Slow and sorta’ steady

In our garden: orange mint, strawberries and apple mint

“Be like the turtle”, said my partner’s dad, and my eyes met his full-on for the first time in the, oh, thirty or so minutes that I sat in awkward, albeit familiar silence. That was meet-the-parents-day in July of last year. Michael is spontaneous and not at all like a turtle, so there I sat in his parents’ home in a much shorter dress than I’d have liked, the sheen of NYC summer on my face, a tousled head, and for the sake of creative license, I’ll say a tad of a ‘tude.

But those words projected above the din of discomfort in my head as if I somehow knew that he knew…like, really knew. Whilst I stared, nodded, smiled and sucked it all in, Michael’s father’s partner busied herself about their meticulously kept kitchen, in what seemed like an effort to find the one food item she could offer of which I could not decline. Alas, a firm peach was offered and accepted, the conversation lulled, and my mind began to shout.

Turtles, I thought, slow and deliberate, armored, somewhat fearful–at least, in my anthropomorphous observations of our amphibious friends. The connection wasn’t made immediately, but I clung to the belief that it would, if I just kept returning to the concept. And, I did, over the many months and thousands of miles that would separate us just shortly thereafter.

It was six months before I saw Michael again, and in those months in between, I’d researched, mentally prepared and filed for divorce, sold the contents of our family home, moved into my starting over space, and wagered for my life with grief and debilitating depression, all of which I did slowly, deliberately and armed oft-times with nothing more than the belief that there was something greater on the other side of this, and at equal times disarmed that there may not be.

It’ll be six months before Michael returns to me, to the west coast, to stay. You can imagine we speak of turtles often, we see them in our travels (I make him buy them for me!) and, we call upon them in our dreams. We build our daily intentions around them, as we slowly, deliberately begin a life together, armed with nothing more than the belief that together we are greater; life is greater shared, sorrows are better halved. So we journey on together even while we are apart, slow and sorta’ steady, he and I.

>Sunday Free Flow

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Clears throat and channels inner radio personality, “It’s 8:00 am, and what a beautiful Sunday morning it is in the Valley of the Sun. We’re blowing off the dust and digging deep into the mental crates with DeBarge’s 1983 hit, “A Dream”. This goes out to all you gettin’ old heads in denial and the silly youngsters who think the melody was stolen from the much later, but still great Tupac. Enjoy.”

Eight something; surprising given last night’s restlessness. It had to be two, or later when I finally shut down and agreed–after some gentle coaxing from the man, that it was time to retire for the day and from the worry.

My little place of peace is looking exceptionally tidy this morning; Yael is pulling out all the stops in exchange for a much coveted piece of Vampire Diaries replica jewelry. She’s been so helpful since my surgery that it sorta makes up for the pubescent insanity that we’ve been struggling with since the separation.

I feel refreshed and ready for something fabulous today…or maybe I’m just ready for someone fabulous; Michael plans to visit soon. We’re returning to center for a restorative breath after a few tender weeks. The distance has its advantages logistically as we’re both adapting to major life changes, but there’s no logic in love or the 2484.97 miles between us. We’re pining.

My container garden is a great source of pride for me right now. Who could have known gardening would be so therapeutic. For so many years, I’ve been a notorious black thumb. I started the garden in December when Jordan moved out. I needed a distraction, and of course, something to nurture. Since then, I’ve taken on spider mites (and lost), aphids (and won), germinatin’, propagatin‘, and harvesting. I’m sort of a big deal on the balcony. Laughs.

Coffee’s tepid, gotta go.


Peace and Sunshine

>Happy Returns

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Early last week , I partook in a casual, neighborly chat which later manifested itself into an inspirational message. And, not just any inspirational message, but the push, the gentle nudge and the writing help I believe I needed.

