“What we choose to fight is so tiny! What fights with us is so great.…
When we win, it’s with small things, And the triumph itself makes us small.” - Rilke
The Paperwork Nightmare (see Jan. 27 post) continues as the gods of small things are determined to drive me over the brink by gumming me to death. The short story is that after jumping over the last hurdle to sub at a school, another one quickly appeared on the track— my TB test results. I had the test taken at the Jewish Home for the Aged back in September and I thought they could simply send the results over.
But simple? What was I thinking?! Of course, they didn’t have them and then noticed that I’m not in their volunteer system and even though I’ve come once-a-week to play piano for the elders for 12 years, now I need to fill out their volunteer paperwork and watch the Elder Abuse video. Then I can get the TB test and return again for the results. I’m being besieged on all sides by trivial bureaucracy and it’s wearing me down.
Rilke’s poem goes on to talk about wrestling with the Angels who will surely defeat us, but strengthen and enlarge us in the battle. He ends with:
“This is how we grow: by being defeated, decisively, by constantly greater beings.”
I had planned to get thrown down to the ground by Mozart’s Piano Sonatas today and instead, am spending precious minutes arranging the paperwork pick-up, scheduling the TB test, sending out the multiple e-mails, entering dates and times on my calendar.
My only consolation? That I don’t have to send this post to Blogspot to get their approval. Not yet, at least.