Sunday, February 9, 2014

Signs, Portents, I Don't Know Why I Say Good-Bye, I Say Hello

I have been utterly lazy today and I don't even care.
I tried to work outside and I did for a little while. I was trimming the dead stuff and cutting back some plants and on my trip back from the burn pile I realized that my Rubbermaid cart seemed to have a tire problem and the damn inner tube (did we even know there WAS an inner tube there?) had come forth from where it was supposed to be and flattened and wrapped itself around the axle or whatever that thing is and there was no way it could be functional until Mr. Moon did something about it because god knows I wasn't going to do anything about it and so I took that as a sign and when he went off to hunt I went off to nap and man, I am getting way too into naps but so what?

So. One cart's worth of trimming, a few dishes, and I've finally just gotten around to doing a load of laundry because I put the three beautiful eggs I found in the nest in my pocket and then went to pick arugula and the beautiful blue egg broke and I took THAT as a sign that I should wash some clothes.

I don't even have to make supper tonight. There are leftovers galore in that refrigerator which, by the way, I should clean. Every shelf seems to have a residue of something (mostly pickle juice) on it but I just keep half-assing it and wiping up the residue, sort of, in a desultory sort of way.

One time, a long, long time ago, a good friend of mine said that I was a "slut of a housekeeper" which was not quite true but I certainly wasn't as good a cleaner as she was. She was drunk and it all ended well in that she also accused another friend of hers who was there of being the same although she did admit that we were both wonderful cooks and that other accused friend and I bonded immediately like glue (We are sluts of housekeepers!) and we are still dear friends while the woman who made the accusation is not a friend of either of us anymore.
These things happen.

I dreamed the other night about another woman who used to be the closest of my close friends. We were probably almost too close. It bordered on the incestuous. We were each other's mother/sister/fellow goddess and I'm sure that every sort of disfunction figured into the relationship but we loved each other passionately and we talked on the phone for hours every day and saw each other almost every day and we knew if the other one had skipped a heartbeat, had sneezed, had had an improper thought, was upset with a spouse, a child, a parent. We knew each other's cycles and dreams and fears and shames and hopes and we shared clothes and secrets and books and every other damn thing you can share, up to but not including husbands and I'm a little surprised that never happened. We were literally together for births and for deaths. We practically shared a circulatory system.
And then...well, I'm not sure what happened. I got a lot of therapy and suddenly, things which had seemed normal and wonderful began to appear less so. I realized that maybe my friend wasn't quite all right in ways that annoyed me. And let me be perfectly frank- she may have felt the same about me. She had every right to be.
And our friendship turned from white hot love to something a great deal cooler and then finally, over the course of maybe a year or two or maybe even three or four, it faded into nothingness.
For years I dreamed of her frequently. I missed her but no, that's not true. I did not miss her. I missed what we had had together because it had been a relationship which sustained me, which validated me, which made me feel more cherished and loved than perhaps any other relationship I'd ever had in my life and that certainly included the one I'd had with my mother.
But. Once it changed, it changed, and there was no going back and in my dreams of her I always told her exactly why the relationship had changed and what I thought and so on and so forth and I never did tell her in real life, nor did she tell me, in real life, how it had been from her end. The last time we got together we talked for hours but I came away from all that talking with not one desire to see her again.

And then I dreamed of her the other night, as I said, and it was an okay dream and she was doing good things and her children were all good and I was happy for her and there was no resentment or weird feelings and I take that as a sign that I am all done grieving for our relationship.
I hope so. I am not sure that we are ever through with grief of any sort but it can certainly lessen to the point where instead of a knife-wound, it becomes a tiny pinprick which we may not even be aware of.

Or something. I really do not not know shit although at times I can fool myself into thinking I do.

