This is life, I suspect. At its most beautiful and fragile, it is all about impermanence.
God, I hate that bullshit and yet I know it to be true. Impermanence. I suffer in this knowledge because – well – I am suffering it.
I do not wish it to be so.
I think of the many times in life when I’ve developed my own mantras in self-defense, some positive and some negative.
This cannot be happening…this cannot be happening…this cannot be happening
It’ll be over soon… It’ll be over soon…It’ll be over soon
You can handle this… You can handle this… You can handle this
All of them designed to get me through, get me past, to NOT feel whatever I was feeling in that moment. Vygotsky said we internalize speech as adults… those things that children dare to say aloud but we fear others hearing, I suspect.
I had a moment this morning. It was an agonizing few minutes, actually. With every jagged crying breath the child in me screamed “I do not want to be alone!” while the adult in me whispered “pull your shit together… buck up… you don’t have time for this shit… she’ll hear you…. stop your crying… breathe breathe breathe breathe”
I finally stilled myself enough to realize that I was crying about being left in the future.
I was not experiencing a loss I feared. I was fearing a loss I would experience.
Ah, the suffering there. In some tiny magical place deep inside me, I still think I can cheat death. I can cheat loss. I cannot fathom losing the spawn, especially.
It guts my very soul every time I dare to sit with that reality.
I do not know that I will be able to put myself back together when she is gone.
The mother in me wants to be here every step of her path to help her go when she goes.
The child in me wants to go first so I never have to feel… that… the loss of her.
And this is where I went this morning, tumbling into that abyss of wanting life to be something it can never… will never… be. I want neat. I want tidy. I want a fucking happy ending.
I wept. I wept for the love I feel for her and others. I wept in fear of the loss of those people. I wept because I do not want to be alone.
And yet, I still cling to the tenuous and ravishingly beautiful LIFE in love (and love in life). As I pulled my physical body together around my terrified inner child, I had two thoughts. One visual and one auditory. The visual was of bubbles… of the big floppy bubbles you blow into the hot wind of summer. They drift seemingly aimless, ebbing and flowing like the most exquisite shape-shifters. The sunlight casts prisms on them… stunning temporary masterpieces … until…
There it is… the moment of descent.
Many of them begin to evaporate… seemingly disappearing into nothingness. You don’t see them go… they are simply gone. But others drift closer to ground until one catches your eyes. It’s always one… isn’t it? You watch with fascination to see if it will pop… or last all the way through its journey ends and it lands… you may even follow it across the yard on its journey.
Ah… the tension. The utter torment and yet excitement of those last moments.
If it lands intact, the moment is prolonged in a way that defies science. There sits a beautiful pocket of shiny air perched atop something rough, or a sharp blade of grass, and you will hold your breath. You know what will happen. You simply do not know the precise moment it will happen. The bubble is going to burst. It is going to be gone… and the most you can hope for is a slick shiny spot where it died its natural death. No more rainbow glistening on its surface… no more hope on the wind.
God, but this seems like a depressing bit of writing. It’s not intended to be. I’m simply trying to give voice to what I KNOW to be the truth of my life. It is breathtakingly beautiful and it is utterly temporary.
The trick, I suspect (though trick is an odd term) is to live in the air moments… to appreciate all of that beauty and buoyancy without being tied to it or expecting it to exist forever.
And so I walked into my kitchen to make coffee after my crying jag, with thoughts of bubbles. I filled the basin to wash the pan left to soak last night. I played with the bubbles and thought it is absurd to try to hold on to them. I marveled at the beauty even in dish soap as I scooped the bubbles up and later rinsed them away down the drain.
Sigh… and then I listened to the song that came to mind while I sat on my bed. He’s not a favorite musician by any stretch but it is beautiful and it felt important to me today. I chose to share this version of Neil Diamond’s performance of the song (below) … because he is actually singing live and he’s out of breath and feeling LIFE… and it makes the song that much sweeter for it.
All I can say at this precise moment in time… with any certainty… is this:
Maybe I’ll be able to accept that before my own bubble bursts… maybe I never will, spending far too much time on the fear of loss. Who can say, but I. AM.