Thursday, May 31, 2007

Look what I found . . .

This was quoted in the book I'm reading . . . ran across it today. It speaks profoundly to yesterday's post:

Once the realization is accepted
That even between the closest human beings
Infinite distances continue to exist
A wonderful living side by side can grow up
If they succeed in loving the distance between them
Which makes it possible for each to see the other
Whole and against a wide sky.

---Rainer Maria Rilke

(BTW, the book is How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems by Peter Steinke)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Going from "me" to "we"

Since he got back, C has told me in frustration, "No matter what I do, I feel like I'm cramping your style." At one point, Mowgli said, "Both of you need to relax a little." (It's funny--we almost never fight, rarely argue, but both our kids are very tuned in to our relationship. Fortunately, they don't seem to be anxious about it, but the fact that they notice it at all is interesting.)

Anyway, C is right. "Re-entry" after we have been separated is always hard for me--much harder than it is for him. I always think it's not going to be. I'm thinking about him, missing him so much, wishing we were together . . . and then we are, and I get irritable and a little distant.

I know that it's part of those pesky emotional processes Bowen describes--the togetherness forces trying to balance closeness and autonomy. Trying to shift from "me" to "we" after a separation feels like learning to drive a stick: awkward and jarring. We're going out to dinner tomorrow night and if past experience is any predictor, everything should be better after.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All together in one place

Today it all gets better. Today . . . in about five hours . . . C and Boo get back from Disney World and we will be--for the first time since January--all together in one place. Finally . . .

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean

Mowgli and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean today. When he suggested it, I said that we should wait for Boo and C and all go see it together. He looked at me incredulously and said, "They are at Disneyworld; I think it's okay for us to go to a movie without them" so we did.

It was a lot of fun, especially after the disappointment of the second one. It was very dark and violent and definitely not for younger kids but very entertaining and suspenseful. Humor was either very dry and surprising or very broad and silly. If you liked the first one and hated the second (like we did), you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I won't give away the plot except to say that the loose ends tie up nicely but unexpectedly. No real message or moral except "The beautiful people always survive--all the others are expendable" and "We like dads." Sometimes it's fun to see a movie with absolutely no redeeming value!

Friday, May 25, 2007


Yesterday, I got in my car, every square inch crammed with the detritus left over from almost 13 years in one place, and drove to Austin. Not to visit for the weekend but for good. I was a little teary, but fine. It felt so anticlimactic--it was hard to imagine that I was really leaving. An hour after I got here, I was standing in the middle of Randall's trying to find something for dinner because Mowgli informed me that there was absolutely no food in the apartment and that he wasn't eating Rice-a-Roni ever again. Nothing in the store was where it belongs (ie., where my Clear Lake Kroger puts it), I wandered around looking for things and suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired and sad and all I could think was, "I want to go home."

People keep asking me, "How are you doing with the move?" and I keep answering them "Fine!" And I really believe that I am fine--I feel fine--but I've also wondered, "So when does the grief kick in? When does this get hard?"

Well, now I think I know.

I'm learning that for me, grief feels like exhaustion, feeling too heavy to move and too tired to think. It also feels a little bit numb--not completely, just a little. Maybe I naturally have that magic cocktail of denial and detachment that takes the edge off. It feels like some tropical sleeping sickness. I kept telling C that I have malaria and it felt like I really did.

When I finally said the last goodbye, as we were driving away from our friends' house, fully aware that this was the last one, that the farewells were finally over, I suddenly felt tireder and heavier and slower than I have ever felt in my life. Finally, I was smart enough to realize, "So this is what grief feels like."

So here I am, in the apartment in Austin, trying to summon the energy to embrace the future, which right now means taking everything in my car to storage so that I can go with my parents tomorrow to my sister's bridal shower. Putting one foot in front of the other . . . and feeling the grief a little bit of fatigue at a time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

OK, it's official . . . I've decided to blog. Some of you are saying, "Yay! It's about time!" Some of you are saying, "That's mildly interesting." Some of you are saying, "What's a blog?" Well, whatever . . . welcome to my blog.

I've resisted blogging for a long time. For one thing, it seems so narcissistic and self-indulgent, even though I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs, I wasn't sure I had that much to say that anyone else would want to hear. For another thing, it takes discipline, which is something I'm sometimes low on. And then there's the matter of transparency and honesty . . . do I really want to put it all out there for other people to read?

Turns out, I do! Mainly, though, my decision to blog isn't really about me at all--it's about you. If you're reading this, you're either a stranger who randomly found yourself here and probably won't stay long OR you're someone I really love and want to be sure I stay connected to. Between moving to another city and being so crazy-busy much of the time (as are most of you), I am terrified that we will lose the special connection that makes you one of my very special friends.

So, this blog is an experiment . . . can a blog also be a community? Or at least a community-builder? Or a way to share my life with you, trusting that when we do see each other, we will be closer than we would have been otherwise? I think it will only work if you will also post your responses to what I am sharing, so I hope you will. Some of you already know and love each other; others are strangers to everyone but me. Either way, I hope we can all meet here from time to time and share experiences, thoughts, books, an occasional photo . . . we'll just see what happens.

OK, so this is apparently the part of the process where I feel this overwhelming need to have someone come over and read this and make sure it's "okay." I'm going to resist that urge and all the other urges I have to go back and re-read and edit and obsess about what I've written and I'm going to click the "publish" button . . . here goes!