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I have been very quiet. All work and very little play makes Seasweetie a dull girl. On the bright side, spring seems to be coming to Colorado – finally – though I expect winter will still give a last gasp and then we’ll plunge straight into summer. I dug in the dirt today – not a lot, but it’s a start to making the yard of the Bungalow what I’ve envisioned. MKL will be moving in at some point this year (after a lot of work getting his house ready to rent) and I am, for the first time in a long time, looking forward to setting down some roots – with him. I bought the Bungalow at a time when I was on autopilot, so terribly broken, and going through the motions of blindly rebuilding a life. That was almost exactly three years ago. I am happy with how far I’ve come from that sad, dark time – back into the sunlight, and both literally and metaphorically planting a bright new garden of beauty, and growing lots of love.

Plumeria

Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the Day:  “Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”  — L.M. Montgomery

Daily gratitudes:
Looking forward
Burning wicked words
The smell of spring earth
The call of a hawk
Leisurely mornings with MKL

Today’s guest poet: Sara Teasdale

I Have Loved Hours at Sea

I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,
The fragile secret of a flower,
Music, the making of a poem
That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,
Voices of people kindly and wise,
And the great look of love, long hidden,
Found at last in meeting eyes.

I have loved much and been loved deeply —
Oh, when my spirit’s fire burns low,
Leave me the darkness and the stillness,
I shall be tired and glad to go.

 

For The Best

Rain falls outside the Oxford.
It drips off the eaves, like tears.
Sometimes, those tears trickle down my cheeks
on cold, wet days like these
when the future feels hopeless.

Songs are sad.
I droop.
All hope
feels lost.

I remember other nights here.

Love

made
well.

Laughter

well
spent.

And now
when I take a spin by the
fifth floor
I wonder if the ghost I feel
is me.

But the rain falls
harder and harder
on Wazee
as the spring day dims.

And for me,
there is nothing to do
but keep going.

It has happened – finally.

That one day in Spring when, all of a sudden, it’s as if you have opened eyes that have been closed for six months.  You look up and suddenly you see that the willow trees have sparked into green.  That there is grass – actual green grass – where before there was just a brown memory of grass.  I almost wrecked the truck the other day because I caught a glimpse of white bud blossoms on a passing tree and tried to crank my head 180-degrees for a better look.

At the Bungalow, things are growing.  I have no idea what they are, and won’t until they are in full-bloom; I suspect the bush by the back door is a lilac, which would make me terribly happy, but honestly, I won’t care what it is.  I do know that there are tulips by the front fence.  In the Fall, I will plant some fragrant daffodils, like those coming up at Ex-Pat’s house, by my doorstep.

It hasn’t seemed like we’ve had enough moisture to make things green.  Unlike my friends in Chicago and Boston, we’ve had a fairly easy winter, weather-wise.  Emotion-wise, it’s a different story, at least for me.  I backslide emotionally – as I did last night – and so I hope the inspiration of spring, which does not backslide but continues to grow gracefully into itself and the next season and the one after that, will serve me well this year.  I need it.

Time to go pick up Kelsea, paint and the surprise.  Have a lovely day.

I awoke this morning after my usual complicated, half-frightening, half-supernatural, all-meaningful dreams, thinking about threes.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I finished Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons last night, with all its scientific/religious intersectional themes.

Aside from thinking about the classic Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or ” the Holy Spigot”, as claimed by Rowen Atkinson in his short but sweet role in “Four Weddings and A Funeral”), I was thinking about the concept of love – true love – being something that is mind, body and soul.

Love can start in different ways.  It can start as friendship.  It can start as passion.  It can start as a sense of partnership.  It can start as a vibrant energetic connection.  Or it can start as some combination of the above.  In order for it to succeed and strengthen, the three core elements – mind, body and soul – must all be allowed to bloom.  And not just between two people but within each of those two people.

If you are mentally compatible with someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you share the same level of intelligence or education.  It does mean that you are eager to expand your thinking to consider ideas or ways of life or activities that you might not have considered before.  You are willing to be open-minded and non-judgemental of how you – or your potential partner – experience life.  And you are willing to involve your partner in your life and become involved with theirs.

If you are physically compatible, well, it’s an amazing thing.  You can have a successful love relationship without intense physical passion – you can be perfectly fine with average physical passion and attraction.  But when you do have the intense body connection, it can transcend the physical and touch the spiritual.  Due to our nearly-inborn Christian conservatism which we all want to deny, we can think that having an intense physical relationship is “bad”. We can place put on our shame-colored glasses and imagine that we should not be in such a relationship, because if it is that good, clearly that’s all there is to it, and that makes it wrong.  Not so.  An intense physical connection is just a part of the trinity, and something that should be nurtured, cherished and honored.

