I’m sitting here looking at the ruins of Christmas. Trainsets and marble runs, disheveled looking Christmas tree. I can hear The muffled sounds of G downstairs with Z playing. W is at a sleepover. He’s nearly 14 and I haven’t forgotten how one longs to be with your friends rather than your family.
I took a minute to sit down and then thought to myself how long it’s been since I’ve actually sat with my thoughts. I used to do that all the time and in fact I’d say that that was the hugest part of my identity: thinker, muller, someone who dwelled on most things.
I feel like things have been only skimming the surface. I heard the term this morning… The digital community? The digital world? I told G a few months ago that I felt like my great-grandmother must’ve felt, born into a world without the whir of machinery, airplanes overhead, automobiles motoring by….To have known a certain kind of silence and then have your world utterly transformed so that the world you die in is not the one you were born into.
This isn’t to say I’m not at ease in and with technology its just that the dissonance of the two worlds is clanging so loud in my head these days. I’m sure this is exacerbated by the very fact that my field of interest and study has been utterly transformed too. The act of writing, literary fiction, that world. It’s a strange time.
This is the year that my best friend died. There really isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. Her looking into my eyes, my looking into hers. I’m not going to say goodbye I said. We are going to see one another again. You transformed my life from the moment I met you. Did I tell her that I would carry her with me?
It is so strange when someone you love dies. All the knowledge of whatever was held between you goes as well. You’re left with only your side of things. Holding the faith that however you define that relationship, that that was the way it was. We are so many different things to so many different people. No one really knows what goes on inside our hearts. Our minds. And all of it goes when we go. Her husband said to me that he assured her that there were no things undone, nothing left unsaid. We were walking their dog who was bounding in the snow and he turned to me, the bitter wind blowing, and he said but of course that’s not true. There was so much left undone, unsaid.
I always knew that I was a solitary creature. I have let very few people completely into my heart and life, not even by design maybe a function of time and age. At 12 I was vulnerable enough and broken enough to let her in. And strangely though I would make deep friendships nothing would be like the friendship I had with her. And I would feel as if I wouldn’t need another. My own personal cosmology had somehow worked out the fact that since I had such a loss early on no universe would conspire to make another.
But somehow I knew from the moment she told me of her diagnosis. Her cancer came into her life right as my daughter came into mine.
This world has a terrible and brutal sense of balance.
When I sat down in this chair I thought to myself 2014 is going to be the year that I take care of myself. Return to myself. I told G not too long ago that one of the biggest problems is that I have lost my sense of self, who I had been in the mountains, who I had redefined myself to be. I had never fit into this box that the city required of someone. No more so in adulthood than in childhood.
I took down my battered moosewood cookbook yesterday and thought that maybe it was just as simple as going back to the food I used to cook, the things that used to bring me joy– capturing moments when I can to read, write, to exercise, to make soup.
Hopefully I will write more here. I wonder what the end of your year looks like. Where you are, who you are, what do you look forward to 2014?