The Closet

I’m not sure how or why it happened? But it did. I believe it has something to do with the liminal state I’m currently occupying, the space between grief and semi-recovery. Maybe that’s normalcy, not that anyone’s ‘technically’ normal, but I know it’s out there somewhere, more like a journey then a destination.

I feel like I’m teetering boldly on the edge of something new. Dare I say exciting? Sometimes I find it hard to contain my joy and then I remember the closet. The black hole in my life, dark, unavoidable, sucks you in like a vacuum. 

It has come to my attention that my Mom is as efficacious in heaven as she was in life. Along with reminding me to floss daily, she pushes me towards my nemesis, stubborn, heroic, obstinate as ever. Yeah, I get that from her, a good thing when battling Charles Schwab, not so good when used for procrastinating.

As we approach the quietus, the saliency of autumn, there is a sense of closure, or maybe harvest. Time to reap that which we have sown. Autumn comes as a procession, driving away the glorious colors of spring, allowing the splendor of cinnamon, rust, and amber to emerge. The sun will shift, the air will cool, and we will graciously lay the year to rest. ‘Graciously’ might be a stretch for me.

My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane. Robert Frost

I want to migrate like the birds, using the position of the sun as my guide, as if I could catch up with the past, and linger forever in the warmth of her presence. George Eliot says, “My very world is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” But it is not to be, regardless of Einstein’s theory of relativity, life is linear, and this cosmology is impossible to change. Unless you become enlightened, not happening here, I am clinging to the illusions of maya. 

So here’s the problem, I’ve got one foot in the past, and the other wedged in the future. It’s hard to admit but my behavior has been deplorable lately, I have been shoving everything, literally and figuratively, into my closet, behind a door I can no longer open. I’m slightly ashamed of myself, partly forgiving, and no longer willing to live with the mounting evidence of my paralysis. The refusal to process, weed, let go of the past is debilitating.
This might help or make things worse. It’s a repetitive dream that keeps making the rounds. I think my brain is trying to process the situation, but when I fail to respond, it repeats like an annoying commercial. 

I feel myself soaring through the sky as a person (not a bird), trying to capture something illusive, it’s usually a kite, but the string keeps slipping through my fingers. I watch as it fades into the blueness of the sky. I feel powerless, inadequate, the only discernible emotion is impotence. I want to shake it off like a dog shaking water from his coat but I’m paralyzed. We’ll just let the psychoanalyst’s go to town with that one.
I like to call it praying but it’s more like ranting to God about my current state of affairs, I suppose God is listening, because she’ll shove someone in front of me, someone with a beating heart, and arms, arms so strong they can hold me together. I refer to these people as my gifts, they might feel differently, but I’m not responsible for how you “let me, help you, help me.” Life can certainly push one over the edge, ruthlessly I might add, “the pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails,” says William Arthur Ward. A ridiculous idea for someone like me. Adjust. #Hilarious. 

Laugh all you want, but it is becoming quite clear to me, after five arduous decades of life, that we are not a stagnant creation. (I’m slow, not your issue, be grateful.) One bite of the forbidden fruit and you’re gone, kicked out of the garden, and I’ve come to believe this is a good thing, serpent and all. A genesis. Eve so had it going. 

So why have I’ve been totally avoiding my closet all summer? I was afraid. I’m a rule follower. I was enjoying the safety of ignorance and lots of strong coffee. It totally worked for me. 

I don’t know what triggered it, but I’m finally ready to clean out the space where gravity is so strong, matter has been squeezed into a tiny space, aka. my closet. Time to weed through the layers of things that have chained me to the past, make room for the future, apparently swarming with possibility. Assume the best until proven wrong, that’s my theory, it works half the time. 

My world, style, shape, and size have all changed (I use those words figuratively), time to let go, allow the things I prefer a little space in my armoire, maybe keep the floor clear for new passage. The racks are full of clothes I never wear, the floors stacked with boxes of faded photographs, a chipped candy dish that once held fond memories, purses from my mom’s closet that I couldn’t allow to occupy that of another, favors from a shower I gave a decade ago, last seasons sandals, tarnished silver trays, and God only knows what. 

I piled it all in the closet until it seemed normal. 

The wait is over folks. I’m boldly tackling the debris in my life and preparing to move on, so if you need me, I’ll be clearing out the past, packing up the present, and preparing for the future (I have no idea who penned those lines but they’re perfect). “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision,” the one and only Virginia Woolf. 

The brilliance of Autumn dulls compared to the colors of the future. “Be bold,” her Mama said, “or pick a new lipstick.”




Living in the Gap, drop in anytime, I’m always on call. 



Postscript: I’ve been crying a lot lately, we’ll just blame my sister, when her eyes water so do mine, even from a distance. Check out this new photo shoot of Nancy and I by the famous photographer Melissa Masinter of M & M Photography. We felt like movie stars, only a little less glamorous, and dainty.  

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