Thursday, August 29, 2013

Foo or Foolish... Embarrassing Truth

I am watching Foo. He's finally learned how to jump up and stay up. It's miraculous. For the longest time, in his short, young life, he would leap and fail. Jump and fall. Aim and miss. Every single time. He would hunker down into the pounce position, scan upward and focus, then he would go for it, but he would all too often miss his mark. He couldn't nail the landing, and I'd watch him slide, unceremoniously down, down, down to the ground.

But now... now he's hopped up with feline grace, onto the hand railing, even the sloped section where the railing follows up the first three steps to the landing. Nimbly he steps, paw over paw, a cat on a tightrope. He is at the perfect age and size. Not too big, or heavy, not disinterested. He is curious and capable, still willing to risk embarrassment. This is a moment in time to take notice and admire his featly, feline, lissom, lithesome, fleet-footed Fooness. Dare I say? What an elegant puss.

Sometimes I still find myself waiting to be grown-up, to be competent, some variety of successful. I long for tangible evidence that I can nail a landing, and at the risk of embarrassing myself, I do keep trying. Intellectually, I have come to realize that in life there is no cap and gown moment, when we are handed a diploma and officially sanctioned as a graceful, capable being, worthy of admiration, respect, acceptance in the adult realm, and vaguely confident of our significance or worth. Emotionally, I am not so sure, and this doubt and frustration is a problem for me. I long for that moment when I feel I have nailed a landing, made a mark, achieved success.

But in reality, it's a journey, right? We keep moving forward. Perhaps in a Cha-cha? 2, 3, cha-cha-cha.

(I think it's hilarious for me to use a dance metaphor, because I cannot dance. Those steps, the very concept of rhythm, these confound me. "Tempo," "harmony," "steps," "rhythm," "in tune," "in synch..." all, sadly, not in my DNA. I digress. Digressions are in my DNA.)

Perhaps, too, even admitting that I feel this uncertainty, this expectation of a moment when I will simply know, should be embarrassing. Well, it is embarrassing. Actually, blogging is often terribly embarrassing. I am like a cat, a little too old, a little too heavy, and though I feel I am an introverted, shy cat, a quiet and domestically orientated cat, I regularly scan upward, crouch, and leap for some height that I am bound to miss, and then I fall down, down, down to the ground. Yes, that is one way blogging feels, like standing in a public square, hoping to nail a landing, and quite regularly falling short.

Older cats embarrass. They fall, too, but unlike Foo, who shakes it off and tries again, an older cat looks around, hoping he was not noticed, and walks away as though he was never awkward, foolish, clumsy, seen.

So. Am I a Foo, or just some old cat? Though I risk finding myself in awkward fixes, uncomfortable moments, I cannot seem to stop reaching. I keep stepping out into this public square and trying to dance, and I cannot say why.


Sylvia said...

Natalie, I love this post!
Over the years you have definitely, and gracefully, leaped up and forward. Your blog describes it in real terms, not glossing over the "behind the scenes" moments of self-doubt and trial and error.
Always believe and never give up – that's your motto!

nikkipolani said...

Cats do have a way of making us reflect. I love how you've seen yourself in the Fearless Foo.

judy in ky said...

If blogging is dancing, you have reached the heights.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Sylvia.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Mister Foo role model? I guess he does have lessons I need!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Judy, you definitely make me feel like I am not totally nuts, or wasting my time.
Thank you for years of sharing.