So I returned from Maine late Wed/early Thursday, glad to have gone (really, there’s nothing like Acadia. The picture was taken as I descended Mount Dorr - you can see Bar Harbor through the cairn and of course The Porcupine Islands...such a beautiful place at any time of day, and SO much to do!) I managed to contract a staph infection in my left foot at the end as well, with symptoms showing up just hours before I got home. EXCELLENT timing, as dealing with this while camping would have been super-difficult, and the medical attention certainly not as prompt. Being laid up at home with my foot elevated provides good blogging time.
Brad especially was ready for me to return, having called me Tuesday morning saying he was having a hard time and “just needed to hear my voice.” He couldn’t pin down what it was, exactly - Emily, Anna, work (the project he was hired to do in January coming to a head again currently), missing me, or death. A family friend had died and he was asked to be a pall-bearer for the funeral later that day, bringing to the forefront again his parents’ absence, all that has changed, and once again, that feeling of being unmoored when you don’t have your parents nor your own children. Poor, sweet man. I know there’s nothing I can do but listen and hold him and bleed for him. (He does seem better now that I’m home, so while being on vacation without him doesn’t nominate me for Wife of the Year, I do feel valued just for Being, which is... nice.)
Part of going to Maine was to allow time and space for Deep Thoughts. The stuff I make myself too busy for while tending to - well, tending to anything other than quieting my mind. After all...what might I find there? And what if I just don’t want to deal with it right now? What if right now, there’s no major trauma and drama and I don’t want to invite it in and spend the rest of the day (or the week) incapacitated? Because it’s very, very possible!! And yet, and yet. “The only way out is through”, so they say. I’ve never heard anyone getting rich off the phrase “Avoidance works!”
So here we go.
Deep Thought #1. See next blog entry regarding Miracles/Tragedies/Expectations.
Deep Thought #2. Anytime an answer to a question only serves to invite another question, the original question wasn’t the right one to begin with. And often, at the heart of it, there’s not actually an answerable question at all. Lemme explain. In bed one night in Vermont, I found myself wanting to ask my friend of 13 years what she still saw in me that I had back when we first met. What pieces of my personality and Being that attracted her to me then were still here now? Because I’ve changed alot, and I wanted some sort of affirmation that the parts of me that I - or at least others - enjoyed are still here somewhere (and what were those, again??) But I realized no matter what she said, I’d either push her for more, deny outright or internally that what she said was true, or feel pressure to make sure I was that in her presence, lest I disappoint or lose her as a friend if I didn’t maintain the particular quality she named. So really, it wasn’t a question for her, it was a question for me. What qualities do I believe I have that make me likeable? That make me someone people want to be around? What do I inherently provide others that make it worth their time and energy to have me in their lives?
Here’s the problem. The Real Issue. I am looking for those answers outside myself (from my friends, etc), because I don’t know inside myself. And that scares the caca out of me. Because what if I go in and I don’t find anything? (Which I don’t, at first glance, so I run the hell outta there before I find out that in fact, there really is nothing). It’s much safer to go by what others say and find relief there momentarily (“Whew! Got ‘em snookered, apparently. I’m safe - for now.”) I realized that night, in the space of about 3 minutes, in the silhouette of the church steeple slicing through the thick Vermontian stars, that if/when I can identify those pieces of me that I value and think are worthwhile - or just Know that I’m valuable - I won’t need to ask the question anymore. It begins and ends with me. Crap.