Tuesday, October 29, 2013


My commenters, here and via email, took Ed's position: want to breathe calmly? Go out for a brisk walk in a forest. Go back to yoga. Forget about the credentialed guy dispensing advice on how to relax.

It's true of course. I can manage this! -- has been my phrase of choice, ever since I landed in this country to care for a child, having never baby sat in my life prior to this, let alone cared for a girl who routinely went horseback riding in jodhpurs and knew how to dive for quarters in the family pool. Nothing at all like the kids I knew back in Poland, who on a summer evening were more likely to gather in the cow pasture to toss around a volley ball, or pick mushrooms after a rainfall.

But, I have another catchy little phrase to live by -- learn from others. I tend to listen to advice. And then I take it or leave it, but I usually give it a good hearing. So if someone tells me to go listen to a relaxation guru, I'm likely to oblige.

But today was not a day to oblige anything or anyone. You know the ten minute run I was to do at home? Forget it. I got up, ate breakfast (flanked this morning by the beautifully bright light coming through the kitchen windows)...


...and worked.

In school, I really wanted to show my  class this 8 minute video which somewhat humorously depicts a discussion of some core concepts we're analyzing right now. And though I took the time to practice running the appropriate technology for it, in the final showing I could not figure out how to increase the volume (so that students could actually hear what was being said).

Who knew that tapping on volume arrows was incorrect and that pressing firmly and steadily on one such arrow would do the trick?

Which brings me around to the preoccupation with technology Ed and I have had in this past week, as we struggled (well, Ed struggled and I fretted by association) to understand why my mom's brand new lap top was not connecting to the Internet at her senior residential center in Berkeley. My mom and her senior co-conspirators were even brave enough to follow Ed's urgings to locate and reboot the router and still, nothing helped -- she could not get online.

We were about to give up and start all over with a new machine when she called to say that the Internet provider came over and admitted that some while back they locked Internet access for any *new* machines. In other words, it was their fault. But when everyone on her floor is happily clicking away, how would you ever conclude that it was something other than the new machine you sent over? 

I was thinking about how finding proper remedies for problems that arise is sometimes so elusive, through no fault of our own. How you may try to get all the pieces in order and how you do everything within your power to get it right and yet you can't. There is a missing piece and you cannot possibly find it alone, no matter how adept you are.

Still, if you have your wits about you, surely you would understand that many, many issues you can resolve for yourself, without additional input from an expert. Stick a kid on a horse and tell her to ride. Take a walk in the woods. Click on tabs until you find one that does the trick. All that. Go ahead, give it a go. But don't be shy about seeking advice. Sometimes it's not you -- someone locked you out and you just cannot readily get back in on your own.

The evening Rosie ride home  by the lesser lake: slate colored waters, darkening skies. This may be the last week when I take the old girl out for a spin. We are inching awfully close to winter.

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