It’s a normal day at the lake, birds, sun, soft breeze kind of shit, but for me it’s not, and never will be. I miss my mama. The lake has become this private reservoir of memories, leaving me in the throws of the ugly cry, believe me when I say it’s complete bedlam.
The relief afterwards is not unlike that of the flu, a brief post purge reprieve, before the agony starts building somewhere deep in the gut. Kahlil Gibran says all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. Freedom therefore is the ability to stay in the middle, aloof, reticent, and detached. Funny guy that Kahlil.
“There is not security in freedom only endless falling toward the hands that tossed you into the world.” Bernadette Miller.
Mary Jean Irion offers a slightly different take, “on a normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” Oh how I try to stay in this space, recognizing the gifts that surround me, but I do have a tendency to drift.
Mary Jean sums up my intention behind Living in the Gap but with more eloquence than the “post vomit” metaphor. I write so I’ll remember the most fortunate people are the ones who have the capacity for genuine gratitude, “freshly and naively, the basic good of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy,” says Maslow. It’s quite possible the ecstasy part has something to do with wine but that’s a personal opinion.
“What you think about will come about,” was my fathers favorite saying, but it took decades for this message to take root. What I focus on expands, so when I catch myself grousing about life, ungracious, and co-dependent, I simply remind myself there are miracles; like fuchsias, sea glass, and credit cards.
I have a tiny new addiction and I can not help myself nor do I wish to. Today I’m working on a fairy garden for Audrey (that’s a total lie, it’s for me). I might have sun stroke, because I took my credit card to a whole new limit, and although Larry might be groaning, I’m squealing with joy. I have this half wine barrel nestled in the shade of the tulip tree in the courtyard but it’s killed off at least half a dozen plants. I’m repurposing the barrel into a fantasy garden, with a tiny house, bunny, moss, fairies, sea glass path, turtles, and a pond. I believe in the magic of fairies. Don’t judge me I’m mourning.
Larry claims most of the major traditions allot a specific amount of time for grieving and he believes I’ve exceeded my allowance. Wiseass. That’s totally my department, believe me when I say Catholics have cornered the market on suffering, as far as I know we’re still grieving Jesus.
Larry mumbled something under his breath about the many crosses he has to bear. I reminded him of our sacred vows, “for better or for worse,” and I told him this applies to our credit card. He gave me the look. I stayed aloof, reticent, detached.
All of my children (at least the ones that reside in the United States) are coming to the lake for the Forth of July celebrations. I’m giddy with excitement, see how I choose to focus on the good, and as a bonus the tiny garden is almost done. I’m sure they’ll be delighted. Along with the fairies, I purchased a ton of food at Costco, than had to hit up the grocery store for crazy glue (Audrey prep). I am ready to feed, sunscreen, and reconnect for at least a week.
There are many things to be grateful “for” but, as I ripen with the seasons of life, the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery. And, most deeply, I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing says Michael Mahoney. As I ripen? For me it’s more like fermenting but who’s to say.
The fairies were out late last night, sprinkling fairy dust all around the courtyard, and I’m sure that’s why I woke up so happy this morning. It’s a normal day at the lake, birds, sun, soft breeze kind of shit, but for me it’s extraordinary, because she tossed me into the world.
I’m Living in the Gap, drop in anytime. Or we can meet up in the comments.
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I believe, I believe. All I can do is stand in witness, mourn while you mourn. Your writing is raw, wavering between the greatest beauty and deepest despair. Much love to you.
Thank you Charli, you put it so beautifully, I appreciate you standing in witness while I mourn. It has been really difficult finding the right words, trying to express deep seated emotions, but I keep searching in order to understand myself and the essence of grief. Love you.