Then watched a silly movie called Kissing Jessica Stein - the subject isn't that important except that it deals with relationships, identity and being true to yourself and the last song was about letting someone go and it just made me feel very sad about the separation with my husband and it hit me again like a ton of proverbial bricks that this will be the first Christmas in 10 years I have not spent with him and that when we first got together was Jan. 11, 2002 and I knew he was arriving that Christmas, so was happy and excited that he would be visiting me in NYC even in 2001.
Now I am going up to my parents' house tomorrow alone and it kinda sucks, like a lot. I should be asleep but I can't stop crying. Will hope that at some point that shifts, because I do need to get up relatively early.
I really wish at times like this that I was the kind of person that could glide into a new relationship quickly, but I'm not. I was even saying earlier today to my friend Nicole that I feel OK about being alone and like I never want to be with anyone who has any doubts about being with me. I felt it at the time, now it just feels like brave talk. That's not true, though, because I know there has been a change.
But that doesn't take away the raw, horrendous pain of the sadness of grieving. But I just read something today in a book's epigraph, which I hope proves to be true:
The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
- Fra Giovanni Giocondo
I feel I have been very long in shadow. In yet another book today, I read an Emerson quote about blocking the sun through one's own shadow. So, maybe there is a theme here.
The sadness is real, yes, but I need to be brave enough, some day to take joy. I will need a lot of help with that. It does not come naturally. It's scary even. I hate admitting this. I really do hate it, because it feels like I'm short-changing grief. But am I? Has pain just become a habit? Have I simply experienced so much loss in my life, it's grooved in like an old pair of shoes?
Dear God, Goddess, Whomever/s...if this is so, please help me surrender this habit. Please, please, please. Show me the joy within my reach and help me to take it. For some of us who did not have real childhoods I think this may be harder than for others.
On the other hand, in going through old papers, I stumbled upon something truly astonishing - a photo of me lying on the bed in the cottage in Maine - a bed on the sun porch. I have two kittens sleeping on me and I'm reading a book, but I've taken it away from my face to smile - sincerely - for the camera. I can't quite place my age in the photo. But the obvious thing is this: in that bed, with the kitten and the book, I feel safe and happy. I think I may be 12 or 13.
I loved the cottage, and I always felt safe there. I was always safe there. So, maybe there, maybe the memories of that cottage are the place to start. Not to wipe away the other stuff, but to remember this part of me, too, the part that survived, thrived even. I fear writing this, I really do, like I'm somehow diminishing all the other crap. But perhaps not. Perhaps not. Perhaps happiness and even joy is not a fake. Perhaps it is the shadow that is the illusion. Wouldn't that be amazing. Wouldn't it just?
I have a feeling the reality is somewhere in between, though. Because in the same way you can't have life without death, you can't have light without dark. The contrast is what defines the essential nature of the other. But I have been spending a lot of time in the dark. Maybe it's time to let in a little light and see what happens - hopefully I haven't just atrophied into a fungus.
We can only hope.
OK, really gotta get some sleep now. Next post will be in Maine...