Archives for posts with tag: walk on

Yeah, our individual lives and experiences continue alongside the culture-storm of change going on around us. Well… mine does. Doesn’t yours?

I sip my coffee. Breathe, relax. I don’t avoid the awareness that cried myself to sleep last night. I keep my heart open to the awareness that I don’t fully “know why”. Sadness crept in. Tears spilled out. I’m no saint; I’m pretty sure my tears were “all about me“.

My Traveling Partner got into town sometime yesterday, busy with plans and no time for me. It’s an honest truth. My heart aches with it. This morning as I wake he is already far away. His route took him the closest he has been to my new place, since I moved; approximately just 1 mile away, passing by in the night, sometime after I had gone to bed. No drama. No storm of “if you loved me, you would…”. No conditional affection. This event has been planned on his calendar a long while. This makes only twice he’s been in town since he started his new job. Both times he was in town briefly. Both times for other purposes than seeing me. Neither time did we see each other. I’ve lived here now for one month; he has yet to see the place, though he has keys. I get through those thoughts, this time, without tears.

I sip my coffee, and move on with my own experience.

I keep an eye on the clock. There is an early morning meeting at the office, and I will make a point of being there, without resentment for the disruption in my schedule; it is a welcome distraction.

I let my thoughts coast through memories of other lovers, feeling grateful for this partnership I’ve got. It allows me to live (and thrive) on my own terms – even when those terms became “I need a place of my own”. Our choices reliably have consequences. Some of the consequences of our choices are not easily predictable for us, as individuals in the moment, sometimes because they can’t be predicted with ease, sometimes because we refrain from looking ahead with cool-headed clarity.

I find myself “listening for the rain”, thinking perhaps I heard drops on the windows or rooftop, but no rain is falling. No tears, either. I’m okay right now. I sip my coffee, and let contentment wash over me. Running from my feelings doesn’t get me here so quickly. Neither does wallowing in them, allowing myself to spiral downward into the darkness. It’s a peculiar thing to sit with my emotions. Make room for them as if for a fellow traveling on public transportation; sometimes quite reluctantly, but not wanting to be rude. Giving myself a comfortable moment to feel my feelings without taking action, to listen to my moment gently, and to allow myself to feel heard from within can make such a difference in emotional moments. Yeah… as always… verbs. Practice. Varying results. (See that subject line? Results vary!) I’m grateful for mornings; each one utterly new. A restart. A do over. A beginning.

Where does this path lead?

I miss my Traveling Partner. I feel the feeling of it. I allow myself to be wrapped in the love that makes missing him matter so much, and soak in that for some minutes, recalling things we have enjoyed together this year. I allow the mixed emotions to be what they are. There has been little of this so-precious time shared this year. Tears and a smile. I’m okay with that. I think ahead to the week to come. It feels a little empty knowing there won’t be a last-minute urgent message from him late on a Thursday suggesting I drive down to see him, followed by a message noting that he’d checked my calendar and sees I have plans… or a reply from me that I’m on my way, or… soon. We’ll see each other in September. We saw each other once in August. And in June we spent a weekend together for my birthday. Soon, autumn, the holiday season… more weekends together than not, perhaps. Perhaps not. I smile and let go of my expectations like airborne fluff from a cottonwood tree. It’s a journey, and what’s up ahead isn’t very clear. I’ll take it a day at a time. Each rung on the ladder individually climbed. Each step in the staircase individually tread. Each moment individually lived. Well… as much as possible. I’m quite human. lol

It’s time to begin again.

 

 

 

It’s a lot to take in, and I’m not sure what to say about any of it. Terrible. There’s a word. Overwhelming. Unnecessary. Heinous. All words. All fitting. I just… can’t. I feel struck by it. I’m not at all prepared – and perhaps not qualified – to write about any of this. So, perhaps another time? A different topic?

I don’t want to point this out, but it’s a thing, and part of what is making me struggle with all of it so much; in six months, if you read this post, you will have to look up the events of the date to be certain what I am referencing. That sucks beyond what I have words for.

