Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life and Love and Moving On

Down the hill in the house strung with lights around its olive green deck there is laughter and singing. There are people with guitars under the stars and female voices sing "We want to write a song about life and love and moving on."  The dogs are being disobedient so I hope the people don't hear my whistling and chiding on the hillside above them as they sing. I swish my flashlight back and forth conspicuously.

The English don't like to talk about much. I wish I could write about my evening honestly, but there seems to be very little upside. I wish I didn't have to feel so much because it doesn't feel very English. I actually fantasize about writing the truth here. Not that I write lies. It's all true, with great huge swathes cut out. It's a curated truth, I suppose. I fantasize about the catharsis of revealing everything, and of trying to make heads or tails of it when it's boiled down to words on a page, just little black and white squiggles instead of the blood and guts way it feels, swirling in my head.

If you're easy on yourself you realize that it takes a while to unravel two destinies, knotted together. If you've ever had two little fine-linked necklaces that have become entwined, you know what I mean. If you're good to yourself and kind you will know that this takes time and there is no easy way to undo the knots, that in fact time is your friend as much as you hate time.

Time goes so quickly says my mother. She can't wait for the summer when the children and I will be in Norway. I think about it too. Two weeks of simple bliss and sweet yellow cheese in the middle of an atrocious year.

Everyone thinks I am fine. My therapist tells me that its because I don't show my vulnerability although I think I show it plenty. I think "heart-on-my-sleeve" is my middle name. I'm quite happy everyone thinks I'm fine. Miserable people are boring, afterall, right?

And dating, everyone's asking about that. I don't have the strength or the confidence, truthfully. I just can't imagine anything worse than sitting down for dinner with someone I don't know and having to be "on." I love male company more than anything but not like that, not awkwardly.

Time goes quickly apparently. I really hope so. I just don't want to be here now, if you know what I mean. Here in June sounds good, or here in July, or even May, but not January. Not January. It's too tiring.  And there aren't even snowdrops.


Janelle said...

so poignant. so very beautifully written. it makes me want to come in a rocket and ship you away from your january place to somewhere wildly different...just for a while, just for january. stark writing. stunning. x j

Anonymous said...

This so spoke to me. I trod a simialr path. Knotted necklaces indeed ...but the wheel turned as yours will too. I had a counsellor for a year, did low, low and endless worry and low, as well as the simplicity of just one life and other soothing areas. It will pass but this is the price of the love and life you had. Shit tho!! But 7 years later i can laugh with ex. Took years tho.
Dont even think about dating! Do dogs and true friends. And build up foliage of support. A time will come but dont be pressured by people who have no idea of yr inner life
Many hugs

thelma said...

I think most of us feel your pain but feel helpless in expressing any answer. Cliches there are many but all useless, focus on your dogs, food and flowers and of course children they bring light and happiness in their own small ways.
Big hug from a very cold England X

Anonymous said...

Nothing really helps except time. But it does help. I had good advice from a therapist who said that once experts thought grief - after a divorce or a death - was linear so that you very very slowly started feeling better one day at a time but always heading in the same direction. But now they recognise these mood swings where one day you feel fine and the next day dreadful and it is absolutely exhausting. That made sense to me when I was going through it and all I can say is that it does get better in the end and that in the mean time you have to be as kind to yourself as possible - from nice cups of tea to holidays in the sun (whatever it takes and you can afford) good luck

Beatrice said...

I recently discovered your blog and absolutely love it. Re: dating, give yourself as much time as you need. After my rough and unexpected divorce, well-meaning people asked constantly when I was going to start dating again. I was single for almost two years before meeting, casually and through mutual friends, a lovely man, and I don't regret those two years of dogs and friends and figuring myself out at all.

Katherine C. James said...

I think we all tend to tell a curated truth—a lovely way to put it, by the way—and I suspect many of us fantasize about the catharsis of revealing the truth in the "blood and guts way it feels." But I've read, and I think it is true in my life, that spilling out too much may only prolong the hurt. We are the neural pathways we choose to trod, and spending too much time in the dark woods may not be as ultimately helpful as choosing to walk more in the light, even if we have to keep moving cat-like to locate that tiny spot of sun in our lives and mind. I'm one of those "everyone thinks I'm fine" people who does not generally show her vulnerability, though it took me years to believe others could not see what was so obvious to me. I wrote a friend recently that all the advice about choosing to spend time with happy people seems to push people going through unhappiness into an awkward, lonely position. I am not sure if miserable people are boring; maybe only endlessly miserable people who are not working at unraveling the tangled necklaces are boring, or rather, too heavy a burden to share without end. I think when you open up and share more on your blog you get echoes of relief. I think we are each of us grateful to find we are not the only one who has ever felt some certain, soul-wrenching way. It is brave to show vulnerability, loss, sadness, as well as happiness, but I find that the words to describe how such complexities truly feel come hard, or not at all. Love to you, B.

lillyanne said...

I love your honesty, and I love what Katherine C James said. Someone recently quoted a line from a play (don't know which play) which goes something like: "No one wants to hear how tired you are, or about your acid reflux, or what happened to you at the airport." And when I finished laughing, I realised the truth at the heart of that. But the neural pathways of sorrow are hard to re-make. I hope you find a way.

LPC said...

More likely one day you'll just take a second look at someone across a table, or a desk, and think, "Hmmm." Dating is horrible - and it really shouldn't be necessary.