love and happiness.

March 15, 2013

writing from angst is easy. from longing. and loneliness. perseverance. anger. determination. for writing – actually penning the words in ink on paper, or clicking and clacking a keyboard as you watch your screen fill – is a place to process, and own up, and vomit, be it emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, or maybe all three. for me the process of writing is watery, and uncertain. there is the thought that arrives, leaves, then perhaps arrives again, to be tossed around a few times, looked at from a few different angles, and mused over. in my mind it is a seed traveling on wind, through shadow and light, sleep and waking, moving fast, and slow, up and up, until the plummet down, where it lands, somewhere hopeful, and fertile. if all goes well, and grace exists, something takes root, grows and blossoms. that is my small hope, anyway: that at the end of eight paragraphs, or ten, will be something meaningful, if only for a moment, for the person reading my words. for me, the meaning is there even before the first words come. the act of writing, however humble and small-audienced, is one of the most tender and frightening things i do. and in fear and humility is meaning, the beauty of sharing experiences, good and bad, committing words that describe them to somewhere permanent.

but what of happiness, and calm, and love? how much is okay to express there, and do any of us connect to the light of joy as readily as we connect to the plight of grief or sadness or commiseration? the idea of sharing my happiness leaves me nervous; sharing the snags and sadnesses and moments of pain humanize us, and make us feel part of a larger picture when we know others are struggling as we might be, or have been. but sharing in happiness and love and joy can appear boastful, or narcissistic, characteristics that for me are a disconnect when i come across someone that embodies that kind of self importance.

for over four years i have been here, posting notes from a quiet path, having no idea in the beginning and to this day if anyone on the receiving end wants to be on the receiving end. looking back i can imagine how arrogant it may appear, this decision to share my life as a forty-something, a single parent, a self-employed designer struggling in a gruesome economy, all while letting go of my life’s love, my home, my idea of life unfolding, of myself. but documenting and sharing and putting the strife and sadness in a place where the people in my life could reach it has felt enormously important, and cathartic. for in the middle of heartache and loss came exclamations of beauty and love notes from the truest people and an ability to read back and trace the beginnings and the middle and in some ways now the final chapters of a very long book.

love surrounds me. i ask for it and it comes, much the way the loveliest of old houses and exquisite spaces to live in have always come. at one point a friend suggested the possibility that perhaps the perfect spaces don’t arrive but are instead created once i enter them; the truth is i never even considered that possibility. and love is capital-L-love, for god’s sake! a profoundly more delicate equation, bigger and more sweeping and staggering than finding the spanish cottage with the big windows and afternoon light. and like the dreamy house, i’m really not sure which comes first, the love chicken or the love egg. do we imbue our relationships with our purest of hearts and intentions, our trust, our touch soothing, or fierce, the enthrall we feel in intimacy, dark like a bedroom, cozy like a living room, and there it grows? or perhaps instead love arrives before we create it, like a sudden spark, a buzz of chemistry, and we are open or lucky enough to recognize and be in it.

there is new love for me, in more than one place. i have three new sara’s – all of them like that, without an ‘h’, and i adore each and every one utterly {my sara/h total by the way is getting very large; i imagine it is because when i was seventeen my mother lamented the fact that she hadn’t named me sara, after my great grandmother. “you’re such a sara” she said, as i rolled kerri-lynne around in my head and tried to figure out how i had landed there instead}. other new loves have come because of my maya, and the people i encounter as we move together through her almost ten year old life. there is the beautiful feisty one with the soulful daughter, the sweet mama-to-be with her lovely-like-the-moon serene face, and the gorgeous one who gathers us under the big tree for warrior pose and rounds of sun salutations. there are the moms and non-americans i’ve connected with on the playground for years that i am finally able to carve time out with for coffee or cocktails and a vow to keep our daughters kind. there are sisters, and husbands and wives, and single worker bees like me. i spread jam on toast with them and covet their shoes and generally feel so at ease in their presence. my calm or theirs? i have no idea.

and there is the tall one. with the kind heart and freckled shoulders and long arms who can scoop me in and slow me down and make the hard work and fatigue disappear. the one who makes me feel beautiful and remembers a bit of the girl i once was and sees the girl i still am. who treated me with respect and to italian a hundred years ago in nyc in a few shared moments as i was leaving the west coast far behind yet again. the one who is a man and not a boy and works harder than even me and loves his son with ferocity and still finds time to land here, in the cozy house, for food and wine and practical jokes and the softest slow downs. i am mountains to his ocean, stocking caps and scarves to his laundry-weathered tshirts and shorts, an emotional, delicate flower to his pragmatic, scientific self. but there is coffee to indulge in and walks to be taken at dusk and there are martinis, and work nights with bourbon and chocolate, and tennis balls for lucy and the big, deep sigh as we sink in to the big, deep bed. is it a sure thing, with a name and a label and a sense of what will come? not for a moment. but there is quietude and integrity and a touch that lingers and sunflowers just when it seems i need them. and in this moment, all these gifts, so unexpected and surprising, are perfect and enough. just perfect. and just enough.

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4 Responses to “love and happiness.”

  1. Inger Briggs Says:

    Kerri,
    As always, a wonderful read. I look forward to the next one. I see no reason why after ‘Forty, forty’ continued writings under “Fifty, fifty” should not follow. Thank you for sharing.
    Inger

  2. loreen Says:

    i love your way. your way with words & thoughts, your daughter, any dog – some cats, the space you keep yourself in, your ability to get anyone to do whatever it is that they think they don’t want to do, shoes that don’t match outfits in my world, a grocer or clerk, a cup of all day coffee, your quiet in my loudness, your strength in my insecurities, mom and dad (especially dad), all sisters paths we cross, soulfulness, change now, love-bombing, sparking a laugh – near or far, and always striving towards the inner and outer balance. Found or not, you work solid for it. that kicks ass. i liked this writing. putting yourself right out there. you’re my sissy-lou.

    • fortydeluxe Says:

      you make me cry with happiness. i can’t imagine how i got so lucky to have you as my sissy-lou too/either. thank you lorpi. can’t wait to kick some ass with you and take care of a lot of dogs while we do it. xo

  3. June Holmberg Says:

    Beautiful and warming! I have also thought I might be a Sara and have been told so by others. So funny!


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