photo location: the Irving Nature Park, Saint John, NB
Today has been a very difficult day. It has been one of those days that rip your heart from your chest and the fix-up for such a maneuver seems to entail stuffing it back down your throat. It's kind of the same in a generalized sort of way, so who gives a fuck, right?
My energies are explosive. I don't know at what point I became such a force to be reckoned with, but I can make my dog tremble with one slight intonation of my voice. I am like some sort of She-Ra in a state of utter incomprehension about the effect I have on others. I am the baby of the family and let me tell you, in no way did any opinion I ever had about anything every sway the goings on within the little microcosm of my family life when I was young. My sisters never listened to me. My mother didn't either. But here I stand, at the helm of the ship that is my family... a reluctant quasi-captain feeling woefully under qualified to lead in any real way or perhaps baffled that I am expected to even after so long a time. My husband relies on me for every mundane decision that needs to be made around here and I hate that. I think all women do. Yet, we make it easy for this dynamic to devolve into such a state because really, who are we trying to kid when we pretend it will all be okay if things aren't done exactly the way we want them to be? I know that much is true. But I still hate it. Perhaps that means I hate myself? Perhaps I am a victim of the patriarchy somehow—but I doubt it. And I don't even mean to focus on the negative attributes of myself or my husband and yet, my observations are thus. But Ian is a good man with many excellent qualities, so don't get me wrong and don't be too harsh to judge me as the culprit. He is a spark. I am gasoline. It gets heated from time to time.
I went for walk with my daughter today and she told me she is still missing her aunt (my sister) a lot. Of course, we all are. There is a void and it will never be filled again and we have to figure out how to grow up and around it. It's not easy. We all loved (love) her so much, but she was an especially important person in my daughter's life. They were incredible friends. But, tonight, Olivia admitted to me that she is starting to forget what her aunt looked like. She can remember her laugh, but not her face, she said. What do you say to make that better? What can you even do? I am a sentimental person and I know that I am. I love people deeply and dearly and it goes way way way down in. It goes through every fibre of my being and so, to say I miss my sister is an understatement. I am totally and completely rattled to the fucking core. I don't know how to do this. I don't. And I don't know how to make it easier for the one person in the world whom I try to shield from the dangers within it the most. I feel like I am failing miserably. But, Ian says "let's just try again tomorrow. That's all we can do." His wise words feel like glass in my ears because holy fuck, if you are so wise at this juncture, at this crucial time when things are so fucking heavy and strange and difficult, why the fuck can't you decide the little things and take a little of the burden from my shoulders? We fight. We argue. I can me very cold and I can be very right, when pushed to it. I know it. Our ability to communicate is about as smooth as a bed of nails. And ah, the frustrated wife vent ensues (Ta da!). This is nothing new. This happens many times per year as the Earth is hurled around the sun. The Earth moves so fast, but we don't feel a thing. We just keep fighting over stupid stuff that doesn't even matter. Today was one of those days.
Gravity is relative to the size and mass of a celestial body. I wonder, when life seems to hold such intense gravity that the imperceptible forces of it start to wear you down, but you don't see it happening, can you reach a point of no return? Like the death of a star? Once that equilibrium is pushed beyond its limit, does it all go to hell in a flash? The human body has two options, I think... it can either bear up under the pressure and get stronger still. Or, it can cave to the pressure and become progressively weaker. I seem to be getting stronger despite appearances. I seem to be able to withstand things I never thought I could and beyond that, I seem to have emerged out of the fog with a will to fight. I have a will to push back against that which tries to bring me down. I resist it without even trying. I am scary and I frighten my dog and my husband and from time to time, I frighten my daughter with only a glance. I wish that was a joke, but it's not. I am woman, hear me roar.
But get this: I never ever frighten or upset my son. He understands me in a way that I never thought possible. He just doesn't get rattled by me at all. And, as it happens, he looks more and more like my father everyday. This is a strange turn of events in many ways. Life will take from you and it is so hard, but life will also give you back something you never thought you would have and it will do so in a way that leaves you speechless. I say that because it occurred to me recently that I will be privileged to actually lay eyes on a human being that, by all accounts, looks and acts just like my father. This is significant to me because I was too young to get to know my father when he died and I have absolutely no memory of him to draw upon at all and, if you know me, you know this has been something I have found to be almost unbearably painful. But, here, in the face and mannerisms of my son, I get something back of what I had lost. That has to count for something somewhere and for me, you can be sure I am aware of the gift that it is.
So my parting thought is this: Okay Universe, God, Baby Jesus, Source, Spirit—
you have my attention.