Saturday, November 3, 2012

Remedial Learning in the School of Life




Ducking life and some brushes with the relentless tide of bureaucracy takes energy. Lately I feel sucker punched. Seems as if I am in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life in the part before any angel rings the bell. Not saying that I would jump off the bridge to the rushing waters below, but my stamina is off. My belief in magic is tainted by the tarnish of how the government is taxing the investment I made with the state after promising not to do so. I am disturbed that my house payment went up 200 dollars per a month.  I am more than angry that the banking industry preyed on their na├»ve hopes of youth has scathed my son and his peers, who dreamed of a better world and academia, with a debt and an interest rate so relentless that they can only dream of a good cup of coffee and may never know freedom from the tethers of the financial monoliths.
I have been in the arena with banks for sometime now; shadow boxing, wearing myself out trying to take down this apparition of finances
It is a is a Kafkaian circle of madness, “We kept your mortgage, no Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for you as you are a good credit risk, you are not entitled to any government programs. Yes we will give you a lower rate but first you must give us ten thousand cash dollars.”
And on goes the circle, and me I spin with it. I forget myself to it. I forget the heart of my story.
A land mine blew up while I was in my computer class. Checking my online statement I was stunned to see my payment had increased dramatically. Two hundred dollars more a month being enough reason for drama.
Being proactive or more honestly reactive and dramatic I immediately left class called the “Member’s First” mortgage company.  (Gotta love the name.) If they had not been three hours across the sate I would have driven to their office.
 Instead I did what I hate to do, I became the me I do not like. First I made snarky noise, lots of it. Then I became the real me, the powerless kid who had to hide her candy and pennies for fear of them being stolen. It became a jag, one of those cry’s the one I always saved for my momma, the litany of troubles with me crying the , “no body loves me everybody hates me I’m going to eat some worms blues.”.
 I am not old but my immune system is compromised by age. It is compromised by vision. Many around me are weary from the burden. Sometimes it is my own belief that burdens me. I can do this, I can get through college, I can climb a mountain, I can reinvent myself post divorce, post forty year teaching career, post 150 pound weight loss. I am the original begin again girl. I had to do it all myself, I will not ask for help. We see where this got Scarlett in Gone With the Wind.
Oh the dam of tears when they open and come spilling out are like the dykes of Holland.  I just carried on and cried telling Pam the loan officer (the name itself describes the relationship, I always feel as I am in the wrong, pulled over for some obscure infraction that I did not know existed).
 I wept, ranted until spent then returned to class where my age of fifty nine seemed youthful in comparisons to my classmates who were festively garbed in sweatshirt with Halloween icons.
 School behaviors are constant. I had returned with no hall pass or note from my parent and comment was made of my long absence from class.
 Their queries are the invitation to my soapbox about money, banks, systems of oppression. Misery loves company and I wanted all to know of my righteous anger. With the kids raised, the partner an ex and the sibs more like an ancient history I only have big demons to oppress me. I rage on about powerlessness. My instructor acquiesces to my opinions as much in kindness as in experience.
 I have commandeered the airwaves. Until …
The snowy haired woman who was learning photo shop in our independent study computer calls out to me.
Gently she nudges her way in. “ You must be careful what you say…
Words and thoughts create reality.”
 This is not a new idea for me.  I know all the good that has been manifested with a dream given voice. But I am a very slow learner (That is why I am in old lady computer school, all comes slow to me.) She gently reminds that we are in complete control of our thoughts, complete control of our finances. Really in control of all of our experiences.
 When I was a little girl and felt stymied by the grown up world I thought what I would do when I was a grown up. I would be a kind and loving teacher, I would wear cute clothes with icons on them, and I would always tell my kids they could be what they dreamed.
 I would have pretty nighties that coordinated with my satin slippers and many kisses and I would star in a movie. All these had come true. I was Jimmy Stewart when he first fell in love, but time passes and I forget I forgot to forge new dreams and I turn my attention to night sweats and bad dreams.
This classmate becomes my Clarence, my angel. She has her own name which I do not remember but so remember that had a friend who decided to call her Angie. Angie, my Clarence, my angel. A miracle is a change in perception.
She is the bell on the Christmas tree.
 I walk in this realm. I navigate through the earth landscape. This human existence, but my mind and my beliefs and my world manifest my thoughts.
I did not move Goliath, the bank yet I am a little awake. There is a twinkling. Little gifts come, a hug, Angie peers deeply into my eyes. She is out of seat as she has great purpose, to put me on point. I have not yet changed my thoughts or words, but I see love, love in her faded blue eyes, in her hope for me. And my seeking heart returns and I silence my cacophony and try to use my words to change my heart, just like Angie did with her kindness.