Tag Archives: love
memory I miss you. As I say it, a multitude of people run through my head. I can see faces frozen from moments in time that our souls touched. I feel the emotions of that moment for an instant. I can latch onto them, but it feels like grabbing a cloud. Trying to hold them makes me feel their absence even more. The people that trapse through my memory are in tiers. The first round are those I miss more acutely. I see my kids. I remember the moments of tension and separation. I see moments in time of intense love. I feel the love despite the hostility. I see the love in good times and bad. I can feel it. I long for it, and I mourn its loss. I try and grasp it and I grasp at the giggle, like trying to hold color. I see lost loves. There are distant ones and recent ones. I can feel the connections and the laughter. I can feel it all over again and I hear the voice that explains why we couldn’t stay together. The soft echo of the inner critic whispers that I will never find a lasting love. I hope it isn’t true, but part of me is resigned to capturing the fleeting moments. I see old friends. Friends that stayed, friends that left. I see a journey of friends, some for a reason, some for a season, and a few for a lifetime. I long for those moments of kindred spirit. I don’t know how to make friends like that anymore. When I was a kid, you just asked if you could play whatever game and suddenly you had a new best friend. I tried that a few times as an adult. “Hey, I see you are doing that thing you do, want to be friends?” Heck, there are internet groups that try and foster that very thing. Meetup groups all over the world beckon the adult to make friends based solely on a common activity. I’ve joined several and soon I will go to an event, perhaps. The adventure after divorce is a fascinating one. I spent a long time being deliberately single. I heard the advice that I needed to like myself. I declared I was dating myself for a while and set out to understand and enjoy myself. It worked pretty well. I could be alone without being lonely, for the most part. I came close to living with a few women. I freaked out. I liked my routine. I wanted to be with someone and I wanted to not be with someone. I didn’t know how to be with someone and not completely sacrifice and forget who I was. I wanted to not stagnate again. I wanted to continue to grow and thrive in the newness of each day. I wanted to rejoice at this new day. I just don’t know how to do that. I’ve never had it. Heck, I’ve never seen it. How do you capture a Unicorn? I miss true relationship and I’ve never had it.
That is so odd to say. I frankly never thought I’d ever be 50. When my older brother turned 35, he said that was the age he thought of as old. I didn’t have a number chosen at the time, but 50 feels very old.
I’ve been sober 10 years. I have 2 kids under 20. I was married for 20 years and divorced for 4 years now. I have worn glasses for 32 years. I have friends that I have known for 35 years or more. I have been mountain biking for 28 years. I have lived in 14 different places, 10 in the last 5 years. I drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day.
I have been very pensive about this birthday. That isn’t really because of the number, but rather the circumstances of my life right now. I am 50, sure. But I am single. I have seen my kids sparingly over the last several years (not by my choice). I have moved, yet again, and started a new job, yet again. I don’t know many people here and am feeling pretty lonely as of late. I stumbled pretty hard 5 years ago. I was out of work, out of the house, and beat up pretty bad. I have clamored back to a stand over and over again. I have a job. I have a little cash in my pocket. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful for what I do have. I just miss being part of a partnership. That ended for my 15 years ago or so. I haven’t lived in a partnership, a true dynamic relationship. Now is that because I don’t know how or it doesn’t exist? I read books and listen to experts talk and they seem to think it exists. If it doesn’t, what a cruel trick to play.
Anyways, I am alone and isolated. I am 50. I feel sad, but not because of the number.
What I do have is 10+ years of sobriety, despite the stumblings. I have Hope despite the darkness. I have had to learn to like myself and I can be alone most of the time without being lonely. I have perseverance. I trust myself now. I know that I will get back up. I know that I can survive and be content with next to nothing. I know that I can climb back up. I know that when Lady Luck grinds her heel into my chest as I lay floundering on my back, I will rise again. I know that when I am beaten and tormented I will heal. I know that I have the capacity to love unconditionally in the face of contempt and despise. I know that I crave dynamic relationship and don’t have to settle.
I am 50 and have just begun to grow, yet again
“Count your blessings, ” mom said. And then Id get the look when I started counting like the Count on Sesame Street. Good times.
How come we only say this when stuff sucks? After I won the Pulitzer and the World Piece champion of all time trophies on the same day, not a single reporter said, “Count your blessings, Mister.” Its like this conspiracy to remind you that you are whining. I don’t need the reminder. I know I am whining. I want what I cant have, and I want it now. And as long as you are hurrying on my order, I would like more. “More of what?” you may ask. More of everything. The next time someone tells me to count my blessings and I begin to count like the Count, I want that stuff to go on a long time. Bwah ha ha….
