I love, I love not

17 Jun

Having grown past the shock of the persistence of aging, I found myself in a sea of remorse with nothing more than metaphoric water wings, of which I relied completely upon to carry me through each subsequent stage of grief.  The wings themselves consisted of waning bits of optimism, tireless stocks of hope and self-deprecating humor, the company of other relics caught in the same storm, and loving encouragement from my children.

the old gang

When least expected, I awoke from the madness feeling confident and completely at peace.  All signs of panic had vanished; it was as if having been victim of a terrible virus I’d assumed would last to the end of my times, I had spontaneously healed.

Thus, in earnest, began Phase II, a great reconciliation, of sorts.  It was an otherwise unremarkable period with the exception of occasional energy bursts and perplexing eruptions of silliness and laughter that oddly coincided with the arrival and duration of spring.

This amazing lack of anxiety caught me off guard; I began making lists of things to do, and then, quite un-expectantly, did them.  My dad always said there is something wrong with everything, and indeed, his philosophy proved true for me as I felt myself inexplicably turn from teacher to observer of the puzzling phenomenon called life.  Suddenly it no longer felt like a requirement to give my opinion on every subject entering my personal space, quite the opposite; I was compelled by invisible unknown forces to keep my mouth shut while listening to the opinions of others.

Although I’d sincerely tried to do this before, I had been unsuccessful. Strangely, this time it was a natural progression, a silver-haired right of passage that effortlessly squashed  the Queen EGO, who had, until that very moment, commandeered and dominated the entire mother-ship.  In subsequent days, I felt as if I’d awakened on another planet; so much of what I had grown accustomed to had disappeared.  But as weeks passed, I indulged in the novelty of sweet surrender, growing stronger but less attached everyday.  It wasn’t as if I no longer cared; I did, but the emotional baggage attached to evolving current and personal events had disappeared, leaving me fresh and full of vigor.

waking on another planet

Currently, I’m in what can only be called Phase III, the playground of the devil; a mental sphere separating old habits of strict discipline and strong opinions to a more abstract conceptual attitude about everything, as I simply continue to hold my tongue.  All of this change and I am still not afraid.

The brevity of life eventually makes prophets and soothsayers of us all as we observe the cycles and repercussions of evolving life.  I can sit for hours watching the wind play in the trees.  I can lose myself in the flight of fire flies, or I can calmly observe younger generations rushing into each day with the zeal and urgency of a mob of small children with new toys they don’t want to share, or with the apathy of defeated orphans.  I can sign a dozen petitions a day, write letters to politicians I know no one of power will ever read, and make 10 telephone calls a week imploring one person or another to do the right thing while feeling as if my entire body is floating above the lunacy of it all.

fireflies

As far as the drama unfolding across the world that bravely, or foolishly, is fastidiously shared via social media, I have a pretty good idea how it will all end.  It’s like watching a re-run of history repeating itself as if no one was paying attention the first time around. And I can choose to either shake my head in disbelief, or consciously disconnect from the chatter of angry old men and women who’ve soured on everything that doesn’t fit under the narrow microscopic lenses of their own philosophies as they systematically crack the whip across the backs of the unfortunate.

I can do all this without falling apart.

Sometimes I make eye contact with everyone in the grocery store.  Other times, I stare at my shoes, leaving my tongue at home on a comfortable chair, or in a loaf of rising bread, or in the melodies of old Patsy Cline songs.  Some days I love the world, some days I do not.  Some days I relate, see myself in everyone else; but there are days I look past every face letting each blend in a massive blur of anonymity, and I feel absolutely nothing.

grocery store crowd

My New Age friends are quick to say everything is as it should be, but they’re full of bologna.  No one is supposed to starve to death.  No one is supposed to be raped or tortured.  Philosophically speaking, some days it is sunshine, others, it is rain; but even in the depths of the darkest storm, even with the floor boards coming loose and tripping us up,  we can agree to quit fighting ourself, understanding that if everyone else did the same thing, the world would immediately begin to heal.

I don’t worry much that there are so few years left in my life to live, instead I worry for the quality and abundance of those left in my children’s and grandchildren’s lives.

