Life and choices
“…in life, as in other mysteries, there are no answers, only questions…part of the process…is to refine the question.”- Norman Mailer
I recently read a masterful re-telling of the Cinderella story by Tanith Lee. It’s long, and very worth it; a much darker, much angrier and really quite sad version of the story. Read it, tell me what you think.
But, I’m sharing it, not only because it’s so good, but because reading it, I knew, finally, that coaching has taken over my life. The next day I found myself brooding about the main character, who essentially destroyed her own life, the life of a man who could have loved her, and brings rack and ruin on her community because she was in so deep to her mother’s obsession. The coach in me thought, “Ugh…great writing, but how sad. That was her life and look at how she spurned it. What did she even know of her own life?” And then, the little old Jewish grandmother of my soul, spent some more time thinking, what a shanda for the neighbors, this poor girl’s self-inflicted fate was.
And that’s my point. The “heroine” of the story, falls under her mom’s dark star and commits… oh she commits all right, to destroying many other lives, including, perhaps her own. As someone who re-created her own life, and who helps clients re-create theirs, I found that such a galling shame. Great story, but what a waste of life. Our lives are about creating, for better or worse, our own passions, our own obsessions, and being able to shed those that either don’t further or even, spiritually, “fit” us. I truly believe that we can love and honor our parents, our ancestors, the people we used to be and still dramatically change our minds, our lives, our choices. I suppose I have to believe that because it’s worked for me. And if we can’t change, if we’re stuck lapping at the poisoned wells of those things/people/lifetimes that no longer spiritually nourish us…well then what chance do any of us have?
Our lives are short enough as they are. How much shorter, how much of a waste of our fragile existence, if it doesn’t even truly belong to us? What a shame to dispose of this brief spark of brilliance fighting someone else’s wars? Our own wars are deadly enough.
(If you’re doing me the courtesy of reading this blog, Ms. Lee, I cannot stress how much respect I have for your stunning gifts as a story-teller. I was riveted. Truly. I’ve already ordered more of your work on Amazon, so don’t mind me and my obsession with life lessons.)
If I’m going to talk about Cinderella and life lessons and revisions, I kind of feel I should share this fresh beat from 1987:
1980s 1987 music author quotes Cinderfella coaching Dana Dane fresh lessons from children's short stories life lessons Norman Mailer quotes old school other versions of the Cinderella short story quotes on life shandra for the neighbors Tanith Lee the lessons of literature