The evening started with a most enlightening view of Chicago inbreeding on Beck's show, followed by a Lifetime movie. I'm sure you know the kind. You're channel surfing, and you pass LMN. Don't pause, not even for a moment, otherwise you wind up watching a two hour potboiler about some woman being abused by her husband, lover, or in tonight's movie, her shrink.
Afterward, one channel away was a movie about Georgia O'Keefe. This week's opus followed one last week about Dorothy Parker. Initially, I envied them both, not their talent, but the entree into circles with interesting people, the achievement. I've been on the what-have-I-done-with-my-life kick lately, or more to the point- what haven't I done with my life. I console myself with a thought I picked up reading Woolf's To the Lighthouse that somehow domesticity, the pull of family, hampers achievement. Only as I learn more about O'Keefe's painful marriage, I have to rethink my previous supposition.
The other day I discovered that someone I know in passing is in an unhappy situation. My first thought was to blurt out "Leave him now when you are young, so you won't realize thirty years down the road that you sacrificed your life to his dysfunction and are left with ashes of the life you could have led." I didn't say anything, however, because as Sherwood Anderson realized, "whatever I said would have been a lie."
That, I guess, is the truth. It is such a nebulous thing. I have friends who envy me for essentially dropping out of the rat race. At the same time I envy their success, their independence. Who knows what choices we make, should make? Of one thing I'm sure, we are called upon to make such life shaping decisions when we are least suited to, when the fever is in the blood and reality is yet to bare its teeth.