I recently decided I needed to do a gratitude list. I sat down and began to write down my blessings. I had 3 and got distracted for about a week. I spent time on the delayed, but completed list. Many of my blessings were tagged with hurts or losses. I was blessed with marriage, but am since divorced. I have had wonderful friends. I have lost many, some to death, some to attrition, most to time. Each blessing had a bedevilment. As I read the list, the beauty grew from the pain.
I think that the directive to count my blessings from my mom wasnt some condemnation of my tribulations. She wasnt telling me to pull myself up from the bootstraps or have some stiff upper lip. She was saying that I ought remember the beauty that can come from pain. She was letting me know that even when things were hard, God is there with me. She was letting me see that all the things I cherish came from the growth it took to get there.
I spent Christmas with my Dad. We were both going to be alone for the holidays and have our own reasons for not enjoying the holiday season. So, we decided to just hang out together. He is from New Mexico and has occasionally been heard to say that it gets too cold there. I live in Idaho, very close to Canada. And we had a cold snap. And we had snow. Lots of snow. I will never forget the look he gave me after I had to go out and buy a snowblower. It was an interesting combination of pity and disgust. It might have just been he was cold because we had to drive with the hatchback open to get it home. I didn’t ask because I was thinking about how fun power tools are. (It stops being fun after you have to do it three times within 12 hours.)
We had a very mellow good time. We even went grocery shopping. We made meals and watched Sons of Anarchy. We laughed and just enjoyed each other. I was looking in the pantry this morning and I cant find my cereal. There are 2 very large onions, some potatoes, and I think a box of pasta helper I didn’t buy. I also have a new toaster but I am not sure what happened to my frying pan.
He is a little hard of hearing and has a knack for starting conversations as you leave the room. I found myself holding my pee several times while he asked about something or told me a story. I also find myself whispering throughout my day because I find myself talking very loudly whenever I am around him. I slip into interpreting and repeating when we are out at restaurants or in stores. The day after he left I turned on the TV and panicked as the loud explosion on the show reverberated through the house. There was a brief minute, right after I nearly wet my pants, that I forgot that I could turn down the volume.
My Dad has this knack of questioning things he disagrees with. It is very subtle. “So, you like to use crescent wrenches when you put together machinery?” Its not necessarily condemnation, but it is clear that a box wrench or even a gosh darn socket wrench would be better. I have developed two habits when questioned about anything in my life. One is to just say, “Yep.” The other is to have ready a complete explanation and rationale, complete with cited references and quoted statistics as to why the use of a crescent wrench is superior in agility and adjustable functionality. For the snowblower, I just said, “Yep.”
We drive each other absolutely batty sometimes. We are good friends and enjoy each other most of the time. I am baffled by him frequently. I am amused by him as well. There are few people in this world I trust and respect as much as him. Its nice to get to pee when I need, recognize the food in my cabinets, and not feel the need for prepared answers when I use the lazy tool. I can have the TV at a volume that wont frighten airplane pilots.
I miss him.
I’m sitting here alone in a much too big house, starting yet another year, watching the snow fall on a foreign and unfamiliar place. Ive done this a lot over the last few years. Nothing has been familiar or trustworthy. I have tried to find a solid to hold onto. I find myself grasping air, ghosts, at the best, liquid. When particularly afraid, I try to hold on tighter, which just makes me tired and more desperate. Ive been chasing ghosts, spectors, illusions, dreams, and lies.
It started a long time ago. I have always wanted the dream. I wanted to be happily married. I wanted to be popular, successful, brilliant, and tall. I led a façade life. IT was play acting. I was a good actor, well good enough to believe my own performance. I thought that was me. I pretended I was popular, successful, even brilliant. I never did get to be tall. As the turmoil of not being who I really was began to rip me apart, I ran. I was in full flight from reality. I hid. The separation of who I was grew from the truth. I chased the illusion of becoming what I wanted to be. I believed I could be what others wanted me to be. I kept running. I kept grasping. The wind ran through my fingers as I sank more and more into despair. The ghosts haunted me. They teased me. The pointed out how I failed. They showed me who I really was. Over 10 years ago, God spoke to me in a church basement through a group of people that also ran to ghosts. HE told me, “Find me or die.” He said I had a choice to keep moving away, or to stop and change directions. I have tried. I wanted life. I wanted to be whole. I wanted to be a real little boy. I learned. I clamored. I sought. I keep trying. But it feels lie chasing ghosts again. I feel the presence of the Spirit. I can see His hands, feel His love. When I try to hold it, it vanishes.
