It has been a long and pensive non-public time for me, kicked into gear by the emotional trip to my property followed fast on the heels by Thanksgiving with family, and then as usual, ruminations on all kinds of things. While I’ve written some offline to keep the creative trickle alive, the rest of me was offline doing some internal processing. I’ve even eschewed most music, except for Philip Wesley’s new offering “Transcend” (no, I don’t get paid), I just sincerely appreciate this artist’s talent and his ability to capture emotion in his musical output. I suspect he might bleed into the piano a bit when he writes his music. But maybe that’s just my weird perception at play 🙂 One of my current ‘repeat’ plays is ‘Unbridled Spirit’, which you can listen to in part at this link. This album is so new there is no YouTube offering that I can find except a cover that lacks the intention behind the original artist’s playing.
One of the thoughts that I tried to communicate to the new widow is that with loss and pain also comes new things and abilities to be uncovered. It is difficult to see in the early days or even years. And perhaps again it is my own unique perspective at work here. It is simply the way it has worked for me, and every individual is different. Some remain in the cocoon of who they have become in a partnership, and others realize as I did, that life is too short and lacking guarantees to live differently than you desire to live. It is a time when, uncoupled from the pulling team that you were by circumstances, you can choose to peel away things and re-discover yourself, or work on the things you let lay or subsumed to be part of a coupling. All such endeavors require a partial denial of self in some way generally, although I suppose there might be exceptions (as there always are!) It is often a step into the Unknown. A warrior(ess) is someone who overcomes their own inner voice, regardless of whose tone that voice carries internally.
Gathering with my family is always a crap shoot. Sometimes we can pull it off with no awkwardness but usually not. This year seemed to be heading for one of those rare good times, and then at the end it blew up. But because my temperament is more even keeled lately, I simply stopped the train at the place where I wanted to get off, tidied up the kitchen a bit, and left the fray. In the past I might have let my emotions get the best of me, with my mouth quick to follow, but I have learned that is a waste of energy. It simply doesn’t lessen the pain. That now rolls in gently and just settles under the skin a bit, and kicks off a lot of thinking about who I am, where I come from, and where I wish to go. Many of the ways I want to live are a direct antithesis to the models my family is. Knowing I have a rebel bent, I have to examine my desires to make sure they are mine, and not some knee-jerk rebellion of the type that my life choices are often predicated upon.
Thus followed a deep examination of what I wish to do, and why. Socrates penned “Know thyself” which is well known to us. But an even better utterance of his for me is: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of what it is supposed to be.” As imaginative creatures, we excel at crafting pictures in our minds of what ‘life’ will look like and be like and then go about manipulating things to bring that vision into fruition. Some of this is good and involves drive, ambition, planning and the occasional bit of luck. The rest of it can be a bit self-defeating and create a rigidity that just won’t work in the real world. We can romanticize things until they are unattainable, and cut ourselves off from other viable paths. We must remain flexible and look at all things from multiple sides. Our vision will rarely align completely with another’s. In every interaction between humans, there is their picture in their head, and our picture in our head. We’re lucky if we have some milestone posts in common 🙂 We waste a lot of energy trying to get others to stand in our footprints and ‘see’ what we see. Unless that person is dependent upon us or intertwined with our path and a deep commonality is needed, then go about your business and let them go about theirs.
My spreadsheets are back out in considering a fully off-grid system, defining ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’ (hard to do!) and trying to think outside of the box while not getting too rigidly stubborn on how to get there. Sometimes you just need to go and work it out in situ. That balance between over-analyzing into deer-in-headlights mode and rash impetuousness is a hard one for me. I have to work constantly at finding that middle road. In the interim I’ve found great inexpensive solar outdoor showers, been led to some alternative fridge methodologies that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and pondered trying to find out what life was like on a day-to-day basis before we had all of these conveniences at our fingertips.
But right now, I need to return to the re-organization going on here at the micro-haus. Busy hands give my mind free reign to explore, examine and process. After helping my middle daughter move, being tackle hugged by two tiny little boys, and bringing home more stuff than I dropped off at the donation center, time, it is a’wastin’!
Till next time, bloom where you are planted, even if in a temporary pot of a color you don’t like!