Morgan's birthday 2012

chris and billie  Brian and kiddos Crissy and Trent Chris and kids roller rink

ashley

I refuse to wring my hands or join the angry disillusioned masses of seniors scorching the good earth as they march against time trying to bring back the old days.  The old days are gone; we need to learn from them.  Today didn’t just happen; we formed it, all of us, but many of us will die, leaving the mess for others to clean up even as they struggle with their own generational responsibilities and challenges.

The only constant in my off and on love affair with life are the feelings I have toward children.  Their plights and futures put an extra kick in every pump of my heart.  I worry about all of them; borders and nationalities mean nothing to me.

Last month, I watched a child standing in a food line with her mother who apparently has Down syndrome.  There was nothing I could do to change the trajectory of her life.  That gives me pause; reality hurts my soul, but reality is also the cold earth warming in the early days of new spring, and fresh life growing in mossy clumps across the base of winter worn trees. And soft tunes carried on the wind from the strings of a child’s violin to the rocking chair on my back porch.  And clouds gathering.  And bad news on the television every day, and weddings and births.  And hope for future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Responses to “I love, I love not”

  1. witchyluck June 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Yes. I, too, have suddenly realized that for the most part, there is nothing I can do about it. Any of it. So I stick to what crosses my path. I wish the UN would devote it’s self to feeding and educating the children of the world. It would do more long term good than all their interventions between bickering counties.

  2. Tracy June 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    Beautiful words Itty!! I can only aspire to find your peace and serenity!❤️

    • ittymac June 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      All life is a process. Peace Will come.

  3. Pete Lamont June 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Great writing as always…maybe the best ever! Miss the regular communication on Facebook, but it sounds like you are moving ever forward and making sense of life…and what life throws at us. I hope all is well!

    • ittymac June 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

      I sure miss you, Canada. I hope you and your family are well. We’re feeling good over here. Glad you enjoyed the post, like everything I write, it comes from the heart. I’ll send a newsy email soon, I promise.

  4. Susan Harrison June 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    I miss you, too, Bev. Understand the need to stay away from drama, when you hve plenty of your own. Stay positive and healthy as you can.

    • ittymac June 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      I miss you too but know you understand.

  5. 2ndhalfolife June 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Amazing piece… Funny someone I’ve known for many, many years wrote me an email last night in response to one I sent her and told me I was “stuck” and “emotionally bleeding”! While she has “known” me, she does not “know” me Itty. These descriptions of me couldn’t have been farther from the truth! As you describe here…(better than I could ever hope to do), I have never been in a more peaceful and balanced place. Surely I have done my work and earned this space with my life’s junk tossed at me, but I’ve been actively making an effort to get to this quiet place. I have my moments, but they are hardly bleeding anymore….Thank you for putting it so beautifully!

    • ittymac June 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      People see what they “need” to see based on their own issues. I’m glad you enjoyed the post; that means a lot to me. 😊

  6. Claudia Anderson June 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    What’s amazing is that you say everything that’s in my heart and head. Part of me still wants to turn the clocks back; the majority of me says “what for?” I wouldn’t have done anything different…I would have loved as hard and long as I did the first time around. I don’t know if age slows down my reaction time, the depth of my needs or the thoughts of the future. I’m hoping the future settles down for me personally…I can’t change the rest of the world, but I can wedge this way or that for my own comfort. Love you writing, Itty.

    • ittymac June 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      We’re often on the same wave lengthen, Claudia. Lol! If I could do it all over again, I’d take more chances and lighten up. Outside of that, I’d pretty much blaze the same path. Thank you for your thoughtful words. I always look forward to your input.

  7. Archita June 18, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    I didn’t want to be one of them, “rushing into each day with the zeal and urgency of a mob of small children with new toys they don’t want to share”. There are days when I feel I cannot do anything to make everything better, there are days when every single thing makes sense and I wonder why! I stopped searching for reasons, or getting surprised by all indifference of many of this cell phone and social media obsessed generation. Change will come slowly. Some of us will bring, hopefully. This world will be a better place someday. That’s the dream and I hope to see the change in my life time. Your post is so vividly layered and wonderful. Thank you for writing this. 🙂 Take care. 🙂

    • ittymac June 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

      You make the world a better place everyday with your insight, thoughtful words and kind energy. I believe the world will change within your lifetime but probably not in mine. My concern is not for me anymore, but for others. Thank you for your positive words concerning my writing. I value your opinion greatly.

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