You know those weeks you’re convinced the gods are having a blast taking target practice at you? “C’mon, already!” But then something happens that helps put it all in perspective, and those figments above evaporate like dark clouds cleared by a strong gust of wind.
Briefly: my camera that I use everyday got splashed lightly and died violently. New book just on the market had a program code problem and needed to be mostly re-typed. Knee drained in April started acting up again. Took my bike in for a quick look that will now take a small mortgage to get back. Yah, there’s more, but you get the idea. There’s an old grizzled cowboy I’ve had in my head for decades who keeps my spirits up when I have a tough time doing it alone. He’s laughing like he always does.
By last night I was no kidding babbling - fortunately, just to myself. Still, it’s hard to sleep like that. So, before going to bed, I shut down everything except for one light, and got back to reading the second half of Wonder by RJ Palacio.
Our Kindergarten-6th grade Literacy Coordinator, Sue Bardsley, recommended I read the book to help figure out a project we could do together when everyone at Mill Pond School reads the book this coming school year. The book - a full-on 300-page novel - tells the story of what it’s like for a 10-year old boy born with a horribly deformed face to attend his first year of formal school. The story is fictional but is based on a brief but real event the author and her young children experienced not too long ago.
Every word of Wonder is gorgeously written, though sometimes those words are hard to read through tear-blurred eyes. But, wow, how those words and the soul-of-the-matter story they tell help change perspective to what really matters in life like an arrow “thud, twang” stuck dead-center in a bullseye. To take a line from Auggie, the 10-year old boy in the book, when he finds out how powerfully well his unusually large and unsightly new hearing aids work, “Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”
Right on, Auggie (and RJ)! My problems are no problem. I’m smiling and, you bet, so is that old cowboy in my head. Thanks to all of you!