Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peace that Passath

In the predawn darkness this morning, I awoke fearful that my creativity and drive depend on stress. The high level of uncertainty and crisis that has pervaded most of my adult life may actually be necessary to motivate me forward: the suffering artiste.

Long recognizing that my struggle with money is at the core of my existence, a reason, perhaps The Reason, to be here, it is frightening to imagine I continually create problems to maintain a stimulating edge. Trouble possibly provides the pressure to really cook.

A week of relative calm coincides with no blog entry nor other session of writing words on a pad or in my journal. As if a comfortable routine breeds stagnation, I rise up in a sweat of horror to think I might need to be so out of balance in order to walk a productive line.

No doubt, my heart beats faster in crisis, my mind leaps forward with creative solutions to ugly problems, bending rules or persevering against all odds. Adrenalin can certainly be addicting.

Still in the dark, my son and I loaded the car for a day of work on the Mountain, and the CD ignited with the new song, reminding me that perhaps the phrases wrapped in melody counted for creativity enough to satisfy my internal demand. Lack of a blog entry beyond that could possibly be forgiven.

We are, typically, our own worst critics, passing negative judgments where others might bestow accolades. In all my years as a contractor, constantly entering strange homes to consider a job, no matter the condition, rarely has the owner not apologized for the mess. For every achievement we attain, we see three ways we could have (should have) done it better.

But as we rolled down the road, the mellow tune embracing my ear with pride and satisfaction, we enjoyed a dim to bright sunrise over purple snow-covered mountains. Cold mist hovered over the frozen rivers. Frost clung to trees. Smoke curled from chimneys cozy with warmth, and the world seemed right.

My group at ski school has settled into eight four year olds just learning to turn and very distractable, contrary and lively. They all want to hold my hand, and they are equally in love with my son who does a wonderful job as teacher and entertainer.

Such a treat it is to work side by side! I can focus on the one who in this 15 minutes has reverted to helplessness, counting on him to herd the others up and down, or to the potty, in all good humor and patience.

Afterwards, we rode to the top of the mountain, bitter wind blowing and ice on the trail, but enough snow to make the bumps very skiable. Three runs we took on one of the toughest diamonds. In one fell swoop, my son really mastered the steep and treacherous, skiing the slope aggressively and confidently, making his father so proud.

Side by side or one after the other, I had no worry for his safety, but just thrilled to the turns or laughed heartily when one of us plunged and fell. My own legs recaptured the flow and twist, the airborne dance of so long ago now refined by my instructor’s style. A sweet hour we skied as if there were none before or after this, just happy to be alive as the mountain tops were lit in golden sunset.

On the way home, a magnificent moon, full, huge, bright, and orange, rose over those same purple mountains still covered with snow. All was right with our world, father and son united and bonded, all problems shrouded by the peace of heavenly satisfaction, a moment so clean, clear and undramatic, but so perfectly wonderous to write about.

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Anonymous said...

The reward of children. Awesome post Kip. I too have had the experience of skiing with my children. As good as it gets. I bet you had a glow on for days. You two will be sad to see winter end.


Anonymous said...

It's those precious and memorable moments that we spend with our children that reminds us of how beautiful life can be.

Laurie said...

Kip, you said,"no matter the condition, rarely has the owner not apologized for the mess." That is so funny because I always say that to people coming in my house but then mine really is messy most of the time. Funny that other people say it too. I guess we're all insecure and fear judgment.

I haven't snow skied since college. I would love to do it again someday but can't see me getting much beyond the bunny slopes!