If you are spiritually compatible, you find yourself expanding in unexpected ways.  Your life is full of minor epiphanies about yourself, about the universe, about each other.  You each fuel the flame of spirit that burns within the other – and the result, while sometimes confusing, is ultimately most joyful.  While I don’t think any element of the “Love Trinity” is more important than another, the spiritual element is the most rare and the most frightening.  It takes courage and strength to confront yourself daily.  When the cares of life are overwhelming, the unclouding of the soul can feel like it is simply too much to manage.  It is easier to find a relationship where you can be less (or be the same) than stick with one that makes you grow.  At least then you have the illusion of peace.  Ah, but what you miss.

Back in college, I had a therapist who said that when you were choosing to be with someone, you needed to be sure that your head, your heart and your crotch were all aligned.  I’ve never forgotten that.  I’ve certainly gone with the “two out of three ain’t bad” approach once in a while.  But for a life partner?  Nope.

I will not compromise the mind-body-soul trinity again.  And I feel sorry for those who do.

I know what can be.  I know what I have to offer.  And I know what I’m worth.  I believe there’s a saying that good things come in threes. (I know there’s also a saying that disasters come in threes, but we’ll put that aside for the purposes of this post.  I believe in the power of good.) 

I am a good thing.

It is not quite uncoated weather, but it’s close and it will be on Sunday for certain.  That makes me happy.  There was a new bird tweeting outside the window this morning, which means they are slowly migrating back, and that makes me happy too.  As I was driving into Boulder today, I realized that it’s almost calving season and I LOVE calving season.  Baby cows are soooo cute.  Which is why I can’t eat veal.  I don’t think it’s possible to eat something that you’ve named.

I’m very excited to say that there seems to be good news on the job front!  I received an offer this morning, contingent on my passing the background check.  Of course, this shouldn’t be a concern for me, but it’s human to worry your memory like a dog worries a bone to see if there’s something there that you’ve forgotten that perhaps you should have mentioned.  I don’t think so though.  I’m set to start on the 22nd.  An exciting new phase of life, and I’ll tell you more about the job as I dive in – but I will tell you it’s a writing job, and that makes me very happy.

The realtor also tells me that there are more hopeful signals about the (my) house – my actually being almost employed gives me a little more confidence about the whole house thing.  I have been talking with the Universe about the house being ready for me when my lease is up.  Which is May.  That house wants me.  I can feel it. 

It feels nice to be wanted by a house and an employer.

I will miss my coffee shop times to a certain extent, but they will just have to be scheduled a little more tightly.  I am pretty darn thrilled to think about working (for someone) again, learning something new, meeting new people, having a new routine.  It has been a huge challenge to shift my mindset from leaving Colorado for someplace warm with a partner, to staying here to build a new life on my own over the last 2-3 months.  But there is nothing I cannot do, and nothing I cannot survive.  And that’s nice to know.

I am learning more about allowing myself to be, and to be in the now, in the moment – and be happy there as much as possible.  I suppose that’s the whole practice of mindfulness that some therapists talk about, and some spiritual folks practice.  Like now, when I can soak in the sun shining through the window of Caffe Sole, a warm, swirling cappuccino to hand, some new music touching my ears, a little child outside catching drops of melted snow water from the roof in his cupped hands outside. 

And being able to share it all with you.

Sun on the Coffee Shop Chair

Sun on the Coffee Shop Chair

Each month carries with it a certain energy, whether it’s sparked by holidays, weather, memory, or something undefinable.  We all view the months differently, depending on our preference (or loathing) for a particular season.  Some time ago, I read a piece in which twelve famous authors each contributed their views on the months – one author for each month.

While I’m not yet a famous author, the piece caught my fancy and so I’ve decided to share my own measure of months with you.

                                 ******************************

January
A month of beginnings, yet at the same time, a month that feels frozen in its own self.  It’s a discouraging month, as we all resolve to do things better, differently, and as the days wear down, so many of us find ourselves failing at our resolutions.  But we do start with the premise of the promise, with a sense of hope, even as we find ourselves plunged in cold and regret.

February
For me, there are hints of spring here.  The crocuses that push forward from the earth, the first glimpse of the nub of a tulip, the returning birdsong.  We have that Valentine’s Day, that dreadful Hallmark holiday, stuck mid-month, and the manufactured President’s Day the following week.  It is bitter cold, and feels as if we have taken a plunge off the high board into a near-frozen pool and are struggling valiantly yet slowly to the top, where the warmth and sun live.