I wish that life had neat and tidy beginnings and endings. I really do. But it just doesn't. And people who, at one point are so important a part of our lives that we depend on them as much or more than we depend on our own thoughts and mirrors and beliefs, can become completely estranged and it's a scary thing to give that up but for me at least, when it has happened it has been because my very sanity depended on it. It is odd but true that the very same people who can help you stay sane at certain times in your life can become people who make you insane later on. This is true not only of friends but of lovers, of spouses, even of parents.

Well, I certainly did not mean to get down into it as far as I just have. But there you go. You give me a lazy day and I'm going to think some thoughts and then, given half a chance, I'm going to write them down.

But. Having said all of this, I would like to acknowledge those friends, those lovers, even my parents who did love me at one point and whom I loved so desperately and thank them for what they gave me when I needed them so very much and I would hope that I gave the same to them.
They will probably never read these words but that's okay too.

I've put this shit out into the universe and although anyone who attends 12-step meetings would tell me that I need to make amends in the real world, I would just rather not. I would rather, at this moment, make an arugula salad. And I haven't noticed anyone coming to make amends to me either and so, in my own way, I am keeping the balance even. But I know that these people are part of who I am. There is no way around that. And as such, I love them even now.

And I am being grateful for the friends, my family whom I love and who have put up with my crazies and who still love me and who are still very much a part of my every day life.
They are my grace and my glory.

And because I seem to be on a Beatles roll here, I give you the very best song which says all of this and which I danced to, as sung and played by the Neville Brothers in New Orleans on a New Year's Eve in 1984 with the man I had just married. Unbeknownst to me, I was about five days pregnant with my daughter, Lily and as Aaron Neville sang and my so recently made bridegroom held me in his arms to dance, I cried, and I cried both from joy and from sorrow because even then I knew that there were no tidy beginnings or endings but as always, there was love.


  1. Wow. Wow. Wow.
    You are me and I am you.
    The whole friendship story? Me and Murphy. Only I know what happened and although I'm not proud of my part in the turmoil, it is what it is. Oh man, I struggled with that one.
    Crushed eggs indeed.
    I can't listen to In My Life right now, for surely I'd cry a sea full of tears. Nobody needs that right now, except maybe California.

  2. heartinhand- Hey girl. It's part of the human experience. That friendship thing. It's okay. You don't have to listen to the song. I think it's probably in your bones.

  3. You're so wise. You clear things up in my own head in this weird and synchronous way. Thank you. I am glad that you're in my life right now -- so glad and so grateful.

  4. Elizabeth- And you for me. I love you dearly.You inform and teach and enrich me every day.
    Thank you.

  5. You know how much this resonated with me. White hot love to nothing. Dammit. You know. I dream of her, too.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

    Love you. Keep the eggs safe.

  6. SJ- I thought of you as I wrote this. You know I did.

  7. Just wow! I have a story like that and if I could write maybe I would tell it. You told yours so beautifully! Gail

  8. Gail- As I said- it's part of being human. You can write. Trust me. Just do it.

  9. I guess we all go through such relationships. For me it did not hurt so bad when it ended but it has hurt on and off. And yet, I could not go back and for many reasons don't want to go back. I am glad to read of your experience and others, especially with really close friends like you describe in your Sunday sermon and that SJ described in her post. It is part of growth and part of defining who you really want in your life I think, especially as you age. Sweet Jo

  10. Sweet Jo- I think you're right- we do become more careful about who we want in our lives. For me, I want more sanity, less drama. And kindness.

  11. I needed this today, to be specific, right now today. What is here is what makes you such a great mama and grandmother. Your love is huge. I will do my best to step into this space you've created with these words because I know you're right. This is right and true.

  12. Andrea- I am so glad that you found something you needed here today. Thanks for telling me so.

  13. Friendships. Man. This one is a movie. Chemistry is chemistry--romantic or not.

  14. I wrote about a friend who decided that we weren't the perfect couple because of alcoholism. And so that friendship just stopped. I made amends because of my expectations being too high. And the amends weren't accepted. So I too want less drama, more kindness, and acceptance in friendships. I simply don't have much time for anything else now.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.