Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lone Star State

A person can feel sure about a thing. Feel confident in their path and walk with purpose and direction. A person can be fully committed to fulfilling her destiny, believing that this - THIS is what she was created for (a distant-ish second, of course, to bearing and lovingly raising her beautiful children. Naturally.) A person can feel all these things and then one day wake up in the middle of the night (well, morning) struck with a kind of icy, toe-tingling doubt.

The sneaky kind that feels like you're "just a little chilly" at first, but then it starts snaking up into your purpose and confidence. It causes a little stutter in the stride and the person has to ask herself: "Am I sure? Is this where I'm really supposed to be going?"

Then this person - a friend of mine, mind you - not me - looks around and sees that she's the only one. Oh sure, there are kind and loving supporters on the side lines, bringing water and slices of watermelon encouragement but as far as other people who are actually walking this particular path beside her: bupkis. Zip. Nada. No. Body.

"Hows about you ask your old pal Aaron and/or Moses to do this one? Maybe it's not for me to do after all. I mean, wouldn't I have someone who has this [seemingly] esoteric Gut Knowing journeying with me?" she says to no One in particular.

Okay, okay, I'll tell you: it's me. (!!!)

I had a momentary 2 by 4 to the head of near-panic the other day hour. I was merrily reading - more like greedily devouring John Taylor Gatto's book, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling the other day, nodding out loud, agreeing across pages and miles with so much of what he has to say and I was struck (enter the 2 by 4) with the thought of how NO ONE ELSE I KNOW reads this stuff! (Note: The melodrama being employed here is very important and very necessary because even though in actual fact it's true that I am personally familiar with other human beings who are reading "this stuff" not a single one of them lives on my 7 by 21 mile rock island home. End Note.)

So back to the shocking-unfolding-of-the-drama-music.

I just wondered why not me AND someone who reads all the same stuff? Why just me alone? (Yeah yeah yeah, the side-liners - but they can go home anytime they want. I've signed up for this thing!. They've pinned white rectangles with numbers onto my clothes. This is serious!) Is a running mate too much to ask for here?

Then I was all, How can I be sure? And Nathan was all - wait, what did Nathan say again? Something Sensible and Encouraging but I can't remember what (as I was probably too distracted with my near panic experience). But it must have worked because I'm not feeling like ripping the tags off and giving up, or worse, dragging some stranger from the crowd and MAKING them run with me (dammit!). Yeah, No, I'm good. I can do this. I have been made for such a thing as this.

As I said to Sensible and Encouraging Nathan in subsequent conversations - I believe that my choices as a mother, particularly the most recent to unschool [with] Lauryn and Ryan, are my way of saying that I am choosing another way besides that path that has been cut out for us; i.e. auto-pilot to a predetermined cookie cutter model of factory "success" (read: acquisition of stuff and things).

Maybe it started out as a rejection of that model, but I feel it's really now a movement toward something else (rather than away from the other thing). A sometimes-effortless gliding, other times uphill-plodding movement toward all that I have talked about before (you know, "peace, justice, humanity, sustainability" - blah blah blah, that old chestnut?) and that creating The Village School is my way of inviting other people on that path with me.

What's to be afraid of in that?

(Um... Discrimination, being ostracized, rejection, exile? Pish Posh! Piece a cake!)

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