I've been in a Dory Previn frame of mind lately. Have been going to sleep exhausted and waking up tired, yet unable to sleep in even on my days off. Fragments of song lyrics dance through my head, from another time, another life. Last night the song was "The Game". Can't find the lyrics right now, google keeps sending me to sites with annoying pop-ups. Basically, the song speaks of that bad sort of pre-destination, that kind that leads to depression and acts of desperation. Closing lines:
The game is fixed. OK, allright. OK, all right.....deal me in.
The bizarre thing is that I myself am not depressed nor desparate. My own life is going well right now. Things are happening that, while stressfull, are basically good. I can see the blessings and rejoice in them. It is a time of transition, a season of change, as our last child gets ready to leave for college. But these are not the stresses that haunt me.
What haunts me are the vicarious stresses. The burdens of friends and family who have asked me for help, both physical and spiritual. I've always been a resource person - even as a teenager people would come up to me and ask for information, for suggestions, for help and for prayer. My very profession of midwifery is based around helping. I get involved with families in what one of my colleagues calls 'intermittent intimacy'. I hear their stories, listen to their lives, do what I can and then, I move on as they move on. And the call for confidentiality means that I carry most of these stories in my head, letting them blur into each other, and only able to share in the broadest of generalities. I wonder sometimes if this is a shadow of what priests must feel after hearing confessions day in and day out.
We wake up to EWTN radio, and right now I am glad to be listening to the Divine Mercy chaplet. Almighty god, have mercy on us and on the whole world.