An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, August 23, 2010

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Once upon a time ...
there was a king! my young readers would say.
But no, my dear children, you are mistaken.
Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.
~introduction to Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio

Today was the kind of day that you try to imagine life as someone other than who you are.

To be sure, I wasn't sad or nostalgic. I wasn't complaining or lamenting my lot. It's just that every once in a while I get the feeling that I need to burst out of my roles as mother and wife and ... play the cello, or create an oil painting, or sing the lead in a musical.

Except, I don't know how to do any of those things although, amazingly, in my heart I somehow feel as if I could.

Sometimes I will imagine in my mind a small church nestled in the woods, or a city on a rainy afternoon, or the mist hanging low over a lake -- images that I know would look beautiful on canvas.

But when I try to capture the image by sketching it in pencil, it comes out looking amateurish; the image in my mind evaporates and I feel empty.

Sometimes I am presented a wonderful opportunity -- a risk, to be sure, but also an adventure -- but one that requires more courage than I have.

Like when I was a junior in college, had an interview with the Peace Corp all lined up, but never went to it. Today, I can still imagine that appointment calendar with a big no show written in ink next to my name.

Do you ever feel that way? That, despite obvious shortcomings, you can be bigger or better than you are?

That within you is the potential to be extraordinary instead of ordinary?

That's how I felt today and, although I wasn't extraordinary in the least, I am not finished. I know that.

Like Geppetto's block of wood, I am a work in progress and extraordinary will come ... one day.

C'era una volta ...
--Un re! -- diranno subito i miei piccoli lettori.
No, ragazzi, avete sbagliato. C'era una volta un pezzo di legno.
~Le avventure di Pinocchio


Tiziana said...

Maria, tu sei già una persona straordinaria ed è già straordinario quello che scrivi, però capisco anche i tuoi sentimenti. Sarebbe bastato una decisione diversa o una fatalità e il nostro destino sarebbe cambiato.
Rallegriamoci però della nostra vita e apriamo le porte (almeno tu) alle occasioni che ci si presenteranno.

GrandmaK said...

You put into word the very way I too feel at time...Well done!!! You are extraordinary! You painted a wonderful picture with your words! Thank you! Cathy

Ua said...

You're already there, Bia. Look at your three wonderful boys and your well-trained husband! They are each extraordinary. You've already done your creating.

Lisa said...

I do feel that way. The What-If scenarios. And here I am half way through life, thinking I probably don't have time -- or energy -- to become a concert pianist or a successful artist or a lauded novelist... But, like Ua said, I take satisfaction that what I've created so far in my life has eternal ramifications. My children's souls are eternal, while a painting or a concert or a book is finite -- and superfluous in comparison. And none of them puts their arms around my neck and hugs me.

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly said...

What a beautiful, honest post. I agree with Ua. You are already there. The life of a mother consists of living in the ordinary, but with our love extraordinary things happen. With God's grace we nurture souls for Christ. What could be more extraordinary than that?