Friday, April 5, 2019

What's Normal Anyway?

I'm sorry.

I've been coping with a lot for a really long time. From the outside, my life always looks admirable and enviable.

And it has its great moments, that's for sure. If I couldn't live in the moments, I don't know how I would keep going.

From the inside, my life is often a tough place to be.

The last two decades have been a lot. Lots of challenge and some loss. Lots to adjust to.  The past five years have been particularly demanding, and I've had to put my attention into a lot of different places to keep things going for the people in my life.

Normally, I try to keep a fairly optimistic outlook. I find it helps to focus on the good, to build from what's positive. I've been blessed with a certain resilient optimism that comes to my aid time and time again.

Lately, however, I've been aware of the dark undercurrents as well. I've had to face the fact that I probably live with a subtype of bipolar disorder. A strong but fast moving variation that means I go up and down fast, and I never know when or for how long. It has colored my whole life.

So, yes, I look like a success because when I'm good, I get things done. I work, I interact, I nurture my friendships and family. For hours on most days, I'm able to function well. For other hours, not so much. That's when people don't hear from me and I vanish into the quiet of my efforts alone. But since it's not for weeks at a time, no one has ever noticed.

Except me. Except now. Except ... maybe everybody, or at least most people, have something going on deep inside. Some challenge, some trauma, some not-quite-neurotypical disorder that is pulling at their days. Maybe the excuses that any of us have for our behavior, our actions, our past, our moods are the excuses that many of us have.

I don't really know. I try not to think too much about stuff these days. I don't write much. I just do what I need to do. I don't talk to friends. I don't go out. I work and I get stuff done. And I live for those great moments.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hey - Kites are pretty beautiful and we would miss them if they weren't there any more

I've been turning it over quite a bit. It's probably true that life moves you on along your side of the river.  But it's equally true that it's nice to have friends, someone to wave to across the rushing water. Knowing that there is activity and settlement on the other bank.

It's lonely without friends. It's lonely without any beautiful kites in the sky that you can at least look at when you need to let your spirit soar a bit. When you need to dip and glide like a bird and have a moment of freedom and just a moment when you imagine a life lived above the river where it isn't the formidable boundary that it is today.

So build a new kite. Put it up into the air. Let its bright colors, its shimmering vibrancy ascend. Make it special, make it yours, a kite that is about you, a kite that shows the best of you, the you of you. A kite that shows where you stand on the ground, and, as such, inspires those both near and far, reaches out to touch the hearts of friend and stranger, and even those in-between. And those on more than one path so that they have the guide of kindness, compassion, loyalty, affection and true intention to accompany them on their journey.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Rivers and Bridges, Part II

Therapy, and more therapy, has been a dominant theme of this summer. Sudden, traumatic events and then the long unfolding of coping and adjusting, coming to terms with self and others.

All of life is this constant negotiation, this silver stream of awareness and adjustment, a peering forward and a turning back to see the landscape one has travelled.

Event past, times long ago, lie like a beautiful village on the other side of a rushing river. The cottage is there, the place you once inhabited with its charming shutters and honeysuckle bowers, the periwinkle roses that grow near the door. A lovely place that cottage. And the people who lived there, you cared for, you thought of as friends. you think of as friends.

Those lovely people, bright, strong, handsome as they continue on about their own lives. On their side of the riverbank, near the cottage where you used to dwell, the place where you rested a while on your travels.

You can glimpse the people, that life. But it is gone to you now. The river is wide, and deep, and fast, and it carries you on to your life on this side. Is there any way to cross that river, to revisit that previous time? If the people are occupied in their daily tasks, and the river is a barrier, if life has moved forward and time has carried on, is there any hope, reason, purpose, good to come of building a bridge, of finding a boat, of sailing a kite to the other shore?

I have no answers for this. I suspect that the river once crossed is not meant to be recrossed. But these are the images that come to my mind today, as I think of the lives of those who have played a role in my life.

Rivers and Bridges, Part 1 - There's a Chair in My Room

Saw this on BTVS this week again. Ah, remember the 90s?

There's a chair in my room...

where I used to sit...

Took a pencil and I wrote

The following on it...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

If You're Going Through...

Hell, keep going.*

It's been a long, tough summer. Too hot, too dry.

Too many emotions.

I feel older and tired.

Quick summary -

I've spent the last years writing less and working more. Caring for family members. Dealt with the horrors of Alzheimer's. Very many caregiving duties. Moved my parents out of their home of 40 years, and took another entire year to sell and clear out all of its excessive contents. Had to sell the house. Lost my Dad. Grieving. And pulling things together at all sorts of levels for Mom.

Watched my children grow into teens and adults. Watched them struggle in school. Watched school not help. Transitioned the oldest very successfully into a very good college that she loves. Missed her being in her childhood and our home.

Working my hardest to help the younger one do the same. She's a different person, so very different needs, currently involving much patience and therapy at exorbitant cost financially, emotionally, and chronologically.

Keeping it together. Enjoying the blessings. Still have a stable, loving family despite all of the stresses and stressors. Working more than ever and hoping to work even more when B leaves home.

Trying to remember or rediscover who I am, what I like, what I do, and how I help the world

The world needs help, and people need kindness. I try to live that in my days the best I can.

That's me. That's where my blog went. And where my time and energy went. And what I'm doing.
Maybe I'll come back here. Or come forward here and move ahead.

Try not to get swept away by excessive heat - either from climate changes or from world events or from personal struggles.

Stay cool.

*Winston Churchill

Friday, February 9, 2018

After an absence of so many months

Hello, old friend, my writing
So much to
Say I can't
Unlock the words

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lenten Reflections - a Poem a day - The Present by W.S. Merwin

From Poetry Daily

The Present

As they were leaving the garden
one of the angels bent down to them and whispered

I am to give you this
as you are leaving the garden

I do not know what it is
or what it is for
what you will do with it

you will not be able to keep it
but you will not be able

to keep anything
yet they both reached at once

for the present
and when their hands met

they laughed

By W. S. Merwin