Thursday, November 17, 2011

your moment(s) of zen.

(i am still talking about my loss. you have been warned.)

i believe in jackalopes. and the ability of the postal service still amazes me. how siri works i will never understand.

the fact that they put a man on the moon doesn't phase me. the fact that they can do that and still not be able to construct a plastic lid that fits over a paper cup properly does.

i don't believe in unicorns, but i believe that others believe in them and for them they exist. i do believe in dinosaurs, though. and i believe there are many higher powers and i will never ever stop believing there is a santa claus. and i believe in love at first sight and i believe it's never too late to find what you're looking for. and i believe that good people are capable of making terrible mistakes and still be good people.

i believe in forgiveness, but i don't believe in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth across the board. sometimes it's better just to keep your mouth shut.

i believe in miracles. however small. however subtle.

i believe in the rope. you know, the one that comes dangling down from out of the blue. right when you need it most.

i believe in the mountains and valleys of a life. i am in a valley. i've been trying to come to grips with this past year. i'm not even going to pretend that this is one of those posts where i have a low and then find the high. this isn't like that.

today the husband asked me if we have any envelopes. he's been trying to pay bills. he gathered all the bills. then he needed stamps. then he said he realized he had no envelopes and kept forgetting until he went to send the bills. the process was taking forever.

'that's like a depressed person. that's how it is being depressed. everything seems to have five steps and usually i just get to step 1.5 and stop. the process eventually repeats itself until it gets to 5. so. there's that.'

i believe this will pass. i know it will. but what i can't wrap my head around is how different everything is. and how it will never be the same again.

usually i love beating a dead horse. if it's a story i really like or a point i'm trying to make, etc. but this feels over done. maybe if the year hadn't already been difficult then losing my father wouldn't be so awful.

i know that isn't true. because it's awful no matter how you slice it.

but how do you move past that loss? how. really. and i tell myself the thing i tell everyone who asks me the same thing about a million other losses human suffer everyday...time and distance. that's all. keep going, keep breathing and moving and eventually you come out the other side. you really really do.

only right now, i can't see that. because i'm not the one doling out the soothing words. i'm the one with the broken heart. i'm the one asking how? why? and lamenting how unfair it is. it's SO UNFAIR.

again, like with the house i KNOW it's not personal. i KNOW this. the world works the way it does and it's ours to react how we do. nothing more.

but it just seems so wrong. for someone to die so quickly and randomly and just...die. to no longer exist.

it seems so wrong to feel so incredibly sad. to miss someone so much. to be without the person who raised you.

i believe, folks, we have reached #4 of the phases of grief.

and the only door prize here seems to be a bottle. either in liquid form or pills. thankfully i've rejected both or else grief would be the least of our worries.

so what do you do when you feel so sad and broken? well. for me i get up and i don't go back to bed. i walk. i take great pleasure if a song i love comes on the radio, if it's sad i turn it. i learned that the hard way. (BAM! i ran into the back of the woman in front of me. i was stopped. so was she. both trying to merge. i thought she went. but i was teary and not paying attention. no damage for either of us. she was really sweet about it. but my god.) i cook. because under normal circumstances it's something i truly enjoy. and because when we are sad and our hearts are fragile there is nothing better than feeding the cracks and the tears with good wholesome food. and i try to do the normal stuff a normal person does.

but the fall reminds me of my father. and the days and weeks before we left the farm for good. at once fall is so hopeful and yet so melancholy. made even more so this year.

what do you do when you just can't go back to bed and cover your head? and what do you do when you do get to go to bed and you wake up in the middle of the night? nearly every night? writing poems in your head about how grief is like a house of cards and you want it to stop trembling or fall already. just pick one. pick.

it's like a battle every day to make sure this is all kept afloat. and some days are easier than others. and some days it's just so hard and sad. and my father is around every corner and in every expression the duke makes. and some days i can think about him and smile and some days i cry. and some days it's both at once. and it's like a war of the emotions. and there is no victor. but i keep going because the alternative is to give up. and just be in this place. that i've been in. and that i don't want to be in forever. or anymore. and i can't do that to myself or to my family.

move forward without missing a step on the path. yeah.

i suppose i could be approaching this all wrong. i mean, a normal person goes to therapy and gets a prescription and gets some aid for the rough patches. normal people don't try to general patton their way out of their shit. soldier on, baby. don't stop. i am my father's daughter. i would have made a good cowboy. a soldier cowboy.

(oh and thank you, well meaning people for your suggestions and concern. while it looks weird, it works for me)

there's a point to all of this. really. and here it is; all of this time i've been wondering how do you move past the pain of tremendous loss? and i saw glimpses of it here and there this past year after losing the house. then my father died and i couldn't imagine how that would look down the line. how? so i got all mired in that. and it compounded the grieving.

and then yesterday i was listening to NPR and there was an interview with michael stipe and mike mills on the demise of REM.

michael stipe was clearly in a more lamenting and contemplative place in discussing the matter than mike mills was. mills was being very deferential and sensitive to the situation (and stipe's attitude) while still being pragmatic and positive.

"I've been to a couple of shows since we made the announcement, and going to shows was not easy," Stipe says. "It was hard to watch friends, or to watch people who I admired, up there performing and think to myself, 'Wow, I only know that now from here — from standing in the audience.' "

"But it's not necessarily gone forever — it just won't be with the same people," Mills says, addressing Stipe. "I don't see you stopping making music forever. You have too much of a good gift for that. You'll be up there doing it with somebody, and I'll be up there doing it with somebody else, and it won't be what we had, but it will be what we have."

and it won't be what we had, but it will be what we have.

and all of a sudden, there was the rope.

the one that comes from out of the blue when you least expect it.

things are never going to be what they were. my father isn't going to come back and i will never be serenaded to sleep by the frogs in the pond in the back pasture again.

and of course i knew this, i am not drowning in magical thinking. i just didn't know what to put in those spaces. you know, the empty ones. the ones that no longer hold my father or my former life. that's what i was wondering. what do i put there?

it turns out there really isn't anything *to* put in those spaces.

but there are new spaces to be created. and filled. when i'm ready.

it will never be what i had, but it will always be what i have. and that's going to have to be enough. and, eventually, it will be. it's not, right now, but it will be. and that's it. that's all i got. that's the best i can do. which doesn't feel like much, right now, but it's a lot better than getting mired down in the wondering. trying to fill the un-fillable. it's a start. something to grab. something to hold.

in the meantime, i bring you this installment of your moment(s) of zen. enjoy.

"If a man does his best, what else is there?" General George S. Patton