Hmmmm, so just a few days past I gave notice to my preconceived absence, a month working on a novel anticipated to take up much of my free time. (wait, is there such a thing?) Yet then, there occurs the unexpected....the conversations which fuel the thoughts which lead me here.
A phone call. Someone close to me, separated from her spouse, fighting her way through a new world of two jobs and daycare and lonely single parenthood. Long talks in the past of ifs and maybes and might-have-beens....but now there is only...now. And she mentions that she recently asked him, "Why?" Perhaps the most important question--while somehow being simultaneously the most insignificant as it applies to life now because no matter WHY, we are indeed now...here. We clutch at the why to justify and explain and soothe the now that is here....when really the why is often a Ferris wheel of rationalizations that leave us blinking in the glare of fairy lights, unsure where the beginning or the end might be.
The why can be lethal. It can eat at you, endlessly gnawing at the edges of the reasons you once told yourself. The reasons that made sense. In this cake we are all baking--the life we are writing as we open our mouths and pen the words that sketch the picture within that we live...the ingredients matter.
Time. Dear God, the author of such, time is the blood of life. Giving time, taking time, putting aside time. The vampire that is the twenty-first century is poised, clutching the edge of your tattered calendar, fangs sharp and at the ready. Beware lest he wrench that which you love away.
Thought. Oh yes, acknowledge the power of the mind, for it stands between you and the emptiness that awaits just over there...just past uncaring and self-centeredness. Somewhere beyond "I didn't know" and before "I don't care" lies a terrible black swamp of "I forgot." O ye who have no ears...
And the most crucial of ingredients...
Ah, time and thought are excellent beginnings, the magnificent starters of the race. Look, their legs so long, their muscles strong....but do you know who wins the final lap?
Effort. The sweaty companion that doesn't sit down, doesn't rest. Effort is the one who takes the thought and makes the time. He pushes past "I'm tired" and "what now" and thrusts himself to the finish line of "it matters."
"He didn't really want to be married...it was too much work."
I shudder at the world I see being built around us. Where the tower of a lasting relationship is replaced by the motel 6 of convenience. Where it seems many would rather pitch a tent....than get dirty, scrape some knuckles, and lay the stones of a foundation.
It's not just her or him--this story has been written in the marrow of husbands and wives and children. It is not a matter of gender or age, but within the skin of us. I ask you today to just pause amidst the pulse of your life, the rhythm you've become accustomed to. Assess your time, your thought, and your effort.
November has arrived in all its amber glory; the market is bulging with fat turkeys and holiday advertisments are beginning to remind me how much more I have to do. Not to be thwarted, I've accepted yet more to be dished out on my shrinking plate. (heavens, what was I thinking?) Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? If not, go here. A novel in a month? *gulp* Most likely you won't see me again until December when I come up for air--but I didn't want to leave you with the heaviness of the last post so I was reading through some from days past and this one makes me laugh every time. Have a lovely Turkey Day all, kiss someone frequently, and I will be back soon....
HELL HAS ANOTHER NAME
Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
Previously: Best Friend calls to initiate contact. Frivolous discussion about said friend's upcoming trip to Florida; beaches, swimsuits.... lovehandles. "Um.....shall we go for a walk this week, to exercise a bit?" she says. " There's a park near my house with a lake."
"Sounds lovely! Tuesday perhaps?"
Now to be absolutely fair, BF did indeed casually mention that it was five miles. As I tear up about eight in twenty minutes on my stationary bike every other day or so, I thought very little of this.
I pick her up in my blazer, we are dynamically jolly on our way to the lake.
My, that is quite a lake, eh?
We arrive and park, stashing coats in the back seat as the sun is gloriously shining, warming the 43* air to a delusional "warm spring day." I glance about....the women in the parking lot are...a bit intimidating. Folks, I'm wearing jeans. And old tennies. A t-shirt with some bar logo on it and a sweater I often paint in--leaving it dabbed here and there with various pigment additions. These other women have apparently stepped out straight from Shape magazine. Glamorous athletic outfits with glowing piping and detail. Hell, they have matching shoes and headbands! (when did flashdance come back in? Oh wait--those are ear warmers...) They're flipping bouncy pony tails as they tuck designer ipods into tiny waistbands...I hate them.
Picturesque. Blazing sunshine glints off the ice, regal geese meandering through the grass, we stride; long steps and deep breaths. We throw back our heads and laugh, jaunting along, giggling at the construction guys that are actually getting into wet suits. (for some reason they were into the lake under the ice...um, insanity?) Nonplussed, we parade on. The clouds are so fluffy...
Slight wheezing. BF requests that I slow down. So thoughtless of me! Of course, my dear...I'm six feet tall and darling Ag is five foot foot three, completely unfair there. We notice the geese rather stink. We chuckle as we comment that every runner passing us looks to be in pain. Ha, ha, what IS their problem? Is that a hill? My goodness.
The chafing begins. Perhaps they could post a warning, "G-strings are highly unrecommended for long ventures." There was that awkward sideways step with a hop as I try to inconspicuously grab the string through my jean pocket. Ag: "Thats why they make active wear." Wench. "Who's idea was this?"
Oh. My. God. *gasp* "Is that the end of the lake?" Ummm....no. That's just where the trail takes off up the MOUNTAIN there and then bends to the right, circles around and then we have to go all the way back down the other side. Damn geese shit is everywhere! There is now a distinct burning sensation in my hip joints. I'm seriously considering hitching. There is a nice mother and children walking a sweet dog coming our way. We're passing. I smile....perhaps it was more of a grimace as she immediately put one child behind her protectively. Ag: "She's got car keys around her neck. You grab the keys, I'll take out the kids and we'll drive back to our car!" Sheer panic on the woman's face. I smack Ag, "Quit scaring the pedestrians!" In the distance I hear the woman say, "Now THAT is why you should never talk to strangers!" Dear Lord, we've become today's lesson in stranger danger.
I'm now serious about hitching. My right calf has seized. I joke about a ride and some pervy 55 year old man on a bench gets up, "Hey baby, I'll give you a ride." Ag: "Walk FASTER DAMMIT!" I consider replying. But I cannot breathe.
The parking lot.
I'm dragging a leg. Ag sounds like a thrashing grouper. We're nearly crawling and she says, "I know this hairbrained idea was mine, but I'm the crazy one in this relationship here--you approved it! You're like MANAGEMENT!"
This morning I can hardly move. I made it down for coffee...and nearly had a seizure trying to put my socks on.