Monday, September 30, 2013

Crisis du Jour

I mean, how much more can I love Buddha?
No more. It's not possible.

A few months ago I was in the happiest place on earth: a therapist's office. If you've never gone to therapy, you are seriously missing out on one of life's greatest joys. You can read more about how great therapy is >>here. At any rate, my wonderfully brilliant therapist assessed that I "use my dissatisfaction to create change." That may or may not have been used in one of these posts, without proper attribution, but I figure I've made it my own by now.

And I have. When I am dissatisfied with something I seek to change it, or at least to change how I think and feel about it. Some things I cannot change. I have to pay bills, I have to feed my children. HOW I go about doing that has been a matter of preference at some times, a matter of convenience at others, and also, of course, a matter of sheer obligatory necessity. I haven't always liked it.

Self-awareness is a relatively shitty thing. It's much easier to go about your day in ignorant bliss, having no clue that deep, deep inner desires are going unfulfilled. Sleep doesn't evade people whose heads are so far buried they can't see daylight. And if they don't care, I certainly don't care for them. But, you know....I AM self-aware. I am intimately connected to what it is I need from life, from spirituality, and from each mundane moment that make up the days and weeks and years of my life.

When it's not all going well, I find myself dissatisfied. And then I find I am called to action. So right now, I'm in a bit of a quandary, about which the specifics are pretty boring, even to me. But I'm at a crossroads again - which way do I go? The path I want to take isn't the "right" path. Remember those obligations? They seem to follow me around like a little lost puppy, and how am I denying sad puppy eyes?

I'm not.

But...then again....I want to take that other path. The one that lets me be all of me and live out some kind of idealized Virginia Woolfish, Susan Sontagish, Sylvia Plathish life...except without all the suicide and harm. Here's another thing my incredible therapist once said: We don't always have to find fulfillment in every aspect of our lives.

If we have one or two areas of our lives so ripe with happiness, so contentedly gratifying that we just know THIS is what it's all about, then we're good. Even if those moments are small, or fleeting. Even if we have to wait all day for them, and experience them just before sleep, or during sleep, or just when we wake. You see what I'm saying, yes?

Learning to let go of the desire that all things, every minute, should be the epitome of grandeur and completion allows us to fundamentally tap into the joy that waits for us in "our thing," whatever that is. For me, it's this. Right now. Typing words that someone may or may not read. I have no clue. It's not in the readership that my joy resides: it's in the writing.

Despite the fact that I can't type my own thoughts all day every day, doing it now is refilling the cup that empties out all day. And my dissatisfaction gave me this moment.

PS - sorry you had to get that moment, too....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A letter to my children...and yours

To my dear, sweet wonderful children,

Tonight I have learned that a friend, a woman near my age, with a child near your age, is struggling for her life and praying for a miracle. She is facing life's final moment and only began this battle a few short months ago. Beyond the hurt I feel for her and for her family is the lingering sadness that they've not had enough time to even attempt to make things "right." To say the things we should not leave unsaid.

All by itself, that's the most perverse thing I've ever written, because a mother cannot ever make things "right" and she cannot ever say all the things that need to be said to her child along their life's path in order to leave her children "properly" behind. But when your child is small, just a little, young person, the burden is impossible.

And so perhaps, if there is one teeny iota of anything not completely dismal about this whole awful tragedy, it's that I'm writing to you now - so you will always know what it means to me to love you.

Every cliche ever written about how much a mother loves her child is just a lie. It has to be because our dumb language has nothing - NOTHING - that comes close to what it means to love your child. Words like "adore" and "love" and "cherish" are used so frequently about so much of the mundane parts of our lives. We "love" a burger from 5 Guys and Fries, don't we? But we also "love" each other. How are the words the same?

I "adore" a really good, strong cup of black coffee but I also absolutely, utterly and consumingly "adore" you, my children. There isn't a word, held in reserve, for only that feeling which has held me in chains since the moment I knew of you.

And maybe that's because THIS feeling, this one in particular that I get to have in my own molecular make-up, defies language. It simply has to live in our hearts, and then, one day, so stinging and sad, in our memories. Maybe this feeling is where God lives, it's where goodness resides and it's where the truest, most untouchable and noble purity can be found. I guess that sort of thing wouldn't have a name, after all.

Because we'd cheapen it every day, by using it to describe how we felt about scoring concert tickets, or getting the newest iPhone, or pair of shoes. This feeling I have as part of my own person isn't for a THING. It lives and breathes and grows inside me, every day as you grow. Even after I'm gone it will be here.

And someday I'll be gone, as we all must be.

Even though I don't actively feel my own mother's love, because she has already gone, knowing what I do now, about how this love works? I know she's not done loving me. If she exists somewhere else, like in Heaven or in another soul, or even if she doesn't - if our lives are like candles that just get blown out - that love she had still exists. Because it's too big to go away.

Because it's what I feel right now, and every day for my growing and glorious children. I feel how it gets bigger even when I think it can't be any bigger or deeper or more wonderful. It occupies a whole part of me that I never even knew existed until the moment I laid eyes on you. And that feeling will never die.

It's a goodness that YOU keep. It's on you like a mark.

Those kisses that we blow each other and put in our pockets? Those are real, my lovely boys. And they'll never ever leave you, because whatever this feeling is has to be life itself.

So as long as you live, you have it. You grew inside of me, are made of me and were borne of me. You have been nurtured by me and, yes, "loved" by me. Every minute of every day of every year.

From now until the end of forever.