January 26, 2011

i’ve used the phrase ‘oh, dear’ twice in the last two days, both times committing it to print. and here it is again. oh, dear. this blog has been brewing and percolating and sludging around for a while now and i’m not quite sure (but then i’m never quite sure) what may follow. so you may want to make a cup of tea. or a highball. whatever it takes to get prepped for a little exposure.

there is someone i know who has used the word transparency quite a lot in the times we have spoken, and based on the strange ebb and flow of our interactions, the word has stuck with me, mostly because it is so contrary to my experience of him. but i like the word, what it stands for, and i have been looking a lot in to my own heart to find my most transparent self. mind you, i am very reserved in some ways and quite private and can be surprisingly vain. all of this to say: transparency is not a place where i have wanted to live, or even pay a short visit, until recently.

this is me. last night, in my little house, at the end of a long day of taking care of my sick daughter. no makeup, no soft or forgiving  lighting, and with a blemish the size of the north star just to the west of my left eyebrow. i told ricky when he was leaving with our sweet and feverish girl yesterday to feel free to use it in guiding him home if he needed to. he liked that one. and i like to make him laugh still. in any case, this is me, stripped down, visually…transparent. at least i think so.

i am forty five years old and for all intents and purposes, a single mom. i’ll turn forty six in march, a month that will also mark the five year point of being separated from my husband. my husband who is an amazing father to my daughter, a dear friend, and a lost love. these losses happen, and though we must allow for them and learn from them, they are still steeped in the heartbreaking-est sort of sadness. the other side of that, gratefully, is my  appreciation for all that i learned with rick, how deeply i was loved by him, and how hard we have worked to create a safe and loving life for maya and for us, whatever the us that is us, is.

the last year of my life has brought incredible joy. i have a beautiful house to live in. i work with wonderful people. i have started to catch up on sleep at long last and feel my energy and my body coming back. my mind is filled with things i want to do and musings and imaginings and daydreams even, of what will come. my daughter still thinks i’m the cat’s meow. the sun shines. the plants grow. rain falls. my friends love me well, and i try to love them better. my sister cracks up with me daily and is there when i can’t stop crying. my parents are alive, and they love me as they did when i was five. and ten. and twenty. just as i love maya. with my greatest and most tender heart, the heart that continues to expand exponentially as the days and months of parenthood zoom by. who knew a heart could grow so big? certainly not me.

the last year has also brought men. an overflowing handful of them. they show up and introduce themselves and weave themselves in and around my life. they are there but not there. some of them are solid. are friends. are lovely to know and i am grateful for the…men-ness they hold. others are watery, they come and they leave and they come again or maybe they don’t. they desire, and express, and do their best. but they don’t fit. or their lives have no real way of overlapping with, or becoming a part of, mine. and in this fresh chapter of losing my opacity, at least in this moment, i am forced to see them, even long for them, and let them go.

that’s me over there, too. last year a very tall man with the most beautiful heart became my friend for a time until it was clear a friendship wasn’t really a workable thing for us. but he graced me with a week of birthday celebrations and the sweetest gestures and the loveliest gifts, and i felt like a quiet princess in the midst of it all. i miss him, and i miss our friendship very much. he may have no idea. but it is the truth, the one i would only say to my closest friends and to the world at large right here in blog-land. and this was me in my pretty party dress that i wore for a perfect birthday dinner, and the dinner was over, and i knew i wouldn’t get to see this friend any more. sadness. and lessons. ugh. those two things when they are hand-in-hand can be so tough.

i have let the men go. and the main man, the husband who is soon to be my wasband, well, i am preparing to let him go in the big way soon also. we’ve known for a while we will be jumping on the d-train, and with the five year mark approaching, it may just be time.

and if it is time, and the door closes on the us that was us (and isn’t the us that we are now, because truly, there is still joyfully an us!) what happens then? do the peter pans who have been flying around find another flight path? do i come crashing in to the person who will be mine, or will i find myself walking slowly on a different sort of road toward a different sort of person? i don’t know, and i wish i did, i so wish i did. for there is gardening to do, and food to make, and wine to drink, and couches to get wrapped up in each other on. and there are doctor’s appointments, and christmas dinners, and rainy sunday mornings, and school plays to attend. there will be crushing sadness and explosive happiness and all the in-betweens that will be, well, in between.

so goodbye flyboys. i will be here, with my feet on the ground, parenting, and painting, and cooking, and working, and watching my daughter become more of who she will be. i will wrap my arms around her as long as she allows, and wrap my arms around the people i love. and trust that as i look in to the faces of people whose paths i cross, there will be recognition in many of them. and love, in one. because this is who i am. and so is this. and this, too.