Frustration and a feather

I mentioned my frustration in my previous post, and apparently I can’t even sublimate. So a couple of images and a few words.

We’ve been trying to get charitable status for our Uganda project for months, now, and submitted the huge application to Canada Revenue Agency in March. We didn’t hear from them until the end of August, when they basically told me verbally that they would approve the application provided we do a couple of minor things, including amending a memorandum of understanding (which I did immediately), and amending the terms of incorporation to include language that means “and provide education.”) Long tedious story short, I submitted the application to do that right away, and kept trying to check in, and 7 weeks later got a letter telling me I’d submitted it to the wrong branch of government and I’d have to start all over again with the Public Guardian.

Bottom line: after much groveling and backing and forthing, Public Guardian says they might be able to expedite on their end, but then they have to send it to the Ministry branch it was in before, and they can take another 7 weeks. And Canada Revenue Agency will only give me a 45 day extension. When I pointed out that this impenetrable government agency won’t turn it around, they basically said too bad, you should have done it right in the first place.

So basically, we won’t get our change in time, and we’ll have to start the 8 month process all over again.

For no good reason.

I literally cried with frustration on the street after that phone call.

When I first started dealing with this, I got this idea that I might find a jigsaw puzzle soothing. I hadn’t done one since before I started my phd, more than 10 years ago. Bought this one with penguins and brought it home with some feelings of joy.

And discovered that in the box, in the jigsaw puzzle box, there were EXTRA PIECES.

This little corner bit is repeated twice.


(10.26.12 – #301)

That’s what it all feels like. Like a parody of a bureaucratic experience. And so so frustrating. So frustrating to be unable to get people to look at what we’re actually doing — why are they so unhelpful, so focused on enforcing the rules instead of helping us do something that is incontrovertibly “to the good” — helping. orphans. When it’s not a controversial change, just a legalistic one.

I was working with clients this morning and I nearly burst into tears when one of them said something about how — “and this is kind of artsy fartsy,” she prefaced it with — as health professionals, at their best, they’re doing their work with love.

There’s so much more to be gained in the world when people do it with love.

When I run into this kind of senseless catch-22, everything in me just squeezes shut.


(10.27 #302)

I’m so grateful for the people who are in this with me, with love, who take me out for burgers and chips and wine, or who let me take them out for a belated birthday dinner that includes bourbon cocktails,


(10.28, #303)

or who just show up to meet me in the lobby of the public guardian’s office to sign another document and give me a hug.

There is a lot of love in my world, and I find it very hard to breathe into it as fully as I want to when I feel caught like this in a place where what matters to me seems irrelevant.

Trying to breathe, I do notice things. Like this pigeon feather vibrant on the wet ground outside a meeting this afternoon.


(10.31, #306)

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