I emceed a concert to benefit Ovarian Cancer `Awareness at The
Sheldon tonight. It was a great bill of fare. And the
cause aside, a great entertainment value.
Four different female musical groups including the Laclede String
Quartet and the River Blenders, the area's largest Sweet Adeline
There was free gourmet gelato and pastries at intermission.
All told, over 150 performers—all women—donated their time
for the concert which weighed in at a sweet fifteen dollars. I
had a great time emceeing and it was a fun and upbeat event.
I emailed a lot of folks. Almost everyone I invited had a
warm and cordial reason why they could not go, including you.
My friend Jane deLynn called me earlier in the day to
suggest a movie. When I told her I was emceeing this concert, she
did not suggest going to that instead.
My sister asked if my friends had turned out to support the event
and thus, in a connected way, me and us. Ovarian cancer
has touched out lives this year and we will never be the same.
I had been trying to figure out how I feel about the
fact that very few people I invited came. Including
a woman I am contemplating dating.
This is where I have arrived.
I told Laurel that few of my friends come to events with which
I am involved these days. That it might be a function of
several things. I tend to do a lot. I have emceed a lot,
have directed a lot. Perhaps it is no longer a sufficiently unique
occasion to warrant their attention.
If she were to emcee an event, her friends would show. But then,
she never does such things.
She also has a different capacity for friendship than I do. I
am content to see or talk to most of my friends every few weeks.
I am just not a daily or even weekly kind of girl.
In the pursuit of time to read and write and think, of time to
increasingly attend to myself physically, something has to give
and for me, it is usually some aspects of socializing. So maybe,
if I am honest, my social ties are just not that strong.
I don't know.
I know I am well liked and in many instances, beloved. But
how that translates, I am not sure.
Laurel asked if I was disappointed by the lack of support. I
said I was more concerned about whether people would really be
there for me if I needed them in a more serious way. Like,
if I were sick or perhaps had just had surgery.
A lot of people
have checked in with me before and after my hysterectomy. A lot
of people have offered help if I need it.
That is probably more important to me.
I also realized that if people had not shown up several years
ago, it would have affected me much differently. I am sure I
have felt hurt.
I told Laurel that I choose to reframe it. That I did not
want you to come if you were too tired. That I wanted the
potential new woman in my life to do what she felt she needed
to do. And if that meant honoring her previous commitment
to her softball team, that is what she should do.
Laurel said, do you really not mind? And in her question,
I could hear the hurt little girl who never has felt seen or
heard by my parents. The grown woman who is now very much seen
and heard by them but who carries such vestiges of childhood
wounding, that it doesn't matter.
It is partly a Buddhist thing, I told her. I can choose to reframe
it. Or I can suffer from disappointment, There is no singular
reality about this. It depends upon which lens you use.
Kim: So many issues
here. Email, how do we spend time, what does it mean to be
a friend, how do we feel about illness, etc.
Email is not a good
way to get people to come to things. We get too many emails
and it is so easy to ignore them. Email and a phone call might
do wonders. "I know you'd really enjoy this evening, and I'm
sending you an email with the particulars."
I've been thinking
about my time more and more now that I'm entering a phase of
my life where I'm going to be the master of my time and it
can either be used well or wasted. But to some extent, noone
feels that they have enough time so they need to be convinced
why they should spend their time in a particular way. More
information about the group. More information about ovarian
cancer, and what will be done because of the benefit.
When we do things
for friends just because they are our friend we start to resent
the friendship. Maybe it is a matter of "added value" where
you say, please do this for me, and also, it will be a lot
of fun for you.
Some people don't
want to be near illness, or anything about illness. They believe
all illness is contagious. The solution is to highlight the
concert and diminish the cause.
It seems the Buddhist
perspective is that though you created this, because "you"
are part of everything then part of "you" did not come to that
which you created. Anger becomes irrelevant, because this was
not about you but about everyone, including you.
So often I would create
events as a teacher that many students did not attend. And
so often I was disappointed.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006