Once upon a time Hemingway, in his sparse elegant prose, coined the term “grace under pressure.”  These three words are so powerful, evoking a myriad of images for many different people.

Grace under pressure is something many of us strive for and frequently fall short of achieving.  It’s a state of mind we slide in and out of depending upon the day.

I find I am happiest when I can achieve a balance between my various loves: family & friends, writing and running.  I need to combine these with another balancing act involving my respective responsibilities, some profound, others mundane: taxi driver, financial adviser, maid, chef, nutritionist, Queen of the Little People (I put that on my tax return one year), psychic (“Mom, where’s my pink scrunchie?”), volunteer at the various schools, Scout troops and sports teams my children attend/participate in and all around Domestic Goddess (I put that on my tax return several years running).

While I am frequently NOT graceful, I am continually under pressure.  Likewise for my husband and every one of you reading this.

This week’s song is Distant Early Warning by Rush from their album, Grace Under Pressure.  For me the lyrics speak of a parent worrying for their child through the “black and whites of youth,” while “you sometimes drive me crazy, but I worry about you.”  Even the finale’s refrain is one of a parent for a child.  It is a lament for Absalom who rebelled against David his father, yet his mother, Macaah still wept for him.

I’m sure others will have a different read on the song’s meaning, but for me at this moment in my life that’s how it sounds to me.  That is the beauty of music, it speaks to each of us differently and changes as we journey through life.

I will continue seeking balance and grace under pressure, although I will continue to worry… and worry… and then worry some more.  Nothing specific, mind you, simply general daily “What-if’s?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlyKwXND5xs

An ill wind comes arising
Across the cities of the plain
There’s no swimming in the heavy water
No singing in the acid rain
Red alert
Red alert

It’s so hard to stay together
Passing through revolving doors
We need someone to talk to
And someone to sweep the floors
Incomplete
Incomplete

The world weighs on my shoulders
But what am I to do?
You sometimes drive me crazy
But I worry about you

I know it makes no difference
To what you’re going through
But I see the tip of the iceberg
And I worry about you…

Cruising under your radar
Watching from satellites
Take a page from the red book
Keep them in your sights
Red alert
Red alert

Left and rights of passage
Black and whites of youth
Who can face the knowledge
That the truth is not the truth?
Obsolete
Absolute

The world weighs on my shoulders
But what am I to do?
You sometimes drive me crazy
But I worry about you

I know it makes no difference
To what you’re going through
But I see the tip of the iceberg
And I worry about you

The world weighs on my shoulders
But what am I to do?
You sometimes drive me crazy
But I worry about you

I know it makes no difference
To what you’re going through
But I see the tip of the iceberg
And I worry about you

Absalom
Absalom
Absalom

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.

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