Hubby and I had plans to take the kids to the county fair last week during Spring Break, but alas, we had the vacation souvenir to contend with. So, in order to use our ride passes that had cost a pretty penny, we settled on going last night.
Yeah, the thing about the Youth Fair is that it becomes the cesspool of humanity after a certain time, usually around the time that people with families head on out and the young people show up. And by young people, I mean teenaged children who like to dress and act like thugs. So, like much of this week, I was running to stand still.
I was running from home to school to drop Andrew, take Joshua to school, then Matthew to the orthodontist (his appliances are finally in! Let the games begin!) and then run back to work, where I rushed through the day, only to run to pick up Joshua, run home and get everyone ready, rush through traffic to just stand in line. To get in, to get on rides, to get food, to go. Waiting in a car queue, to get out on the road, to go home.
While we were there, we met up with people we have not seen, in some cases, for the better part of 15 years; a lifetime ago. Of the people we saw, some have divorced, some are pursuing new career opportunities, some have new babies. And John and I? We are running to stand still.
Not every day is like this. Not every moment feels rushed and lacking in importance. But yesterday, it was like the classic U2 song, Running to Stand Still.
You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice...Our House of Representatives voted for the bill that has had me so upset for the better part of three weeks and it now sits on the Governor's desk; waiting to be signed into law or to be vetoed.
I feel much like the lyrics above. I feel utterly defeated and yet, I refuse to give up hope. Perhaps that is why I have stayed in the teaching profession for so long. I refuse to believe that people don't have good intentions, that we are here for a purpose.
As a mother, how many times have we cried without weeping, talked without speaking, screamed without raising our voices?
As I got dinner ready earlier this evening, I asked John to put on U2's The Joshua Tree. I have always found the songs on that album to be extremely comforting, especially when I am feeling out of sorts. And for some particular reason, I just needed to hear that song today.
Because, on many days, we are caught between the past and the present. Our present includes every major decision we have made in the past. Our children are living proof of it, our homes, our marriages, the relationships we have with others.
And while the calendar may show the days changing, some things remain the same. The commitments to our families, our responsibilities as adults, parents, community members.
And so she woke
From where she was lying still
Said we got to do something about where we're going
Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain
Maybe run from the darkness in the night...
She is running to stand still.
***Although Running to Stand Still was originally written about a heroin addicted couple living in Dublin, it came to describe the squalor and desperation of their situation. However, many fans, including myself, never knew that the song was about drug addiction. For me, it brought thoughts of overcoming insurmountable odds. For more information regarding the origins of the song, please click here.
***P.S. John and I are the BIGGEST U2 fans. Last fall, we went to see them in Boston, and we have tickets for when they come to town in July. I discovered them when I was 10 and have been hooked ever since...