Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Kipper Gets His Turns Back

Eighteen inches of snow have fallen on Burlington this weekend, twice that at Sugarbush. I was there for first run Saturday morning, taking three down double diamond Stein’s Run before I went to work with my four year olds.

More runs in the afternoon and more on Sunday begins to show me that perhaps something special is happening here afterall. I purposefully took the runs by myself, consciously looking for the smooth line that could bring me down the mountain.

For weeks, now, I have been describing the struggle to learn a new style, writing that the change from exuberant dance and battle through moguls to a smooth instructor's turn, although uncomfortable and alien, serves as a good metaphor for the changes needed in my life in general. So weary of the tumult and scarcity, the strained and screaming muscles forcing their way, I have vowed to hold the concepts of prosperity and abundance close to me as I point my skis downhill and push off.

In similar periods of distress (and, lo, there have been too many!), I have taken deposits for the next construction job and applied them to bills from the last, straining to keep from crashing face first into another bump. Begging and pleading with creditors for just a little more time, breathing room has always been just out of reach.

When the truck broke down last week, I was clearly out of options and, without any internal discussion, I knew to the center of my soul, I had to react a different way, make that new style of turn.

Two days earlier, I had met with someone about a book-keeping job for a bio-energy consulting firm. Although the product was unknown to me and the money by the hour was far less than could be made as a carpenter, it was not frought with risk and challenge, but consistently earned hour by hour.

Having crossed that line to embrace the concept that less money with more reliability gains so much more peace of mind, I studied my expenses in the last months of this new life and saw how this, combined with some other incomes, could work. Developing a plan, organizing a budget, cleaning house settles the anxiety of the unknown into manageable bites to swallow.

Although few are hiring, I dropped off applications and resumes at numerous larger construction companies, stressing that I wanted office work, no nail belt in sight. One smaller company, very similar to mine at its best, needs a part-time office manager. Against fierce competition, I emphasize my unique qualifications of expertise in the business and contentment to just count numbers 20-30 hours a week, and they seem to agree. I pray that our needs align, for it seems the perfect balance of solutions to me.

It all began with a determination to write in a journal, no matter the prying eyes that might judge me unfairly. When I started this blog, it felt like a diseased patient, diagnosed as terminal, moving from bed to sofa, wrapped in a comforting blanket, turning eyes from internal struggle outwards to view the rest of the world, and making a choice to live.

The move to my space at Riverside I made to hear my own voice, long contaminated by the clatter and clamor of demands and duties, no longer clear, but strained and ineffectual. In moments of stillness, music arose to celebrate steps small and large. My fingers itching were able to stretch and caress, my voice returned, strengthening old phrases with new timber and pitch, and finding new songs.

So, alone on that trail in the soft quiet of the raging storm, warm and clear-sighted, I pushed off and soared through a field of moguls, skis carving turns as pretty as an instructor and dancing out and into the air with punctuations of personality completely my own. My heart sings with fresh life, so much glistening powder untracked and seductive spread out before me.

Please share with your friends


Laurie said...

It sounds like you are finding some peace in all of this. Sometimes less is more if the less is steady. There is something to be said for peace of mind. It will allow you some time to recoup and de-stress. Meanwhile you can keep your writing going and explore all the avenues there. You are very perseverent Kip. That is something not everyone has. Who do you believe was more perseverent? Alexander Graham Bell or William Dunn? I guess the fact that you don't know who William Dunn is would give you a clue. Keep your head held high. There is integrity in hanging in and doing it with class, both of which you are doing my friend. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you've been through the ringer lately Kip. I do hope that financially 2009 is more settled for you.

Cricket said...

Hey Kip,

I am reading this a little late but hey....you have style. You are not going down and you are still standing.