…Any of this should be so much more significant, so unacceptably significant, that it would drive real lasting change. How terrible that it isn’t, and doesn’t.

There’s this place in life’s wilderness that we sometimes wander into, a deep mire of negativity, doubt, and conviction. The mire of our heart. Few of us would choose to live there, once we understand we don’t have to.

The weather in the mire is a permanent, sullen, bitter gray.

At the edge of the mire is a sunny meadow. The woman who lives in the meadow wears a smile. She has worked hard. She works still. It isn’t about wanting to work so hard, or enjoying the effort, or being without pain and fatigue, but she knows that this is her life, and the enjoyment to be had living in the sunshine, among the meadow flowers, is so much nicer than stagnating in the mire. She knows too well; she used to live deep in the mire, well beyond any place that sunshine could reach. The way out was tedious, the path stony and uncomfortable, the distance was great, and the decision to trudge on down that path one uncomfortable step at a time was its own torment. Her constant companions were doubt and despair, but life in the mire had already made those her companions…so… what was there to lose along the way? She was at least moving.

She slowly exchanged “can’t” for “can”. She began noticing sunrises. She began to consider whether she could feel better, more often, and began choosing to do so, unsure (at least initially) whether it really was a choice. (It is.)

Sunrises came and went and as she reached the edge of the mire, more often “can” than “can’t”, more often saying something uplifting to a passer-by than offering criticism, sarcasm, or a pessimistic observation, and even learning to treat herself more gently. It took years to get to the edge of the mire. It took years to see that indeed there is a meadow beyond the mire, and sunrises for days, and flowers in the garden of her heart. She smelled the flowers, gathered seeds, and began to tend her garden.

She looked back into the mire and saw a friend standing there, mired. Deeply committed to the muck, and the pain, and the disappointment, and the sorrow… only… none of those things were really there. From her vantage point, having stepped into the meadow and looking back into the darkness, it was so clear – there was nothing holding him back from leaving the mire at all. There never had been. Sure, there was a short distance of path to trudge across (how had that felt so infernally long?), and the way never had seemed so clear as looking back across it, but… it was the simplest of journey’s, once the journey had begun.

She called to her friend from the meadow, throwing armloads of flowers into the sunshine, casting their petals and fragrance into the breeze, but the breeze doesn’t reach the mire. “Come this way!” she called to her friend. He stood there, ever so motionless. “Look,” he replied “I can’t.” She sighed. Puzzled. “Oh hey!”, she called back “I thought I couldn’t, too – but I did, so I could, which means you can… if you do.” He looked frustrated, bitter and annoyed. “I said I can’t!” he confirmed rather angrily. “Nothing works for me. I have nothing and no one will help me. No one cares. No one will talk to me. Nothing works out.” She wept to discover she was “no one” and paced awhile back and forth along the edge of the mire, feeling sad in the sunshine.

Another sunrise came. Other sunrises will come. The woman in the meadow lives in the flowers she planted, smiling among the breezes and the birdsong. There is work involved in tending the garden of her heart. There are weeds to pull. There is always work maintaining all the sunshine. It’s not artificial light, and even the work puts a smile on her face. The mire grows more distant, and she plants more flowers hoping to make the path from the mire to the meadow easier to follow. Maybe someday the man in the mire will walk a different path.

She can see him there in the mire, any day she chooses to look back. He swears she has always lived in a meadow, and that her life has always been this flower-filled lovely garden. She shakes her head, frustrated and sad that he doesn’t see her pulling weeds, planting seeds, and laboring to create this beautiful meadow from the edges of the mire where she once lived. He refuses even to come to the edge, to see what she has done. He accuses her of luck, and she does not argue that she hasn’t been lucky, because she has; she got out of the mire, didn’t she?

Every mire can become a meadow. It requires only all of the verbs, most of the time, and incremental change. It requires effort and will, and a willingness to care. It requires walking on, and beginning again. It requires practice. It requires that we plant our own flowers along our own way, and also pause to appreciate them when they bloom.

