Monday, March 25, 2013
What a week, what a lot of feelings that I barely recognize. It's funny, I recall a passage in a CS Lewis novel where he talks about entry into the next world, a heaven metaphor, being like going through the circles of an onion, except that the world gets bigger and clearer the deeper we go. My mind, my 'self' feels like that lately. The more things I learn, the more I try to become open, the more my mind and feelings stretch, and the smaller I feel, but in a good way. This is not what I expected: as I become more vulnerable, there seems less to fear, the Universe seems less dangerous, and - although I still expect to fail, to be hurt - I am more willing to put that off until it happens.
Last weekend I took and passed the next level of the ham radio exams, earning me a "general" class license. I got my call sign -- KB8UJK -- and my friend gave me my first radio. My son laughed at the idea that, now that I've passed two of the ham tests, I am ready to start thinking about turning on a radio, but I am learning that I like this slow approach to new ideas. The radio gift itself was a little overwhelming for me, wrapped with such care, in blue paper, with twisted wires forming a sort of bow to bind it all together, the radio itself a symbol of faith and support that I am capable of this new thing. I wish like crazy that I'd had the sense to take a photo of it before I opened it, but the thoughtfulness, the whole idea so overwhelmed me that there was no room for thought, only for strange feelings of a sort of awe. I do not remember anyone, aside from my kids and sister, ever taking the time to do such a thing for me. There was something humbling, maybe even scary about it, but I liked it.
At the same time, my work with Morse code is becoming easier. I am by no means fast. There is still nothing to brag about. But this week I found myself relaxing as I copied code, as if the internal strangle-hold that was holding me back has lifted. My friend sent me a bunch of limericks this week, and I am laughing out loud as I copy, eager to discover whatever comes next. I don't care so much about getting good at it now, and grab every chance to do it just because it is fun. Ridiculous fun.
It sounds crazy even to me, but these new entry-level skills, that make no sense to most of the people in my world, and little sense even to me, are transforming my feelings about everything. I wondered to someone whether this is how little boys feel growing up, while little girls are busy worrying about how they look and whether they are liked or how they are judged. For sure it's something I have never felt before -- the things I am learning don't matter a hill of beans to anyone around me, but they are making me feel as if I am capable of doing anything, of learning anything I choose. So life is good right now. Very good. And I am looking forward to what will happen next.