Wednesday, March 9, 2011

33 Variations Post-Divorce

What I learn[ed] - and it's why I view it as a Zen play - is that if you take the time - which often old age and disease forces you to do - you slow down and take the time - you begin to see things differently. Things that might on the surface look mediocre, but that, in fact, when you pierce them and delve down into them, are beautiful. Jane Fonda,interview

Of course, I’d add that divorce, like old age and disease, forces you to slow down. And similarly, if you to do take the time, you can see things in a different light. It’s like a variation on an old theme. You’re not a different person, but you can become a wiser one.

Wisdom is the knowledge and understanding that enables us arrive at optimal judgments regarding reasoned and just behavior. How can we strive to move toward a wiser stance post-divorce?

To move closer to this ideal, we must try to answer the following questions for ourselves, a good journaling exercise.

How can you find your truth? Consider the rules you would like to live by and the kind of person you would like to be. Consider how you’d like to change things and what you’d like to keep the same.

What do you need to learn and how can you learn what you need to? Reading, talking with wise people, friends and advisors and observing carefully are all ways to become more knowledgeable and increase understanding.

What does it mean to take responsibility? After all the anger, hurt and recriminations, think about what your responsibility was and what you’d like to take responsibility for from here on out.

How do you know what’s appropriate? Carefully observe the way your behavior affects the others around you and how different attitudes affect your own sense of well-being.

As the Beethoven character in the play says: I was able to create music that never would have been possible had I been in the world of the hearing. The thing I feared most had happened, and yet it allowed me to be with my music in the most intimate ways.

33 variations On a Waltz by Diabelli, Beethoven.

Read or hear interview with Fonda.

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