Ancient Foot Path, Suffolk, England, via coolpicture
“Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.” ~ Neil Gaiman
Saturday evening. Cloudy, hot, and humid.
Well, it has not been the best anniversary weekend in that Corey and I haven’t really seen each other except in passing for the last two days. Yesterday, he was called into work at noon and got home at 7:15 this morning, only to have to go back at 3 this afternoon. He gets off at 11 tonight and has to be back at 7 this morning. All of this means that there has been nothing more than a few minutes in which to speak to one another, that, and he is really tired.
It’s not that we were planning to go out this weekend, but it would have been nice to at least see him . . .
I spent yesterday putting away clean laundry, which is always the worst part of doing laundry. I can hardly contain my excitement. Then I tried to stay awake until Corey got home because the time kept changing (he was waiting for the vessel to get underway), which meant that I was awake until 4 a.m.
I made the mistake of watching Discover ID’s Friday the 13th horror fest. Two serial killer specials later, and of course, bad dreams involving people who were actually creatures who scalped people and wore their hair. I do remember at one point in the dream I was screaming, “I can’t breathe.” I have no idea if I had put a pillow over my face or what, but it felt horrible.
So, no, we didn’t have a lovely romantic evening together on our anniversary.
“Month by month things are losing their hardness; even my body now lets the light through; my spine is soft like wax near the flame of the candle. I dream; I dream.” ~ Virginia Woolf, The Waves
So, in other news . . . Still have not seen Alexis for Mother’s Day. She called last Sunday evening around 7:20 and said that she didn’t realize how late it was, and would I mind very much if she didn’t come over until tomorrow (Monday). I said no. That was the last time that I heard from her.
Ask me if I’m surprised. That would be a no. I know that something has to be done, but I don’t want to do it over the telephone. I just can’t let this situation continue, even though I honestly don’t know what the situation is. Does that make sense?
My s-in-law Ann found a good home for my m-in-law’s cat Ringo. He is a very sweet cat, and I wouldn’t have minded having him except that he is not used to being around dogs, and I think that Tillie might view him as another toy. Finding a home for the cat makes everything seem so final.
Ann and I had a conversation via text last night in which we both said—with very few words—that things are getting too hard to face, and they are. I hate this more than I can possibly express. I hate that she will never again sleep in her bed in her house, that she will never again hold her cat, that she will never again wander around her yard, pulling the stray weed here and there.
I hate, hate, hate this.
Not so surprisingly, I am finding myself overwhelmed, which has led to my decision to start seeing my old therapist again. I realized that I’m just carrying this heaviness around in my chest, and not really talking about it. And I cannot continue to use Corey as my sounding board for everything as he has just as much roiling around in his brain right now (still haven’t gotten word on if the contract is a go or not).
“For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.” ~ D. H. Lawrence, from “Pomegranate”
I had my first session this past week, and it was so comfortable. This is the same woman I saw after Caitlin died, when my relationship with Mari died, when my first marriage died. Talking to her is completely natural. I think that Corey was worried that I was going back into therapy because of him, which is not the case at all. I just realized that I seemed to be holding my breath all of the time.
I mean, I feel as if sometimes I forget to breathe because I am so tightly wound over this situation or that situation. I find myself sometimes having to remind myself to uncoil my shoulders, to unclench my jaw, to take a deep breath. And after three years plus of waiting for things to get better, I realize that I have no idea as to when things will get better, and I just can’t keep waiting, can’t keep postponing whatever it is I’m postponing.
I know that I have so many unresolved issues that need to be faced: going back to work/not being able to go back to work, my relationship with my daughter, my relationship with my mother, watching my m-in-law die, the sadness I still feel over never being able to have a child with Corey, just to mention a few things here and there. And then of course, there’s all of the everyday bullshit: having no money, having a house in suspended animation as far as remodeling, never knowing from one day to the next what bills will show up in the mail. Oh, and let’s throw in the fact that some part of my body hurts all of the time, constantly, unrelentingly.
It’s all just so much. At least, that’s how it feels.
“I began to long, as I had before, for some special smell, some special music that would fill me, lift me up and carry me away, float me off the rocks of my body and sweep me into some wideness, some vast expanse of blue-grey nothingness.” ~ Denton Welch, A Voice Through a Cloud
I remember the expression that appeared the most on my dad’s face was a furrowed brow, as if he was pondering the very meaning of existence. Who knows. He might have been thinking about the weeds in the vegetable garden. The expression was the same. As a result, he had a vertical furrow on his forehead next to his eyebrow.
Because of my good genes, I have been spared wrinkles, but I have the furrow. It’s right there in the same spot as my father’s furrow, and I wonder if this is how the world sees me most of the time. Of course, I would have to leave the house for the world to see me literally, and I just don’t do that much. I mentioned that to my therapist, and she got that questioning look on her face. But you know, I really am not that chuffed about it.
I’ve written about my tendency towards being a hermit before, albeit slightly exaggerated, or perhaps not. I think that I deal with people better when I’m not actually around them. It’s a good thing I wasn’t a woman in the 50’s when being a good neighbor was right up there with being a good housewife. That whole idea of belonging to clubs—garden clubs, bridge clubs, women’s circles—yuck. I mean, I can be perfectly sociable, and when I was younger, I was a freaking social butterfly, sort of. I mean, I enjoyed going places with groups of people, belonged to clubs, did lunch like it was an occasion. That whole thing.
But now, forced sociability for me is akin to spending Saturday in Wal Mart: after a few minutes, I think I’m going to break out in hives.
“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” ~ Leonora Carrington
So I thought that maybe I’d close with a few new revelations (don’t ask me why):
- I really enjoy arranging flowers, and this is something I think I could have done as a profession. I think that I have a good eye for color and texture combinations.
- If I knew more about chemistry, I would try to come up with my own peony scent. Apparently, extracting oil from peonies is very hard, which is why there are very few wearable scents that are true peony; most have a rose or bergamot base.
- I would love to have one of those old wooden potting sheds as my private studio. I would put in a cushiony chair in for reading, a big wooden table on which to put the computer as well as to play with the images and papers that I collect, and a free-standing fireplace.
- With each passing year, I understand better and better my dad’s love for the sea and his desire to see the world.
- I have poems running through my head again. After years of not writing poems, I find myself putting together phrases at odd times. However, I still don’t write them down.
- I love dawn and sunset better than the day or the night. My internal clock is attuned to these times.
- I am afraid of my 56th birthday. I once had a premonition that I would die when I was 56.
More later. Peace.
Music by Mumford and Sons, “After the Storm”
Man in Stream
You stand in the brook, mud smearing
your forearms, a bloodied mosquito on your brow,
your yellow T-shirt dampened to your chest
as the current flees between your legs,
amber, verdigris, unraveling
today’s story, last night’s travail . . .
You stare at the father beaver, eye to eye,
but he outstares you—you who trespass in his world,
who have, however unwilling, yanked out his fort,
stick by tooth-gnarled, mud-clabbered stick,
though you whistle vespers to the wood thrush
and trace flame-flicker in the grain of yellow birch.
Death outpaces us. Upended roots
of fallen trees still cling to moss-furred granite.
Lichen smolders on wood-rot, fungus trails in wisps.
I wanted a day with cracks, to let the godlight in.
The forest is always a nocturne, but it gleams,
the birch tree tosses its change from palm to palm,
and we who unmake are ourselves unmade
if we know, if only we know
how to give ourselves in this untendered light.
~ Rosanna Warren