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A blog. God, that is SO 2007.

April 20, 2012

“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you”.

-Joseph Campbell.

Frequently asked (by me, mostly) questions:

Q: Why are you starting a blog? And “The Third Wing”? What’s up with that? Oh man, I hope that’s not some bizarro yoga touchy-feely thing. Or about angels.  Hopefully it’s at least a riff on The West Wing, which we all know is your favorite TV show of all time. Although that’s pretty 2007 too. Shit, you really need to catch up on your cultural references.

A:The name comes from “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach. I adore this book. It should have a photo of a life preserver on the cover. Although I haven’t actually had a chance to see the cover a while because I am forever lending it out to clients so I had to get it in eBook for my iPad. Brach is a Buddhist psychologist, mother, and wise woman, and I have turned to her words often to help me steady myself on the journey of raising an intense, special needs child.  She says there are two “wings” which make up the process of arriving in and finding joy in one’s life:1)  mindfulness, and 2) deep, genuine compassion for yourself. I have found this to be profoundly, life-transformingly true despite how much I suck at it (the end of a tough day last week found me reading and re-reading the chapter on being present in the moment while flipping back and forth to Words With Friends and trying to balance a big bowl of ice cream on my lap with the “House” marathon on in the background).

First, a little background. I was lucky enough as a kid to have a supportive and intellectually interesting family and a motley group of generally artsy misfit friends, probably equally male and female. I also fell quickly into the theater crowd, which helped me hone invaluable life skills like sardonic context-appropriate delivery of Buckaroo Banzai quotes, consumption of junk food, and developing a mouth like a sailor who just got cut off by another sailor on the freeway.

However, it was still a small town in Minnesota and I am still a girl, so I managed to absorb quite a bit of cultural criticism about how I shouldn’t talk so much, should be nice and not crack wise, and for the love of all that is holy to watch my language. A great deal has been written by others about adolescent girls’ suppression of natural developmental aggression and the impact on their mental health as a result, and I won’t repeat it here. The depression I suffered through  in my teen years undoubtedly had deeper root causes than being culturally forbidden from fart jokes and throwing the occasional punch, but it might have helped some.

Despite the cloud of malaise I was under at the time my luck carried me throug,h and I found myself at a super liberal Quaker college chock-full of kids from exotic places like Washington D.C. and New York with subway trains and more than one area code. For a girl like me a Feminist Awakening was pretty much part of  freshperson orientation, along with learning to differentiate types of hummus and choosing which hemp shirt looked cutest to wear to Peace and Global Studies class.  It was unbelievably liberating and I finally felt I could start acquainting myself with the talky, raunchy, writer part of me. (Footnote: I was even more relieved to realize two years later or so that feminism was not not being something, it meant being exactly the kind of woman you were and wanted to be, and that it was in fact possible to stand up to the oppression of patriarchy while regularly bathing and wearing lipstick.)

But ever since then I have hung on to this strong but thin thread of self-knowledge, which is that for whatever reason I am wired to use humor, words, and narrative for release and to help integrate my life.

Story and humor, for me, are the Third Wing of acceptance Tara Brach didn’t include in her book, although I am pretty sure she knows about it. So that’s the name, and that’s why I’m starting the blog. Parenting my kid and doing the work I do mean long days and nights filled with absorbing and responding the emotional stress of others. My boat is sturdy and strong, but stormy seas mean a lot of water floods in, and I need to cultivate efficient ways to bail it out so I can keep sailing.

Q: Wings, boats…you’re playing a bit fast and loose with the metaphors, aren’t you? Also you said you were going to start a website for your practice like, a YEAR ago. Shouldn’t you be focusing on that instead of a blog?

A: Shut the fuck up or I will flick melted ice cream at you.

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4 Comments
  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Nikki permalink

    Love this! You are a natural blogger. Looking forward to wherever this takes you (:

  3. Jenny permalink

    Great job, Marit 🙂 ❤ U

  4. Tamara permalink

    Aaaaand, now I have another form of online crack to keep me from my work (and, at the moment, my packing)…..

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