I know that the possibility of spending time with TBB, of being out for a week at SCC is a gift.
And I know when the universe offers you a gift, you should take it.
I know this.
But I also know that in trying to plan, to get ready, I’m doing it alone. I have told my sister, yes, but while she is encouraging, she has virtually no time for me.
Last night, I saw the episode of Sex And The City where my Miranda, with her flaky ovary, and Steve, with his one ball, make a baby. The women, in that idealized sorority, gathered around her, first to help her lose the baby, and when she finally comes to her senses and gets her priorities right, moving beyond her expectations, to be aunts. SATC is about the most powerful forces in life, and the most powerful of all is a sense of family, of being seen & valued, of being supported & loved, of being connected to people we can support and love.
And while I watched, I opened dusty bins that haven’t seen light in six months, not since my parents got back in early March, and try to remember how to put myself together, simplifying myself enough to fit in a suitcase. There are no mirrors in this basement, so I try to catch a glimpse in the glass doors, and am jarred by the six months of beard that mark my separation from self.
I am trying to have a conversation, but there is no one here but me, and things get misty, murky & lost, unlike those women on TV, for whom conversation with each other makes things more clear, more sharp, more potent. This is the process of stigma and denial, where as we become more hidden and isolated in the world, more selective and defended, we lose the momentum that can take us higher, stumbling into smallness.
Oddly enough, I value that long gray beard. It marks so many things; the power of will to do the job at hand and take care of my parents, the cost of being separated from myself. It is both a weight and a gray badge of courage, and as such, I need it to be valued too, even if, as with so many things, I am the only one doing the valuing.
I called TBB yesterday morning to discuss plans, but she hasn’t responded to my voice mail. I’ll call again today. My sister offered that I could use her house to sort, but that’s more a symbolic offer, the reality being that her house is crammed with her stuff, and I don’t yet have use of the wagon I was told I would have to carry anything, limping along in the purple car which requires me to pump up the driver’s rear tire to drive it, as putting money in it before abandoning it makes little sense.
Here, though, things have to stay submerged, only visible for a bit and then hidden again. There is no inertia allowed to be seen, not enough deltaV to build up escape velocity.
My sister has a friend who is clinically depressed and was in a clinical trial last week. She took a medication that was supposed to change everything, but it didn’t, at least not right away. And when it did, she was filled with worry that things would snap back and be even worse.
I understood the feeling.
I told my sister that it seemed to me that the hardest part for her friend wasn’t taking the drug, or going under anasthesia, or lying to the doctors, or pulling the defenses back on, rather the hardest part was believing it worked, believing it would work, believing that there was hope. This is the unfamiliar part to her, the part that is the hardest, because for people like us hope makes us vulnerable, and brings up all the times hopes were dashed in the past. I know that I am doomed without hope, but I also know I am often broken up by it.
I feel better today, the head cold diminished, and I step towards the possibilities. But I do it in conversation alone, and that means a conversation bounded by my defenses, limited by my own history of being dashed, of being too big, too weird, too hip, too smart for the room.
Those open-side wedge pumps with the ankle strap in black suede that I bought for $7.50? I need to try them and not take them, to eliminate them because I don’t understand how to make them work, even if I would love to do that. Yet do I understand how to make anything work, remember the patterns I had six months ago before I had to go to depth again? No, not really.
It’s a conversation with myself, with my limits and my fears. It’s reaching towards a gift some part of me belives will evaporate.
It’s trying to trust in mother moon and her amazing grace.
And it is hard.