Since the original message, I chased several ghosts. I tried to chase the ghost of love. I asked for a time to heal my family. I sought real connection I was rejected and tried to seek heart through different ways. IT failed. The host turned on me, biting and hacking. IT was nasty. IT reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when they open the Ark and the beautiful angel turns into a ugly spector. It kept getting worse. My screams and pain only fueled the vengence. The venom, the hate would leak from my wounds. I would lose my life, my kids, my illusions. I would be erased. I held onto the ghost of love, hoping that the love of the kids would outweigh the hate and hurt. It didn’t. I keep sharing my heart. I keep putting the whisper in the wind. I speak love. I speak connection. I speak truth and solid. MY wind is not as strong or present at this point. It aches.
I chase the illusion of success. I have struggled to rebuild a life and a career. I make decisions that I think are the right ones. It all seems to fall in line and then crumble. The illusion is maddening. It taunts me that the success of being who I am is not as important as what I do. I know it to be a lie, however it would be easier to give in to the lie. It would be easy to surrender to the false self again. Chasing the ghosts has worn me out.
I search for the ghost of love. I panic when it eludes me. I open myself to its wind and am met with cold and heartless breezes. The breeze hurt, it leave icicles on my ribs, shielding my heart from the warmth. I close myself again, deciding to not open up again, only to find myself aching once again. The world is so worried about being hurt, we cant open, we can no longer love without fear. Again, I am confronted by the same condition, “Find God or die.” I can fight for that connection to God’s Spirit or die, existing for chasing ghosts. The same ghosts that my heart and mind crave, desire, ache for.
I’m sitting in a foreign land, watching the snow fall, covering the world in ghosts. I’m afraid.
MY oldest daughter was called “Chicken” as a term of endearment from my ex-wife. hen she was a new born, she would wind up and cry when she was hungry. She was very small and looked a lot like the bird in “Are you my mother”. I don’t really understand the logic of how it became “Chicken,” but it did. She now goes by “Monkey.”
I was thinking about that book recently. I realized that I am that bird. Not because I get hungry and wail an unhappy tune, but because I didn’t know how to form relationships. I still don’t, but I am learning. It isn’t important how I missed the message of relationship as a child, but I did. There was just something about it all that baffled me. I wasn’t clear on how to express my needs or get the attention I desired. I fell into the habit of crying and stealing. I wasn’t really a bad kid, but did seem to get caught a lot. I wasn’t very good at being bad. However, it did help me get attention. As I noticed that yelling, crying, and general mayhem wasn’t working for me, I ventured out of the nest. I also fell to the ground with a thump. I didn’t know how to navigate this big world and wanted someone to care for me and help me.
I came up to the cow in the pasture, asking if it was my mother. In my story, this was girls. I wanted girls to like me. I tried to be funny. I had to, I wasn’t very athletic. I tried to be nice, because I was also conflict avoidant. I tried to be smart, which didn’t work because I was also a last student. I flirted and tried to get attention. Occasionally, I would have success. I could do all the right things and try and be the perfect boyfriend. I developed the strange tendency to fall in love very quickly. By the end of my adolescence, I could fall in love, run a life scenario, be divorced and depressed by the time I got back from the bathroom. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted to be the Prince Charming. I wanted to freeze frame my life whenever it seemed perfect. But it was celluloid madness. In fairy tales and romantic comedy (adult fairy tails with brief nudity), the reality of life never seems to sneak in. The cow was not my mother.
I went to the steam shovel next. The steam shovel was alcohol. IT actually made me feel better for a short period of time. When I drank, I was 6 inches taller, gorgeous, and brilliant. It told me that I was wonderful and funny. It also said I was sexy and smart. I held hands with this pseudo-mom for a long time.
When I left the steam shovel behind, the cow reappeared. It told me that it was my mom after all. That in order to know if I was alright, I needed to have others, and women in particular, tell me I was ok. I sought it in my marriage first. It was exhausting for her, and she was unable to rebuild me. It was like having 5 million dollars to rebuild the 6 million dollar man. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how to really love. I had been putting on a happy face and trying to do it right for a lifetime. The cow bit.
I would like to say that I had the same happy ending as the bird. I didn’t get to find my mother in the physical sense. I did hear her voice telling me that I did learn how to love, I just don’t recognize it. My fear gets in the way. My low self regard got in the way. My mom said I should stop yelling and crying and listen to my heart.
My head is confused with the songs and movies of the 80’s. I imagine that love is possessive and forever and grand gestures. I want to think that I will believe that every little thing is magic, and we will live happily ever after just like we are in this moment, and that all I have to do is hold a boom box outside her house before my kick boxing lesson.
IT wasn’t that I didn’t learn to love. IT was I didn’t learn to love myself first.