During my morning walk, I came upon my neighbor Joe, a lanky older gentleman with a warm smile, an awkward gait and a plethora of knowledge about the goings-on in our complex. (More on the complexities of complex-dwelling for an introvert in posts to come.) As we made our way and routine niceties were out of the way, Joe cleared his throat and sort of randomly says, “Uh…yeah, I made it to church this Sunday.” I smiled- in kind, at the sharing of information, in awkward embarrassment because I am not among the faith-filled, and lastly, in fear that the friendly talks that I’ve become quite fond of might somehow be thwarted if I don’t play this right. (It should be known that I die inside a little each time socio politics, religion, race and education are presented for discussion.)

“Oh, did you, I say. How did it go? Excitedly, he tells me, “wonderfully, it was truly awesome”. He said he was “moved” by the message and it really made him “feel great”. Before I could vocalize my shared happiness at his experience, his tone and demeanor changed, just above a whisper, he leans in and says, “It’s been two and a half years since I’ve been to church.” He then winces, retreats, and I- lost for a moment turned slightly over my shoulder before realizing he was awaiting some sort of …well, I dunno denouncement, admonishment, a verbal flogging? From me? Laughs. “I see”, I say whilst nodding with my brows raised in intrigue.

Looking ahead, I mentally compute our speed of travel- which is nil, and the distance home, and proceed cautiously with, “Well, why not?” After a brief back-story about logistics and his own travails with the evil that is Divorce-asaurus Rex, he says “I just got away from it, and then it got to be so long to where I just got to feeling so bad about it that I thought I couldn’t go back.” I nodded, with the sides of my mouth down-turned, I find ASL has made my facial expressions more pronounced. As I catch myself doing this in lieu of speaking, I-a little past the cue, offer up a validating statement. “I see”, I said, in a flat tone. I did see, and with much clarity.

Writing, and of course reading others’ writing, is how I receive my message; it’s how I make sense of the thoughts and feelings, the experiences, worries and fears that fill the space between my ears. Like my neighbor Joe, I suffered a few setbacks on the road I’d paved with good intentions and drifted woefully away from my place of peace. I too, felt as though I couldn’t come back. I’ve maintained this blog since 2007, and through the years I have made incredible friendships, coming back has been hard, but staying away was harder. Two and a half years, four months…who’s counting?

Peace and happy returns

>The changing of my voice

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“Soul Sister” earrings by Mary Jane Dodd

I’ve pretty much been in isolation since the collapse of my marriage. It hasn’t been a stagnate isolation however, as I’ve progressed quite a bit throughout the months. I’d say at this point, as I’m settling into my NEW! apartment, it isn’t as much isolation as it is rehabilitation. I pulled back when things got noisy, I’m an HSP, so it doesn’t take much for well-intended advice and concern to cross over into agitating cacophony.

I have however, kept a little fairy door open and managed to make and keep some very special attachments on my journey to wellness and becoming whole again. The earrings in the photo above were sent to me by a fellow artist and dear, dear friend to remind me that I am “never alone“. There are also, my other soul sisters and brethren who keep a song playing in my heart when I’m deaf with despair. Thank you, all.

And then, there is my partner of whom I can not say enough wonderful things, so I won’t. What I will say is that for every seemingly hopeless thing I express, I am being replenished. I am being restored and the Universe has rewarded me in kind. I don’t do saints, gods and demons, but I do love, and love is being done unto me.

Everyday is not a bad day, and while the intensity of this experience is discomforting, revolutions are seldom peaceful. If pressed to find the good in the worst days, I’d say it was nightfall and the knowledge that I’ve almost made it through.

The timing and my decision to go public with all that has transpired over the course of this year is largely in part to the discovery of a strength I never knew possible, much less a strength that I possessed. In the past I’ve shared recipes and movie reviews, and quips about the perils of parenting pubescent children. I thought it only fair to share the stories which lead to the changing of my voice.

Peace and thanks

>Another day, another year

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When I wrote this post just a few years ago, this post was a hard blink. Y’know the the blink? You do it when you hear of someone else’s misfortune; a blink hard enough to will yourself invisible with hopes a similar fate doesn’t befall you. These blinks can sometimes be accompanied by brisk shaking of the head to clear your mental slate of the tragic thought.

November 14, 1988 was the day it all began for Joe and I, it was the official start of our courtship. These days however, it rivals for attention on the calendar between dates like the day he moved out, the day I found out about her, his days with the children and ultimately, our day in court.

