Renewal Forty-Four : The Problem With Cycles
I woke up feeling a little melancholy this morning (ahhh, those rhythms). I suppose that all of the outpouring of emotions has had its impact. I remembered my mother’s last days and the way she, my siblings, and I all felt the agony of it. I started doing the old scenario about what if nothing happened, if there was not going to be a woman, if there was not going to be the home or land, if there was not going to be the work environment I wanted, if there was to be no beautiful dying, and so on?
It is amazing how thoughts and emotions interact.
I truly miss having a woman. There were obviously good things that I embraced about each of the three women with whom I was deeply involved. And my most current memory, of course, is of the last one. Despite her being all over the charts, she could be quite the charmer. I liked the energy of that, even if I was suspicious about her true heart. I suppose I liked it enough that I was willing to work with the illusions of her heart. In another way, I hold the same thoughts for my second love. I liked her perspective, she could be quite sharp, even if she tended to espouse whatever she had most frequently read. I miss the qualities that I liked in all three, even if I don’t miss their propensity to set me up. Today, those qualities that I did like in them, I missed very much. And, at 54, I realize that I can’t keep doing this pattern or I will be alone. In fact, that was part of my melancholy this morning–that I would be alone.
I’m guessing that melancholy must work for me sometimes.
I had a conversation with a lady at work yesterday, a lady who is having a rough spot in her relationship. I do not know much about this woman, but I thought I saw resentment, under the guise of frustration at what she perceived to be her lover’s lack of attention and communication. I asked if she was doing the same to him, but just from the opposite side of the coin. I asked if there was all of this criticism, contempt, withdrawal, and defensiveness on both their parts (terminology from Gottman & Krokoff’s 1988 research). If so, who would stop? I asked if she had asked him for what she wants, if he had asked her, or if they had been at it so long as to have gone quiet.
It is disheartening to hear and see. I hope they find their way. In my world, every relationship that does not, is a loss felt by all of us.
All right, speaking of losing one’s voice and of stereotypic responses, I want to go to see a performance tonight by Guillermo Gömez-Peña. I read a book of his about three years ago and it seemed clear to me that he understands many of the problems with race, immigration, stereotypes, and the loss of one’s voice. And he is very funny, outrageous, and pointed in his approach. The humor though, is often muted by the underlying message–how ridiculous humans can be in our attempts to create hierarchies and stereotypes.
If I can get out of here, I will go alone. That in itself is not a bad thing, but I remember getting excited about sharing these kinds of things in an intimate relationship. I do miss the sharing and the excitement of new learning with the one closest to me. In the midst of all of the relationship chaos, there were those moments. I know that the absence of an intimate relationship does not mean a lack in me, a someone-else-to-fulfill-me syndrome. There is a preference in me however. I want to share my life with that particular woman and I want her to share with me. I will never grow so old as to not be aroused by the excitement of doing or learning new things. I will never grow so old as to not be aroused by the excitement of remembering sacred places and memories. In such times and in such places, I love the smile that engulfs the spirit. I want that, that sense of home, that sense of a ground, that sense of a relationship like I feel with the earth–of safety, or nurturing, of endless possibilities, and of endless wonder.
Perhaps it is the profound emotionality of the last few days, perhaps it was the despair in the woman’s tone about her own relationship, perhaps it is remembering the manner of my mother’s passing, but I do feel loss.
In that, I may not want to dwell, but I do not want to ignore it either. If handled correctly, it is a way to honor and remember the past, which can heighten the present moment.