A man who says “I’ll never amount to anything”, doesn’t. Most particularly if he truly believes that, and practices the practices it takes to hold himself back. We become what we practice. Mire or meadow, we make our choice, and harvest from the garden we plant.

I dislike moving. It’s true. I mean, I’m eager, today, and excited about the new place, but… generally speaking, I dislike moving, and I’d like very much not to have to do so again. I am aware that I have at least one more move awaiting me regardless; this is another rental. 🙂

I got out of the Army hoping to settle and not move again. You know, put down roots in a community of friendly neighbors, build a life, that sort of thing. That was… 25 years ago. That was… 3 long-term relationships ago. That was… 10 moves ago. 10 moves. That’s including one address at which I lingered for 13 years; all the other moves lack a significant time commitment to a single address. I’m tired of moving. Since 2010, when I moved out of the only address in my life that lasted me more than a decade, I’ve moved 5 times. So tired of moving. 54 years of life…31 addresses. So… moving again. Moving with enthusiasm. Moving with considerable planning and preparation. Moving into an address that looks entirely livable and more than sufficient. Moving into a suitably pleasant neighborhood. It is a move that amounts to a quality of life upgrade. I still have to move, and get settled again, and meet new neighbors again, and rebuild my routines again, and learn all the new noises and shadows again. I’d still like to settled down somewhere and not move again. lol

Someday… a place that is really my own…

So here it is, moving day. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Just three work days to go. It was my first thought as I woke. My second was “damn, morning already?” My enthusiasm balances against my obligations for the week. Eagerness balances against fatigue. I take a few deep breaths. I meditate before I write, enjoying the slow lightening of the pre-dawn sky.

I chuckle at my self for a moment and enjoy my self-directed merriment while it lasts; life has far too few such moments, and I find them well-suited to being savored. Every one of life’s destinations, goals, and benchmark moments, seem also to be beginnings. Endless beginnings, even though from the moment we are born, our clock is also winding down. It’s definitely felt more stressful to view life through a filter of being goal-focused and purposeful; the frustration that often results is an emotional kick in the groin every time things go a little sideways. Viewing life more as a journey, a solo hike through time, across experiences, with the “purpose” being to make that journey, nothing more, feels much less stressful (to me). Your results, of course, may vary.

My plans (and my alternate plans) are made with as much care as I can bring to that process. I’m eager to be able to take other actions. I am bored with packing things in boxes, perhaps. lol This morning, anxiety creeps in around the edges, and I second-guess myself over my morning coffee. I remind myself, for perspective, that getting the keys is not the end of the journey (by far). It’s a good idea to keep it in mind, to prevent ending up feeling frustrated and lost, or overwhelmed emotionally, by the very predictable challenges of moving to a new place. Some shit is going to go wrong. Definitely. No idea what, but this is still happening in the context of real life, so… it’s a given; something will go wrong. lol But… It isn’t necessary to deal with whatever that is in advance, because I won’t know what it is until it happens. 🙂 I take a deep breath, sip my coffee, and let it go.

I look out over the meadow. 3 days until I have the keys, but there is another count down happening in the same head space… 7 days until this is simply no longer (ever) my morning view, as I sit and write, or while meditating on a cushion in front of the patio door. The short expanse of lawn, the summer-tall grasses of the meadow beyond, the park, the playground, the trees on the horizon… I pause to really soak it in. I listen to the red-wing blackbirds greeting the day, and the crows, ducks, geese, and doves, and the early morning commuter traffic on the not-so-distant freeway. I watch a neighbor’s cat stalking something along the edge of the meadow. I watch the sky change colors as dawn approaches. I breathe the breeze filling the room with the scent of meadow flowers. “More ‘and’ than ‘but’…” I hear myself think, rather oddly and apropos of nothing particular. I like the way the phrase sounds in my head.

I glance at the clock. Mornings are shorter on Sunday (from this address) due to the hours I work, and limitations of public transportation. I smile and remember that I have the car. I smile more thinking ahead to getting home earlier in the day; there are a few more things I can box up, a few more boxes…and all I need to get that done is a little more time. 🙂

The sun begins to peak over the horizon. It seems a good time to begin again. 🙂