March
Still wrapped in the depths of winter, wet, heavy, tumultuous, like a season trying to give birth and die at the same time.  March is wild, silent, angry, rapturous.  The world is trying to ram its head out of winter and is being met with clever blocks at every turn.  It is never an easy month.  Once school is over, Spring Break no longer exists.  March just means plugging away at trying to finish out one more winter.

April
Warm and green has finally carved its way out of frozen and dead.  It’s easy to leave the house and forget to take a jacket.  There is still a feeling of promise, as opposed to all-out spring, but breath comes more easily, and with it, a certainty that new things can grow again, and the world can renew itself.  Creeks and rivers thaw and start to flow, singing along with your own blood.  If it has been a particularly hard winter, weather-wise, emotionally, or physically, April can truly be a time to rejuvenate the soul.

May
One day, you turn around and everything is suddenly this intense shade of green that you can never duplicate, never describe and never quite remember. It’s as if it happens in a blink. Small things are being born.  Seeds are being planted, the earth is being worked, bringing us closer to our own souls, our own core.  A strong sense of wanderlust may start to flicker, sparked by the increasing warmth of the world.

June
Dreams come easier.  Gentle breezes ruffle cool curtains and the earth’s perfume intensifies.  A certain joyful laziness is always lying just below the surface, inclining otherwise industrious souls to sneak off and play hookey with a fly-fishing rod or a bottle of rum.  Gardens need tending now, as spirits do, to ensure that things planted in more uncertain days can grow and flower into something rich.

July
Summer is in full swing, spirits run high and free and celebrations spring up with a happy spontaneity.  This is a time for open roads, clothing that is not permitted in schools, and suntans that dermatologists frown upon.  Berries are meant to be picked and popped in mouths.  Fresh corn is shucked on newspapers on the kitchen floor. Basking is in order, as is hiking along streams, preferably with dogs in tow.  If you’re lucky, dusk rouses bats to thin the swarm of mosquitos, and crickets make the nights musical.  Sweat trickling down various body parts can be a pleasure, as can icy-cold beers and air-conditioning.

August
The ripeness of summer has a sense of winding down, but you can still bite into a freshly picked, sun-warmed tomato and have the juice run down your chin.  The beach may occasionally have a few windy days, and superb lightning storms illuminate the mountains and plains.  The air has a passionate warmth, slow, heavy and lazy, like a fat man at the end of a great meal.

September
Indian Summer.  Pick and choose the weather – cool in the mountains, hot on the plains.  The trees are turning, colors burning a radiant kaleidoscope.  Leaves are dying, floating to the ground in a spiral of suicide, wishing to be pressed between the pages of a book in the lingering sunlight, so they can forever recall their own moments of glory.  The air rings with a robust tang that marks the end of a frivolous, splendid season.

October
Crispness.  Good sleeping weather, and mornings make you want to snuggle deeper under the covers for just five more minutes. Whiskey is yearning to be sipped by a warming fire. Chill hands are longing to be held.  There are still a few glorious days left, blessed remnants of summer that appear unexpectedly and vanish like a morning mist, hard to recall.  Wooly caterpillars predict the severity of the coming winter, and hikes want to become strolls through layers of leaves, feet delighting in the crunching.

November
Wistfulness casts a shadow on days.  A sense of preparation, almost a rising pinch of panic, a girding of the loins for the coming cold months, settles into the soul.  Some thoughts turn to family, others turn towards loneliness.  Bodies at rest want to stay at rest, at home, as a primal instinct for hibernation hints at the surface of our consciousness. Either way, we tend towards contemplation of endings.

December
Bringing with it the only sense of lightness in the cold months,  the lucky ones have a sense of  innocence and delight brought on by the approaching holiday.  We can allow a childlike wonder to take hold.  Smiles come more readily and the world takes on a gentle generosity that is distant at other times.  Endings are at the forefront, as if the year is breathing a last sigh, a rich mixture of relief, regret, rejoicing and renewal.   

                                 ******************************

The sense of a year is like the rolling melody of the sea.  It seems to have its own crescendos, like a wave, gathering, building, bursting, blooming, dropping, crashing, rolling to a final dark calmness.  And then beginning again.

It’s been a very rough couple of days.  Losing a relationship is like giving birth.  It’s painful, inevitable and I have no idea what’s going to come out (there’s no ultrasound for the future).  But it does get a little bit easier day by day, although I can backslide sometimes (and that doesn’t usually happen with labor.)

This morning, I feel a little better.  And I wanted to take a minute to specifically thank a few people who helped me.

AnotherOther1 – thank you for your empathy, emails and concern.  You know more about what is happening with me than almost anyone, and your support across the miles means more to me than words can say.

The Idiot – As I was trying to go to sleep last night, I thought again about your spine-crushing cyberhug.  I really needed that.  And the fact that you always seem to make me laugh.

