Tuesday, January 07, 2014


It must be transition time again, because here I am, feeling the need to show up again on the page.

And finding myself here, finding so many words that I found important enough to want to keep them here, the way some people collect rocks, or sea shells, or other pretty fragments of a bigger world that will fit in our kitchens or the fraction of shelves we allot them to remind ourselves of what we love about being part of this gorgeous oneness that blows us over with its variety and endless fractal depths, I find myself making a mistake.

I think - oh my - all the latest posts are from 2011 and 2012 - and here it is a whole year later!  Good thing I have time to sneak in one post from 2013.

And the wrench twist correction:  I missed it. 2014 has already begun.  2013 happened without my active participation.

Except that it was a whole year filled with new things:  a son.  Two young children.  A new family.  A death of my second-ever dog.  A new dog.

And work. Lots of work.  Lots of growing into my capabilities, feeling them wear to fit me, like the best jeans.

Life is moving so fast now, I don't know what I think about it.  I discover life doesn't care what I make of it, or whether I do.  It happens, it passes, it's over, like too many dinners home in front of the tv.  Comfortable, mostly.  Thoughtless in a way that hurts no one but wastes far too much that is precious if you stop to think about it.

A year with a new baby proves how short a year is -- and how long.  From utterly helpless to walking and feeding himself.  From shadows of passing glimpses of personality to whole days of sparkling being.

And my own journey?  Perhaps I learned as much.  But the results are not nearly as visible or startling or praise-calling.

Where I am feels a lot like a crucible.  Can I change enough to find a path toward a happier place in me?  Is the change worth more than the fear of doing what's not comfortable, what makes me vulnerable, what forces me to hope for change in others that may never come?

I'm always waiting to be rescued, not like Rapunzel in her tower or Cinderella from her own home, but like Tam Lin.  He got stuck.  He was himself but stuck in a forest that grew too small for him.  And it took his love to dare to hold him long enough for 20 heartbeats to pass. To hold him even when he tried everything to make her let go - transforming into monsters, then fire, then ice.  Confronting her with everything that made her afraid, and hurt, and burned, and iced out.  But it was worth it to her to hold on.  He was worth it.  Change was worth it.  Growth.  Intimacy.  And it worked.  He could trust her afterward.  She stayed.  He could relax into his best self, could grow into a bigger self, having been freed from his forest constraints.  And I imagine him relieved. So grateful to be retrieved.  Grateful that she knows now that he is monsters and fire and ice.  Overwhelmed to know she is capable of holding and loving all of him.

I used to talk about it as wanting to find someone whose lap was big enough to crawl into and just cry.  I've actually gotten that since even the thought of it made me weep with longing.  It only got me so far, healed so much.

Now I want the daily partner who signs up for the cycles -- from human to monster to fire to ice and back again.  Sometimes hourly.  But I wonder how realistic that is (1) how healthy that is (2) and how inadvisable for anyone I'd trust to do it (3).

I'm starting to long for the endless afternoon intimacies of my high school romance or my first college friends.  The way lunch turned into lounging philosophy gossip gabs that led to movies and dinner and debriefs and drinks and late night confessions and indulgent dark of night extensions and barely regretful early morning breathless goodbyes before racing straight to work.  Where there was no space to question who you were or what you wanted because you never needed or wanted or noticed distance because it was all so fun, so easy, so boundary smudged.

In comparison, I feel prickly, all sharp edges. More urchin than porcupine.

What's the right balance for me in between?  Never been good at balance.  I used to intentionally roll off the balance beam because I was afraid to fall off.  It's why I was more scared to dangle 3 feet off the ground on my first and only attempt at rock climbing than to jump out of an airplane, which I'd do regularly if the probability of dying didn't ... well ... skyrocket each time.

Maybe I just miss friends.  Maybe our world has moved past friendships and the time they take.  The investment.  The wine-soaked nights that air out every last strand of relationship in each person's life braid.

How redeemable is your life at any one point?  How bad does it have to get to try?

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