My sleep is definitely disturbed - although sometimes I suspect that my entire sleep pattern has changed now that I'm over fifty. Despite AARPs marketing claim that Fifty is the New Thirty, once you cross over to this side of Fifty, you're in the old poop zone. The only reason it's the New Thirty is that our life spans have increased and we'll all be working for another 25 or 30 years.
The leaves were changing up in Connecticut this weekend. They'll probably be falling off the trees when I pass through the Catskills in a couple of weeks to go visit Velvet. Family and Alumni Weekend up at Tree Hugger is in mid-October. It's occurred to me that we're fully into the woods these days, Velvet and I. Last year, he and I were both entering new phases of our lives: He was going off to college and I was on my own for the very first time. The Sondheim musical, Into the Woods, still serves as a good model and metaphor for our life situation, but this year, neither one of us is searching for a path. We've each found a path that has taken us farther on the journey.
Although I like the idea that The Journey is The Destination, I still think there is a destination. That destination is probably just another path for another journey - but still, you're heading somewhere, even if you don't know exactly where you're going. Yet.
Velvet is apparently doing well on his current path. We're still waiting to see the grades from the latest round of assignments and tests, but he felt comfortable. He's still in the springtime of his life, though, while I'm in the Autumn of mine. My summer was taken up with parenting, therapy and healing - not necessarily in that order. Autumn will probably be more of the same except without the therapy. I love Buzz Kill, and am grateful for our time together, but once I stopped going to therapy, it was clear that I had turned to my therapist for a parenting partner. Buzz Kill and I cannot ever be partners, but we've developed a decent working relationship.
The trees here in New York City are mostly still green, but there's a chill in the air. Listening to the wind in the leaves outside my window, I'm satisfied with the way things have turned out. I can't deny, however, that even though Buzz Kill was my husband, and we will always be connected because he's the father of my child, something has always been missing from that relationship. Relationships have life spans just like people. Buzz Kill and I had a good run, mostly, but once something has lived its life, it's over. I have to wonder, though, if Buzz Kill and I wouldn't have one of those life long relationships if something fundamental were not missing.
Since I have a circle of life long friends, which includes a couple of life long lovers, I can conclude that I'm capable of that sort of thing. From a safe distance, anyway. One thing you can't escape in Autumn is thinking of Winter, and like Gillian Welch says, Time's a Relevator.
Over time, we have revelations about Life, about ourselves and our relationships. We become more and less relevant to those around us.
Back when Buzz Kill and I got married, I still thought that people could complete each other. Be the missing piece that filled your soul. Lots of people believe that, but you live and you learn that you're complete in and of yourself. You bring your complete self into a relationship - or at least you should bring your complete self. We often try to hide the more unattractive aspects, not only from our others but also from our own selves, out of fear. That's just human. We're sad, pathetic creatures, after all, surrounded by beauty that we often forget to see and touch. Now that I've taken responsibility for my own inner peace, and released that frantic clinging to patterns and people, I'm much more content and complete - but I'm yearning for The Other.
I can't tell if I'm longing to be relevant to someone in a generalized way, or if this Other I'm missing is a real person. Naturally, there is a real person involved. I'm just not sure if my longing for him is reality based or if it's Existential. Fairy Tales provide a framework to look at human needs and questions. When you're dealing with something concrete, physical needs like food and shelter, for example, the path is well traveled and clear. You just have to make sure you don't trade your cow for magic beans.
This longing must be explained in another story. I don't know which story I'm living right now, but it's got something to do with Surrender. I'm pretty sure the man in question is feeling the longing too, or else he wouldn't be talking to me at all. We've needed to be separate, and we accomplished that by fighting. We both know about fighting, but I don't think he knows about surrender. I, on the other hand, may know too much. The tantalizing thing about The Other is the promise of balance.
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