I shed a few tears of frustration moments past midnight as the “am” light on my iPod dock turned red, the date changed and I realized that today was another one of the things I forgot to grieve. There are just so many of them, those entanglements of together that I must sort through to re-establish healthy ties in a life apart. I’m ambling through a minefield of memories that woefully still have enough force to burst right through the sunshine of days’ new.

“Another day, another year”, I tell myself. Time is a great healer.

Peace and time

>Saturday morning

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It is Saturday morning, yes? I never know.

This has long been one of my favorite songs; a true classic. No matter where I’ve been in my life, it has resonated with me. Ever since I first heard it in the restlessness and rebellion of my youth and even today as I teeter on the precipice of a revolution.

I’ve got what I believe to be the flu, and what I know to be a carpet that needs vacuuming and a cat box or three that need scooping. I’ve also got a far more riveting piece of work in my drafts folder and some checks that need writing on my desk. I’m drinking my second mug of coffee, it’s poorly pressed and grinds are settling in rings at incremental stages along the innards of my mug. I sip and swirl, sip and swirl and wonder if I should just abandon it for the perfectly brewed beer that sits in the fridge.

I’m missing a partner this morning, I don’t have anything particularly profound to say, and I’m not necessarily in need of a hug, but it’d be nice to have someone on the receiving end of my rhythmic keyboard rappings and rather unpleasant cough. No, I’m not lonely, but the oneness of this Saturday morning is jarring.

Peace

>Now, where was I?

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It has been some time since my last post, and in all honesty it hasn’t been for lack of words to speak. So much is happening everyday on this journey that I simply lack the time, and dare I say eloquence to put it all down for posterity.

My divorce is fully underway, and by that I mean legally and the unfortunate host of fuckery that accompanies a dissolution of this magnitude. Just think,you put your very best face forward for the beginning of times but that mean old ugly one you got saved up for Neverary thirty-second becomes clear and present at the end of times. It is the absolute worst.

I try to compare it to other major life changes and the way we fickle humans conjure up all kinds of excuses and defenses, real and imagined, true and outright blasphemous, to ease and justify our transition. It is a death you see coming and really there is no handbook for fear and grief. So, while it hurts like hell and I feel most days like I must have spent the last twenty-two years in some alternate reality, at day’s end, I can simply chalk it up to the horrors of (in)humanity. We really ought to be nicer to each other, go give someone a hug today, smile at a stranger. I’m telling you, your gesture might very well make their day.

The young people seem to be adjusting well, I foster much open communication about the changes they are both witnessing and experiencing. I envy their flexibility and ability to adapt, and just roll with the punches; someday, soon come.

I hope all of you are doing well. I want to once again, thank you for your continued support and readership. If you have noticed I am no longer on Facebook, as I am practicing a little “Save (Face)book”. This is not an easy time for our family, and the sensitivity of the matter-unfortunately, seems to be lost on some.

This is where you’ll find me go forward. Between us here, I like you all best. Do leave a brief note to let me know you were here and are well.

Peace and friendship

>Tiny Deaths

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Dust, wipe, polish, price, repeat…it has a rhythm to it in verse and movement. I noticed this particularly catchy cadence whilst I laid preparations to sell the contents of our family home this weekend. As I’ve written in the past, to everything there is a pruning season, and for our family, this is it. All weak and errant branches must be removed, for we’re in the eye of the storm of transition, only the Universe knows how or where it ends.

Whilst speaking with a friend about life, love and the cyclical nature of the two, she made a comment about “tiny deaths” we all must face to grow…”like a garden”. She’s good at that, for shame, I kill the green stuff. Anyway, it took some time to digest this concept given my present circumstances, although, I fully understood and appreciate the analogy. But, in the still silence of my ever-raging thoughts, I couldn’t see past the obvious and, everyone knows the end of a 20 year marriage is hardly a tiny death. I didn’t give up trying though; journaling and walking, talking to myself and thinking, and finally it’s all becoming quite clear.