Slpmartin – your poetry moves me daily, and your poem for me last night helped take me to a quiet and strong place, even if only for a few minutes – but today, it will take me there for a few minutes more, and tomorrow for a few minutes more.

Celeste – you have been a support and kindred spirit for some time now, and I wish we were both spending winter somewhere warm, but I am so glad to have you as my compatriot in our laments against the cold.  You’re inspiring me to try to find the positives in winter.

Jingle – your work to collect marvelous new poetry in one place and to showcase the work of others is special and unselfish and has made my muse bloom. Your positive and sympathetic nature shines through with every word.

Erik – you’ve known me since I was – what – six years old?  And so you know me.  Thanks for still being there, even if it’s in the cyberworld now.

Sagerider – you are the other one who truly knows what I am feeling, and your words often bring peace to me because of our shared spirit.  I hold you gently in my heart always.

Kelsea – my girl, who is the only reason I am still here and whom I love with all my heart and soul.

Charlotte – my sister from another mother, who has always understood me, never judged me, and is, as ever, insightful into my soul.

Thanks so much to all of you.  Whether you’re present in my physical space or in cyberspace, you probably have no idea how much impact your caring has had on me when I have been in trouble, like I have been the past couple of days.  You’ve given me hope and that keeps me going.

I know my pain will come back; I know I will go back to a bad place.  But I know it won’t be as bad as it was, and that’s in part because of your support.

One friend in particular said he prays for me daily.  I too need to remember to thank the universe for the blessings in my life, as I used to when I was writing Daily Blessings.  So I hope to try to end most posts in the future with a short gratitude list.  So aside from all of you, here’s what I am thankful for right now:

That I woke up this morning; the sprinkling of snow falling from the sky; Benadryl, for this weird allergy thing – I think I’m allergic to something in Lemon Drop Martinis; my Santa Hat.

Love to you all.

It is that time of year again.  My beloved Spring and Summer have turned now to Fall.  Two nights ago, we had our first frost – unexpected.  The hummingbirds are gone wherever hummingbirds go during the cold – where is that place?  The crickets now require water to stay alive, water in the warm light of day.  Yellowjackets are struggling inside in a last, desperate attempt to survive.  They are compassionately and carefully shooed back outside, with every effort made to help them keep their limbs and wings intact.

Around now, I start thinking about next year, about resolutions, about goals.  Where will I be this time next year?  My lease will have expired.  My daughter will be in high school.  I don’t even know what to think about money.  It occurs to me that I need a plan.  And I need a dream picture.  I have been reading much about creating your own reality over the past year or so, and I figure it can’t hurt anything…to paint the dream in my head, shape it, and make it real.  The universe works in strange, powerful and mysterious ways.

Perhaps it is time for a true change of seasons.

I haven’t made an entry into the Divorce Diaries for a while.  That’s because there’s been nothing really to say.  It is what it is.  It’s not awful.  Pat and I are getting along just fine.  Kelsea and I are getting along great.  Pat and Kelsea are getting along well.  She doesn’t try to push us together.  She has suggested things like taking a family vacation, and I’ve told her that the family profile is different now, and we won’t all three be going on any trips together.  She’s okay with that.  Pat has expressed an interest in taking her on a trip – I think he’s a little jealous of the good times she and I have had when we’ve gone away.  That would be very nice for both of them.

Yesterday would have been our 20th wedding anniversary.  I thought of it in passing after I dropped Kelsea off at school.  Several years ago, before I had finally had enough, I was planning a special trip for us for this anniversary – Italy, or Greece, or Turkey – just the two of us.  It was not to be.  But I’ll get to those places myself someday.  I had a momentary sadness, but truly, it was just a moment.  Then, I pulled up in front of my old house to pick up something for Kelsea, and completely forgot about it.  Pat didn’t give any indication that he remembered.  (We actually both had a hard time remembering the exact date; one of his brothers gave us an anniversary clock with the date engraved on it, and we always had to check the clock to be sure.)

So 8 months after the divorce, strange to say, it feels like a more comfortable relationship.  He still make comments that grate on me, but I don’t feel compelled to spit back, and I don’t take them to heart.  I know that I can just leave.  But for the most part, we chat, we confer on Kelsea issues, we do each other favors, we hand off our daughter, I pay child support, he’s not asking me for money, I don’t ask him about his projects/finances.  I guess it’s a friendship.  Maybe that’s what it was supposed to be all along.

It bothers me a little bit that I can only remember the most loving times vaguely.  Perhaps there’s too much water under the bridge.  Or perhaps it’s an internal mechanism to help the healing process.  I really don’t know.  I just know that we’re both moving on.  And that’s just fine.

June 2019
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