4/29/13

Swimming in Cream

Some people possess such tremendous vivacity and creative energy that the space around them almost pulsates. They are not like the rest of us, who content ourselves with skim milk lives. No. These people swim in cream. They make things happen. They know everyone. They are always moving. And they are never stingy. No closing of the gated community for them. Uh-uh. They're all about widening the road and turning up the lights so that everyone can find their way to the party.

I am not such a person, but I don't think most of us are either. In my whole life, I think I have known five people who fit the description above. Five! And I don't know if the light inside them burns brighter because of their genetics or their parents, or if it's just that the light inside the rest of us has dimmed.

My friend Yvette is someone whose light burns extra bright, and I can only say that when you are with Yvette you just want to give her the reins of the conversation. Sit back. Listen. You will have a good time, but you will also be somewhat shamed, because Yvette is probably a better person than you, or at least me. She told me once that when she was pregnant she prayed that she would not have a child with special needs because she knew that, if she did, she would have to become the world's greatest advocate for that particular disability, and she didn't think she was ready to live that life.

If I said that, you might think I was being grandiose, but, I'm telling you, Yvette was just being realistic. She would have become the world's leading advocate for that disability. There is a a disability out there, somewhere, that should be mourning the fact that Yvette's children do not have special needs.

I'm going to tell you more about a special project Yvette is working on later this week, but right now, what I really want to know is what you think. Do you know people like this? What makes their life force so strong? Why are they oak trees to our crepe myrtles, which isn't to say that a crepe myrtle isn't lovely. I have one in my front yard. But the mighty oak. What would it be like to be such a force?

14 comments:

Petrea Burchard said...

I think we each have the potential to be such a force, but we don't always find it. Sometimes it's genetics, parents, circumstances that keep us from finding our force. Sometimes our force is a quiet one, not so visible. Sometimes, we find it late in life. When your life is yours, you have potential to be a force.

I'm not making any sense, but at least I know what I mean.

Bec said...

One of my friends who I would describe this way told me he never feels embarrassed - it's not an emotion he experiences. I feel embarrassed or tentative or unsure on a somewhat regular basis. I think the characteristic is a genuine, deeply rooted confidence. I'd like to learn how to give that to my kids!

altadenahiker said...

I think you just gave a great gift to your great friend.

TheChieftess said...

I'm married to a force of nature!!! I've had my moments...but I'm content to sway in the wind a bit more these days!!!

Daisy said...

I'd like to be a bit of both, skim milk and cream. Sometimes even mixed together.

Olga said...

I can think of one or two whom I would consider a force to be reckoned with all the time. Those people are too exhausting to be my friends. I do know plenty of people, though, who have pockets of that lively spirit.

Alison said...

I'm with Olga...I find forces to be reckoned with very hard work!
Alison xx

Desiree said...

I have a colleague like that--a friend of mine saw her recently snapping photos of her kids' karate belt stuff, then racing off to the airport to attend a conference to receive her national award. In the meantime she teachrs, does research, and in her down time advocates for projects and writes grants. She doesn't sit down to eat, she doesn't have help, she has multiple degrees, and she averages 4 hours a night sleep.

She's passionate and entertaining, intelligent and attractive.

I get tired just posting comments!
I do, however, like to turn the lights on--and enjoy the gorgeous crepe myrtle.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh yes, I know just the person - my aunt Sharon. This is a lovely tribute to your friend, Margaret, and I'm looking forward to hearing about her special project.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Forgive me for slagging off your friend but she sounds a bit full of herself for my liking.

Margaret said...

I agree with Bec that confidence is part of the charm, but when I think of the people I know like this, I still think generosity is the key. Four of the five people I'm thinking of chose work that is about something bigger than themselves. I think that engagement has a lot of rewards.

Tony: I can see why you might think that, but she is not at all full of herself. She is confident, yes, but not at all arrogant. I don't think you can have such a generous life force and still be arrogant.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

You do not want to meet "this" in an artist. If you are an artist, it's because you are not "this."

The closest I know is my friend Mary, who had to do a lot of self work to get to "this" state. Which I think is a kind of example of what Petrea is saying which I do not regard as rambling at all.

Petrea Burchard said...

I get you, PA. I also had to do a lot of "self work" to get to the artist state.

I was once friends with a woman like Desiree describes. She did everything and was good at all of it. Except she was always late, would leave me hanging half an hour or more for lunch or coffee, sometimes not show up at all. She was so busy with her important projects she put them above her friends.

So I quit. Nowadays we occasionally cross paths on facebook. I don't think she's what Margaret's talking about, though. There was no altruism there.

Bec said...

I agree - without the generosity, people like that are more arrogant and annoying than impressive.