an Ophelia placegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread
I thought perhaps I'd start this, leave it open for the day, and finish it when I got back from upriver, but it grew too large in the blink of an eye and so I'm just going to lodge it in the Tales and chalk up another for the Muse...
It was good to read your words about Thanks, and Giving it.
I love your writing, again. I loved the story of your dinner with your girls. It took me back to my own family feasts, and made me a bit nostalgic.
My T-Day was spent with family of sorts. For the last 12 years, I've given the staff the day off, and opened the store for that small few hours in the middle of everyone's mad meal preparation, being there with that extra lemon, or that last pint of whipping cream, or beginning to defrost the last frozen Tofurky for a customer "on their way" just as I close.
It's nice to see everyone's joy and connection.
I had a stronger sense of solitariness this year than in years past. There were a few options - the sort extended by loving friends at the last moment who were checking to see if I "needed a place at a table." I begged off, with the store as the excuse, but inside I was feeling a deeper need, beyond the one of connecting, that acknowledges the place that I'm at.
Much like your opining the misguided pursuit of happiness, I suppose I've been pursuing this thing I call "connection" with the same fervent zeal. Misguided, perhaps. I don't know.
And much as your own friends had difficulty with your circumspect homily about happiness , mine look at me sideways (if I give them this much information, which I currently don't) when I say "I think I just need to feel a bit lonely right now, and sit in what I've made for myself, and contemplate what's here..."
That seems to be some sort of sacrilege, or perhaps it's actually a rejection of them, unintended on my part. Solitude on formal Gathering Days is not well understood, and implies a poverty of sorts to those who underestimate the currency.
This season I think I'm having just a tiny emotional cold, one of those hormonal purgative things that clears out the odd isotope lodged somewhere behind the eyes during a particularly dissonant or transformative time, a neuro-chemical byproduct of reconfigured ideas that has no place in my new mind's configuration, and so must be squeezed out in the emetic water of a tear.
There are lots of tribal sanctions against brooding and tears, and when one's in the throes of an emotional purge, clarity of thought takes a back seat, and all the canned tracks come in - the religious maxims from Sunday School and TV, or song lyrics painted the same color as ones' mood - so it can be somewhat difficult to mine the ore of sadness well. You have to sluice a lot of schist to get at the gold of it.
I cry a lot. I always have. I think I cry a lot less than I laugh, but I still cry a lot. My automatic response to almost everything is to laugh. Since I usually see both sides of many things, whatever makes me laugh can usually make me cry, too.
The reverse is true, and this can be helpful when I grow tired of crying, for there's always a smile around the corner if I'd just pick it up, but crying has a function when done alone, and sometimes one just has to wander around the slough of one's history, slog in the swamp, lose a boot (grateful for the other, as you suggest - and the foot to put it on), and get firmly past being bummed about being all cold and dirty and wet.
Have you ever wandered in a swamp?
I have. It looks a lot worse from the outside than it does from the inside. From the outside, it's foreboding and mysterious. It has dark places, and deep places, and unexpected places. Things can get very close to your skin, very quickly - or under it, irretrievably - and the barriers that work in the dry world just don't manage to hold up here.
But from the inside, if you can get past (or simply into) the cold and wet parts, there's a whole different world in there that has a life and functioning ecology of its own. The underside of a fern, viewed while your hair is floating on the water, is a beautiful vantage point to look from - an Ophelia place of soft green lights and yielding surfaces that only give.
And if you're looking up, well then you just happen to be well positioned to catch the sun when it comes out again....
Speaking of - it's making a promise to appear through these Sunday morning clouds, and so breakfast is done, coffee is done, writing is done and it's time to go roll that Dodge down the hill (I finally changed the sparkplugs) and head upriver....
love, as before, easily...
PLUR. Remember PLUR
-- Anonymous, November 25, 2001