06 October 2007

No Getting Out of This One

I thought I had lucked out on the Scribblings front, because last week involved some pretty heavy paper-grading, and before I could look up it was Monday and there were something like 87 posts listed on last week's topic.

Alas, it was not to be. Meg and Laini are on vacation this week, so there is officially "no topic." Which, in the great cosmic karmic debt scheme of things, means that God is telling me something. I hate when that happens, because I was really in some serious denial about having to fess up.

The topics these women pick often scare the bejesus out of me, precisely because I have never actually met or even corresponded privately with either of them; and yet, they have a knack for pulling out of my week's worth of emotional detritus and spiritual backwash the single topic I most need to address. In my world, I have a word for that, and that word is usually D'oh! (sometimes, in fact, there are two words, one of which is technically a compound word referring to the aforementioned deity, but I'm digressing seriously.)

In point of fact, powerful is the one word that describes precisely how I haven't felt in a very long time. Longer, even, than most of you would have guessed. To the casual observer, even someone who comes into regular contact with me, I have it pretty much together, considering. I love my teaching jobs (all three of them); my parents and I have an excellent relationship, marred only slightly by the fact that I currently live with them; and I am well on track to beat the bridge and successfully complete the marathon in 22 days.

Even were you to be a fly on the wall in my therapist's office--which I am totally not suggesting, as that would remove several points from my overall coolness factor--you might suspect that I am handling the loss of my husband in a relatively graceful way, with humour and aplomb and only a modicum of bitterness.

You would, in fact, be wrong. You have not had the opportunity to see me biting the steering wheel of my Civic hybrid because a morning's rush hour traffic has put me over the steep edge of rationality due in part to the fact that it gave me an extra twenty minutes to stew over our last conversation. You have not seen me stay up reading late into the night, only to barely be able to open my eyes the next morning, because it is when I turn out the blue glass bedside lamp that the memories come crowding into the empty space beside me in the bed. You do not know that I still sleep confined to one side of the bed, even after running twenty miles, and when a solitary foot strays onto the cool expanse of sheet next to me, I yank it back as if I have been burnt before I discover what is no longer there. You have not counted the number of times I have stopped during the writing of this to gaze at the photograph on my desk, taken so long ago his hair can't even be contained in a pony tail.

People have suggested that there is a kind of power in powerlessness. It's been suggesting that letting go of our illusion of control is freeing, and to an extent I suppose that's true. But I seriously suck at doing nothing. I, like my mother, am not a human being but a human doing. It is true that certain events this summer allowed me to relax my viselike grip on what I thought was the proper way of navigating this situation, and at times I've even been allowed a few moments, here and there, of something approaching peace. But power? No the fuck way. Not happening here in Three Feathers. Sorry. My only sense of power right now comes from running. From shuffling bow-legged back to my car after heaving myself off the grass into a standing position after my post-run stretch. From knowing that, as pitifully slow as I am, not only did I manage to keep myself upright, I am also, somehow, moving forward.

7 comments:

tumblewords said...

This post went straight to my heart. Straight to my heart.

Robin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish there were words to help you heal...

Jo said...

I am sorry too for your loss, so painfully and beautifully communicated here.

gautami tripathy said...

Touched by the post...

deirdre said...

At times in my life I've measured my functionality by getting upright every morning and moving forward through the day. Each and every day I did that was a success.

Grief is a constant process; as trite as that might sound it's true. And every word you've written expresses it too perfectly. My heart is with you.

Redness said...

I agree with your reaction to the prompts, how do they do it? Keep running, keep writing and know there's people out there who care ... your honesty is cherished!

Stacy said...

I know the feeling that you describe. Sometimes I can't imagine that my bed could be so enormous or that I could be so cold.