Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A tribute to Tenacity

"I wish I could show you
when you are lonely or in darkness
the astonishing light of your own being."

-- Hafiz

That astonishing light of being manifests differently in different human beings, which is why sometimes we have trouble seeing it in ourselves. The most obvious example of this is probably the way young women obsess about their bodily imperfections; those pieces that don't quite match the airbrushed beauty of the models and actresses whose artificial perfections march across magazines and screens.

But as anyone who has ever tried to put together a resume knows, some qualities are easier to quantify than others, and some are harder to detect and claim than others. One of the qualities that falls into this category, I think, is tenacity; what my mom used to call "stick-to-itiveness." It's something I admire enormously, and I found myself thinking of that again yesterday when I read two of my blogsisters' writings about Colleen Haggerty, a resident of Bellingham, Washington, who lost one of her legs in an accident when she was 18 and is now walking a mile a day, raising money to finance prosthetic limbs for people who need them in Haiti.

It's not just Colleen's persistence I admire: it's also the persistence of these two amazing bloggers: Maureen, who writes daily on Writing Without Paper and works tirelessly to promote the good works and art of others, and Louise Gallagher, whose blog, Recover Your Joy, keeps us in touch with the needs of the homeless and her own struggles as a survivor of domestic abuse.

And then there's the persistence of my friends Karen and Teresa and Leigh, each of whom has lost a child and has turned that loss into a tireless crusade to help prevent other similar losses to the depradations of cancer, lyme disease, and suicide.

I could go on forever, I think; the list of men and women I know who display this remarkable trait is very long. But I think I'll stop here and just add a tribute to the one person whose tenacity has been the most amazing blessing for me: my husband, whose persistence in the face of my initial distaste and disdain has brought us both almost 26 years of joy, and whose efforts around the house these last few weeks as we prepare for an upcoming event and carve out space to house three 20-somethings for an indefinite time while they hunt for work have been nothing short of phenomenal.

Tenacity. Just another incredible aspect of the astonishing light of being.


Maureen said...

I'm just back from NYC after attending my son's NYU graduation and I come to read your much-missed posts and find a lovely tribute. Thank you so much.

What wonderful words for your husband, too!

Anonymous said...

You have it too. Great post. Needed.

Louise Gallagher said...

Gotta love tenacity!

and thank you for the mention :)



LOL -- I have two twenty somethings returning in August -- I'm with you in the making space...

Diane Walker said...

Too amusing; going off to Portland this weekend to attend my daughter's graduation from Reed. No wonder I have so much in common with BOTH of you!

Kimberly Mason said...

It isn't just the 20 somethings that obsess, it's me too! BUT, yes, BUT! With age (hopefully) comes a little wisdom and self-acceptance. I took a pic of myself in my new running kilt, unshaved, white, chubby legs and all! What the heck! I'm FANCY, I declare, just FANCY! :P


Unknown said...

Thank you for the quote from Hafiz - that caught my eye right away. And thank you for your kind words here, and on my blog - they have showed me some of the "light of [my] own being."

Blessings to you and yours...that husband of yours saw deeply, and his seeing (& tenacity!) helped you to see. He probably is still doing so, 26 years later. I thank God he does - and did! XO