Friday, October 5, 2007

keep chugging forward (alternative title: i think i can, i think i can...)

i was pretty sore after my run yesterday. the arch in one of my feet and both my knees were a little achy. which was really bothering me, but then i talked to house guest about it (he runs...way more than i do) and he thinks i just need some new running shoes. whew, that is so much easier than, say, new knees and stuff, you know? (i've been running for a couple of years and always with the same shoes...maybe i should learn a little about this, think?)

today's our day off from school work. we work a four day week, and i have quite a few things to catch up on today. but one thing i've been thinking about this nonviolence, pacifism, peace.... we were reading our history learning about the ancient indian city of mohenjo-daro and how it just disappeared. no one knows what happened. here's this huge settlement of ancient civilization, pretty advanced, i mean we're talking toilets, bath houses...but no one's struggling to be lord of it all. they're independent cities, etc... so much isn't written, i suppose, because as we learned while covering the ancient middle east and egypt, most of what was written was by the servants or scribes of kings or gleaned from monuments resurrected in their honor. anyway... we had just spent eight chapters on the ancient middle east and egypt and there was just this one little chapter on ancient india, and it just struck me, how different it was from the wars and military dictators and hammurabi and whatnot of the previous chapters. made me think of gandhi. i'm reading a book called "chasing vermeer" with the kids now, but i think i'd like to find a gandhi autobiography next.... because i think the chapter on india impressed them too.

there was this little blurb at the end of the chapter saying maybe they--this be those indians in aforementioned paragraph--were overtaken by another group (whose name escapes me right now). but no one knows....and in this realm of "no one knows", the only thing this particular book threw out there was maybe they were overtaken because they didn't unite (and i admit it's my presumption that the book meant unite to fight back)? kind of bothered me. but i didn't say anything about it. then, my thirteen year old says, "seems if there was a war, there would've been weapons and they would've found them and then they'd know. i think they probably died of some disease." and i thought, "yeah!" :) but i didn't say anything. because, well, the book said they didn't know...and i didn't want to screw up the message of that.

anyway. i've never been much for fighting. there are certain arguments i'll get into, but unless it's my spouse who i have to spend a few more decades with, i just don't go there usually. i try really hard to maintain a belief in human integrity and dignity. i did not grow up in a household that praised these values. in fact, i often call myself a marshmallow, because that's kind of how these beliefs were viewed in my family--as kind of wimpy. i am not perfect in my trying to match my life with my ideals, but that's what life's about, right? striving...

i have to talk about my kids for a minute... n has been a really sweet teenager the past few days. i guess this is just part of the roller coaster we'll ride with him the next few years, and if you ever needed a push toward non violence, parenting a child who's growing physically larger than you can sometimes be the "check" that helps you get there... :) but he's a lot more hungry for interaction and it's a lot more pleasant these days. s is still so gentle a spirit, and so creative. he's been drawing for awhile. i should spend a little time on the floor with him just drawing.... o is still all dimples and a huge brain. but he also shows a more sensitive side that N and i love. one of the mamas on my mama board pointed out a way to look at o's handwriting that sees it as more a product of his creativity than his lack of motivation. it was interesting and i appreciated her insight. and e still amazes me. he just came to me and said, "i poured my cereal in my bowl by myself, but the milk is too heavy to lift. can you help me please?" all with the big smile... they are precious friends...


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