February 3, 2018
Happy February! Happy First-Saturday-in-a-new-month! (The days are getting longer and I have been graced with fresh snow this morning. Combined with Saturday itself, does life get any better?)
Today started, as many do, as “Tall Enough to Stand Small” and I am still uncertain as to which way is better. As the days progress, and I continually debate about many life paradoxes, I lean toward the preference of feeling small to stand tall. Days upon glorious days in which the only spectacular declaration or happening is the fact that I can say I am still here. Marvelous! I can walk in the moonlight, in the woods, feeling the strength of legs, torso, spine – feeling tall enough to walk with a bit of swing and a prideful chin. In any instant I only need to look to stars and moonlight or the outline of majestic pines in reassurance of my own smallness. I am but a speck, a drop, a piece of dust, a mere mite alive for a flicker. My flicker, my flame. Me.
And, a small flicker is enough.
The Brick Dandelion.
I confess that I never thought about being single for any length of time after the divorce. I find that revelation about myself a little creepy. I have been divorced for almost three years, in my fifties, working a daily job for an insurance company and creating my own business. Again, uncomfortably I have realized that I never planned to create my life for me. Not this life anyway. My son grows more and more to be well on his way. As a mother, I cycle through countless tears and joys as his growth signals successful parenting from both my ex-husband and I while also affirming the distance of his experiences in another impetus of life paradoxes. As a parent, I could not be prouder, happier and sadder.
But every day I thank G~d I got to be a mother in my life. I got to be a mom.
(Please insert a big sigh, a sniffle and a grin.)
After the extreme upheavals of the past seven years, I am only now turning life into life by creating one worthy of the label a ‘journey’ (I know its one of those ‘ew’ words, but…) And I have to admit to the happiness in my vacillating behavior worthy of being twelve, seventeen or once in awhile, a fifty-two year old woman.
I blame his “I’m sorry.”
With those simple words, cushioned by the safety in time’s passage, I did see, really see, without a smidgen of fear or doubt, that I had lived through some horrific times.
I blame his “I’m sorry” for a forgiveness within myself, in a strength of words which overcame any residual quest to unearth the culprits’ evils, to smear the bowels of their souls on…..
Oops. Sorry. Welcome to me. At twelve. A bit visceral. A bit?
“I’m sorry” could be its own chapter in my speck of life. When faced with the truth, the settling of my continual churn, I finally declared “Enough.” The truth is that I was finally ready to hear “I am sorry” both from him and from myself.
Ugh. Enter the period of my life in which I finally – again finally – decided to create my life as much as I had created for my world around me. I gave myself permission. (Ew). I needed to learn to be my cheerleader. Really?
Somehow being my own critic and naysayer was both more fun and cooler. There’s something magically dark in the twisting of oneself. But in a days worth of both dark twisting and positivity, in the choice between how to spend time – fifteen minutes – I could no longer afford my usual plunge into the shredded pool of my own confidence.
Well actually, I could. I can multi-task, remember?
I could, but – again in the most selfish way I have ever felt – I do not want to. (Huge gasp here).
I do not want to.
I cannot continually pull myself out of that cesspool. I do not want to constantly search for the ladders all the while wondering why it took me so much time and energy to swim in the first place.
Ugh, Steph. Cmon. Steph. Swim.
And I wished to live my life not as their victim.
I do not want to.
In the past weeks, I gave myself permission to want. I want me.
I had always dreamed of spending a winter caretaking the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. What it would be like, roaming the halls, checking pipes and windows and the roof all winter, throughout blizzards with winds that roll across great lakes, meeting to tap at the windows and doors. What it would be like, to write and read and walk all winter long…
I had forgotten that dream until this last snowstorm. Seven or eight inches depending upon how you measure and my driveway was not plowed for a day and a half. Honestly I have a jeep and an old 95 pickup truck which I am sure I could have bombed through drifts. But why?
I may never live the Grand Hotel winter caretaking dream but for two days Wally, Poesey and I rejoiced at the blowing snow circling around us in the woods.
The Story of Es.
“Look,” Es tapped me on the shoulder. She had lifted her shirt to show the wound from the shadow beast. The ooze of blood had disappeared with a curve of red and pink. Only days before the wound looked battle-torn but now, as Es assessed her condition, she seemed pleased with the mending of new skin.
“Do you think it is a serpent or a flower?” she asked, her eyes dancing while a finger traced the slice on her stomach.
“Maybe it is the dance of both…”
All my love,