Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Little Tree and the Coming Day

The sun is coming up on the East Side. High, wispy clouds - cirrus, I learned in 1982 in the Meteorology class I took at the University of Texas at Austin to satisfy the Math and Science requirements for Liberal Arts majors. Those cirrus clouds are tinged pink, and there's a cool breeze. Maybe it's not the sun that tinges clouds. Maybe they're tickled pink by the breeze - but that doesn't explain other colors. Either way, it's nice out on the terrace in the dawn quiet of New York City despite the construction site a stone's throw away. I know it's only a stone's throw since I've thrown candle stubs and sundry items into the construction site when the mood struck.

This morning, I've been cutting away the dead branches on the ailing Japanese Maple. This little tree was a gift for Buzz Kill's and my fifteenth wedding anniversary. Last gift we received during that marriage. It's done well for the five years it's been out on the terrace in a deep, square planter, but this year it's looking poorly. Branches need to be trimmed back, I hope, since that's what I just did. Buzz Kill and I haven't been getting along well lately at all because I'm finally processing the sadness and rage which led up to and followed our divorce. I worked hard to avoid those feelings until I could feel them without being crushed by their weight. All the while, that tree has been a metaphor for our relationship.

I was surprised to see it thriving for a couple of years while he still lived here - both of us isolated in our respective despair. I had already filed for divorce since it was the only way to get him to fill out the financial papers for the separation agreement. Hell, if the man would have simply shared our financial information with me, we'd still be married - which goes to show that people can love each other but still find themselves in a completely fucked up situation. So even though I had filed for divorce and Buzz Kill was sleeping on the couch, the tree was doing fine. Last year it looked great, but this year it's half dead. Now that I've taken a saw to the deadwood, we will see if, with a little nurturing, it'll come back better than before. Not that Buzz Kill and I will ever reconcile because frankly, I'm not so sure I ever want to be up to my ass in a relationship again, and if I did, it wouldn't be with Buzz Kill even though he has his good points. But the condition of the tree does indicate that love endures just like in Southern Cross (Crosby, Stills, Nash):

I have been around the world
looking for that woman/girl
who knows love will endure
and you know it will
you know it will

I've always believed that Love endures. Buzz Kill and I loved each other. That's why getting divorced remains such a struggle. It's probably why he was over here installing a new ceiling fan in my room yesterday while I was grocery shopping. That and he likes to make his presence felt around the apartment in ways he thinks are helping even though I wish he'd keep his mitts off my stuff. So as I was tending the tree, I wondered where Buzz Kill and I will find ourselves in another twenty years.

Some people come at life from a place of Love. Buzz Kill and I are both like that. Our love got lost under fear and anger, but it has never become loathing because, in the end, we see each other from a place of Love. We're both so enraged that a lot more time will need to pass before we can relax around each other, but the love is still there - like the tree.

The love between me and The Man from San Antone endures. He seems to have fallen off the face of the earth lately. I called him when I was in Texas, but he was in Atlanta for some golf tournament. He always liked sports. I'm afraid that he had to get a by-pass and go into detox because he's not usually so silent - even if he were avoiding me because he suspects I'm angling to take whatever money his first wife left behind. An enduring love does not mean it's a good idea for two people to become a couple. The Man from San Antone and I are more like siblings than anything else. Great fun, unmatched emotional support and loyalty, but not marriage material.

The love between me and Bradley (stonerdate 01.13.09 The Significance of Five Fiancees and a True Love) not only endures but has expanded to include his wife. We've become so emotionally intimate that we're practically a triad these days which, I suspect, means I'm on the short list for taking care of their daughter in case of joint demise - more trusted than the aunts and uncles, for sure. I'm very far away up here in the big city, but the love stretches enough so that I can feel it wrapping around me. That's part of what makes being up here so hard. I'm lucky to have that kind of love from my family, too. Most likely, my family is the source of original love - the one that makes it possible for me to come at life from a place of love. The joi de vivre, the strength and resiliency, the buoyant spirit - that comes from my family of origin.

In the end, it was that spirit that broke through years of feeling unlovable as a result of the early childhood trauma. It's one of life's little ironies that my encounter with The Narcissist led to finding my voice which led to self-acceptance which led to Grace. The love I felt for him remains even though I'm convinced he's a toxic character. In my effort to understand that emotionally impervious individual, I caught a glimpse of the human, vulnerable part of him. Now I know I could see that part of him because I'm not afraid to love, and that's a good thing even when it leads to a world of hurt. I also know that I can take a bloody nose and come out stronger.

I don't necessarily believe in God, but I like the idea of Grace and think Paul Tillich explains it best in his sermon, "You are Accepted." Enduring Love, Grace and Acceptance are all connected, and that little tree on my porch still stands as a metaphor this lovely Sunday morning reminding me of this line in Southern Cross:

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time,
you'll understand now why you came this way
Because the truth you might be running from is so small
but it's as big as the promise
the promise of the coming day


Blogger Gail said...

Hi Trish-

I needed that good cry - and I "thank you" for such an amazing writing of real love with all it's wonder and heart ache an ultimate truth. I love, love love that you wrot about your origin of love from family - God that is SO true. And the tree as a metaphor? Spectacular! You are the tree, the tree is love.

Love Gail

May 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Actually, the tree is the marriage and that relationship sort of sucks - but it's nice to know I can count on you for compliments and encouragement.


May 24, 2009 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

Hi again-

I understand perfectly it's meanings for you. Part of me just saw the tree as a survivor, fueled by it's roots or core of love - every now and then a little pruning or adjustment and voila!

Nd isn't it amazing that the "intruder" is out! She looks so relieved and free - lovely to spend the day with her, Joel and Dolan.

Loving you

May 24, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Yes, I look forward to the story

May 24, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Now that I think about it, maybe you're right. Maybe the tree was always mine and I had to saw off that dead wood for it to thrive again . . .

May 24, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

"both of us isolated in our respective despair."Oh how I remember that bit of a relationship breaking down. So utterly miserable.

You write so wisely of love. I wish I had that wisdom.


May 25, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

Hi Trish and "Happy Memorial Day".

I facilitate a group on the image of a tree - the parts being, the seeds,the roots, the trunk, the branches and the leaves. And then the clients speak about what part of the tree they ally with most at this point in their life. It changes and cycles as life unfolds - ya know?

We are going to a family barbecue today, at my Mom's and sister's place. :-) How 'bout you?

Love to you

May 25, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous dissed said...

My best bet was to give away everything that reminded me of coupledom. I was the civilizing and domestic force in the marriage, so most things "felt" like mine, anyway. Maybe the tree was yours all along and just needs a makeover.

It's a damned shame we can't choose the people we love, or at least install some kind of manual override on our judgment. I have had love up and die for me; that was an enormous relief and one of the best days of my life. Here's to better days for us all. *lifts coffee cup*

May 25, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I'll drink to that - and make another pot of coffee ;)

May 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

You can get fertilizer sticks for the tree, there ain't no cure for broken love.

Take my word for it.


May 25, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home