin Buber). I think nows a good time to repost those thoughts for any of you who are just tuning in:
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.

7 comments:

RK said...

Thanks for re-posting that. I've wondered about the title. I think that is a very admirable way to view the responsibility of fatherhood.

Kim Ayres said...

If you ever get the chance to pick up a copy of Fatherhood I think you'd really enjoy it.

Tricia said...

Thanks for sharing again.

Me dare thinks we're ALL unfinished yet. (And we won't be until they stick a fork in us and tell us we're done.)

Life would be boring if we were done! But you knew that. :)

Tom said...

RK: Thanks.

Kim: Looks interesting; maybe I can find a copy in my used bookstore...

Tricia: I used to think I was perfect before getting married and having kids. :)

Shannon **Gabi's Mom** said...

I think it's a very appropriate title. Thanks for sharing that.

Tom said...

Shannon: Thanks....

SunflowerMom said...

400, that is wonderful! I've enjoyed reading for the last couple of months, in fact, you are the only male blogger I read. I guess that makes you pretty admirable in my book.