Here is a telephone conversation I overheard just the other day.
Younger: I’m not sure that I understand what you’re saying. You say that my family will be my greatest achievement?
Older: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
Y: But my family is made up of individuals who are all growing and changing. As they get older, I find that I can’t control things as well as I used to.
O: The ring will give you the strength and power that you will need. Have faith, dearest.
Y: The ring? The ring?! I’ve had enough of the ring. My pockets are all worn out from the ring. I’m beginning to think that your advice is useless.
O: Well, if the ring is the source of all your problems, then why don’t you just take it off?
Y: I’ve tried.
Y: I felt naked without it.
O: Well then, what is it that you’re looking for?
Y: I want to achieve something without the ring. I want a more efficient and all-purpose piece of jewellery which will allow me to achieve more, but every time I take the ring off...I am nothing.
O: You can never be nothing.
Y: Ok, let’s pretend I am something...still...what if I argue with my family, and we grow apart, and we misunderstand each other? Is there a point when family is NOT a woman’s greatest achievement?
O: No. The achievement is in the striving.
Y: That sucks. I hate that. Striving without achieving. Great. The story of my life.
O: No, darling, the story of your life is written in the roots of the trees. They grow every day, becoming stronger and longer, but you cannot see them because they are hidden below the earth’s surface. You can only see the branches waving in the wind.
Y: Again with the trees. For pity’s sake....AGAIN with the trees and the roots and the branches. Can we never move on to a fresher metaphor?
O: What would you recommend?
Y: Oh, I don’t know...maybe.... “the story of my life is growing in the core of the earth and only shows itself during volcano season”...no, wait...how about this.... “the story of my life is swimming deep in the ocean where the sun never reaches, and only a tsunami can bring it up to air and land.”
O: Well, do you really need a story?
Y: Yes! I do! I demand an entire library of stories all written by me and about me.
Y: Well..actually...no. I really just want a good night’s sleep and a peaceful day.
O: You remind me of someone I used to know.
Y: Really? Who?
O: Oh...nobody....it’s nothing.....