Years ago, I avoided Gail Sheehy’s book, Passages. I understood that she identified transitions in life and relationships, and categorized them into various phases. I wouldn’t read it because such categorization felt too deterministic. I wasn’t going to be told how my life was turning out, I didn’t want to know the social or psychological patterns that the years would create for me.
How simplistic – and naïve. Life happens, and we have choices that drive that life. Each life is a journey, we travel the path with many different people, we develop relationships that help us along that path.
As Vonnegut would say, so it goes.
So here’s the news that led me to think of Sheehy: our daughter is engaged. A transition in her life, and ours. Frank and Erin are happy, and that happiness does spread to those around them – including us. Marriage is a life marker, and so Erin’s will be a marker for their life and for ours. We won’t just go along for the ride; we’re part of the trip. Hang on, all!
I altered the heading to this journal. It now contains a passage from a desk calendar that a friend bought for me at Christmas; it consists primarily of eastern philisophical wisdom, with an occasional literary reference. I'll post these occasionally. Meanwhile, just so we don't lose it, here is the Jefferson passage that was up there for the first few months:
"...we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt...If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake." Thomas Jefferson, 1798
George W may believe that getting a democratic state in Iraq justifies his means. But his principles are still awry and should not blind us to the dangers of his actions.