With each piece I removed from our walls and tabletops, I welcomed the fleeting presence of the memory attached. I smiled often, envisioning the “shopping grimace” Joe would give as I’d pile tchatchkes into the numerous carts, bags and shopping baskets of our lengthy time together. I went from item to item, segueing from one recollection to the next: repeat, recall, repeat, recall. It then occurred to me, something’s missing…something’s gone…something has died. Resistance: My intrinsic urge to resist the Universe’s plan for me has died a million tiny deaths. One for each attempt, both overt and covert, and in its place, acceptance has emerged, a million tiny blossoms of hope for each death.

To be continued…

Peace and more peace

>On Erosion

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CANCER
Aug. 06, 2011

The Grand Canyon is a perfect example of erosion, Moonchild. Many people think of erosion as a bad thing – as the wearing away and disintegration of something. But one look at the spectacular Grand Canyon, and you can see how beautiful erosion can be. You have lost something. The real you – the unique person at your core – is slowly emerging. Painful lessons over the years, and challenges that brought out your true nature had to happen for you to transform yourself. Don’t regret what was lost in the process. Celebrate what was left behind.


Copyright (c) The Daily Horoscope by Comitic

Every so often, the Universe smiles upon me delivering just what my spirit orders, and sometimes not, and then there’s always the other kind of spirits! Winks. Recently, with the dissolution of my 20 year marriage, I have been coming to grips with a heightened level of humility; I’ve been pruned. I’ve undergone- in the truest sense- a process of emotional, physical and spiritual erosion. I am by no means the person I was just eight (Wow, eight already?!) months ago.

I’ve toggled in my heart and mind between what it means to be free as I’ve struggled to keep the contents of my stomach in place whilst facing my deepest fears of loss and abandonment. I’ve endured pain that, if physical, surely, my mind would’ve shut down to spare my body’s suffering. And, I’ve emerged raw; raw with emotion, unscathed in my ability to love and be loved. There’s been an unclouding of my intuition; things are clearer today than they’ve ever been. I’ve recognized, that with “nothing” I have, and I am enough. I’ve become one with my core existence.

Peace and recognizance

The Validation Dance

I’m struggling with validation again. I tell you, this whole process reminds me of my early years of ballroom dance. I just keep repeating the same steps wondering when the period of grace begins, until it happens almost without warning and, I become masterful. One major mistake I’m making in the dance though, is that I am still looking to him to lead me and that stands between me and mastery; old habits die hard.

Some recent pubescent perils and maybe even separation aftermath have left me with a less than amenable twelve year old. In an attempt to hang on to the frayed remnants of my sanity I reached out to Joe. Surely his response will curl your hair as it has had me in a state of perpetual dystrophy since he posed it. His suggestion was that I get some free time, y’know maximize my personal time and space. His suggestion for how this might be accomplished? By entrusting our child to the care of his girlfriend. His girlfriend, the woman he has been cavorting about with since October; the affair that broke the dutiful wife’s back.

I’m without words, I just look at him earnestly searching for some glimpse of hope, some shimmer of the person I thought he was, behind his glazed over, clearly crazy gaze. I need a few hours-OK, a day to chew on this. I know the idea is preposterous for any number of reasons, but as the dance goes, I must plan my next move and keep the count in order to be graceful.

I sent him an e-mail respectfully declining the offer. I stated that I’d look to a more comfortable support system during this time and thanked him for his offer. Then I had another pot of cawfee and sent him an e-mail basically asking him if he truly understood what had happened here, what he had done. He denied the affair. In a deliberate misstep, he left me once again cumbersome and behind the count; anything but graceful.

“It doesn’t feel like an affair, it never has”, he said. “I just saw something I wanted and I went after it. No hard feelings, I told you I felt our marriage ended thirteen years ago”. He actually said fourteen the last time, but that’s spit in a bucket at this point. The dance is over as I have collapsed from the brunt of that last remark.

I know I shouldn’t look to him to validate my story, my truth, my pain, but it’s gonna take some time to stop sharing the load, and apparently, the children. More and more the realization that I can dance this routine on my own becomes evident as I learn that I have done so for many years before.