There is one thing that I dislike and that is change. For a large part of my life I have had the good fortune of being in line with stability. I was raised in a stable loving family and comfort well it was always there. I knew my parents and my family had my back. I expected forever and I like many others of a young age always believed I would have my forever. Change knocked on my door when I was just 21 years old. Surely I had the world by the tail until that fateful day a knock on the door changed my stability and rocked my world. My only brother, the baby of our family had been killed in a head on auto collision. That day my forever came to an end. I watched as my family sank into a place of unknowing and fear. That day my father became fearful of the world and all the bad things that could possibly befall us. He had lost his trust.
I watch this day as my parents are now elderly. I watch as their gait is slow and they are unsteady. My father is now in a wheelchair and my mother gets around with a walker. I have witnessed my father go from my strong able bodied protector to the man of my heart that I now protect and help. I have winced as I have had to bathe my father and assist his bodily needs shortly after he was confined in the chair. I have seen him gain more strength and learn new skills with his sheer determination and often marveled at his will. There were moments of our togetherness when he admitted his fear and I watched his frustration when he would attempt the smallest task. Being a care taking daughter to a father requires humitilty on all parts. Modesty came and quickly left as we travelled this road together. My mother comes from strong country stock and was always the backbone and strength of the family. She is the one who holds the family stories, the one I can ask about relatives long since gone. I too witness her ever increasing frailty and realize one day if I outlive my parents I will become an orphan. I don’t want to be an orphan and I wonder who I will call when I no longer have my parents. Who do I run to when life gets hard or I get scared? One never realizes how alone we are until we want to reach out to our mama’s.
I am blessed to still have my parents in my life and try my best to appreciate each moment. Being with elderly parents teaches us great patience and requires us to stretch in ways we never thought we could. It requires compassion, love, strength and endurance. It requires us to answer the same question over again even it is has been 20 times. It tells us that one day we too will be in this place if we are fortunate enough to have a long life. Love requires us to go the extra distance all the while taking care of our own physical and mental needs. We are all being given a gift and we need to recognize it for what it is.
I sit here wondering about relationship. I had thought about love in my last writing, now I think about caring and ego. I have watched as grown long married men and women have sat looking at each other without anything to say. I wonder what happens when the children have all left. What happens when previous lovers stop caring. We all know those first feelings of love or should I say lust. It feels as if one cannot live without the other. Any amount of time apart is too long. We look and act our best. We know eye contact. In fact we know many details of our beloved’s face. We envision our lives together and all of the magic that will happen. The fairytale says so. It tells of living happily ever after. Until one day, we stop looking, we become distracted, we become busy and we forget the color of our beloved’s eyes. We resort to drinking too much, watching too much tv or merely sitting on the couch picking lint from our navels. Sex? what is that. It becomes ok not to respond to text or to say goodbye or for that matter to hold our beloved in our arms for human contact. One day we wake up and ask how did we get here and what happened. We are surprised when someone else has recognized the color of our beloved’s eyes. All along we were just too busy.
I once asked an esthetician if men ever visited for facials or grooming. She tells me the only time they do is when they are separated or divorced. I wondered why? Are we too wrapped up in comfort and taking our beloved for granted to put our best foot forward? We are all too happy to be the lure for something or someone else but the one we have cared about the most is now something to be tolerated, something for our comfort. We merely have stopped caring or trying.
It has been said the divorce rate is approximately 50 percent. We come to the place where we say no more and we can no longer go forward. It leaves me and others to wonder if there is in fact an expiration date on marriage or if in fact marriage is something that has outlived its usefulness. Make no bones about it, for many to wake to the same face for 50 or more years especially with very little affection left is akin to a sentence in Alcatraz. You wake one day to a man or a woman 50 pounds heavier with hair peering out of every orifice and wonder what the hell and top that with one who is emotionally void and lacking in concern and what you have is a recipe for disaster. When we realize from day one we are not designed or cut out to be a husband or a wife or for some reason feel we have made a mistake the onus is on us and no one else to stand up to our reality and take Relationships are not for the faint of heart or the timid. They require care, time and committment. It ceases to be just about us and our needs. For once we have to sometimes hold the heart of the other and some are just not capable.
I can’t create. I am an artist and I cannot create. I am barren of ideas and living in a fallow field. I awake with a mind full of promise yet when my feet hit the floor it is all gone. They play with me, the ideas I mean. They taunt me with the thought of grandiosity yet they fail to mature. I cannot create. I have allowed it to bother me, to tease me with failure, thinking maybe that is it. I will never again create. Words fail me too and the blank screen looks as if it is laughing at me. I know if I do any other things like maybe run errands, spend time on the phone I will not have to face the demon of despair. Procrastination. It gives me an excuse.
I have been in angst for the past year so I pat myself on the back to ease my worried nerves. I tell myself it will get better. The muse will return with a vengeance. I tell myself this past year has been something to reckon with. Living with the threat of a virus that promises to ravage my being, forcing me into isolation is nothing to smirk about. I have been stressed. It has been a time living with daily updates of either apolitical or medical maelstrom. I tell myself maybe if I turn off news and ease my nerves with meditation, I will regroup and all will be well. I tell myself perhaps in meditation the ideas will flow and my hands will feel like working again. Alas, I need a nap.
I have come to the place of understanding. It has been a time of change and upheaval. My body feels it and my mind is trying to make sense of it all. We are often our own worst enemies; demanding perfection even when the body says no. Stress is heavy and demands a recognition. So for now the clay waits. The words although few and far between will also wait. I tell myself there is always tomorrow. I take a nap