It’s kind of like wandering through the unfamiliar forest. I grew up with a 2000 acre forest/river/marsh/meadows behind the house, and many, many days were spent wandering through them. They were very familiar and comfortable. An unfamiliar one, however lovely the small bits can be, the little patch of partridge berry or monkey jugs, can be…more than that….IS very daunting, especially if you don’t know how to navigate through them. Oh, if there is a creek to follow, that’s pretty easy, but without a familiar sort of guide like that, they can be pretty ominous. They can be dark and heavy, with pitfalls hidden by piles of leaves, and strange animal sounds, snakes, poisonous plants, spiders, all sorts of things that if you don’t know what to look or listen for, can make you want to sit down and go no further….simply hide and hope for the best.
I go through spells like that. This whole new life can be many things, particularly an unfamiliar territory, sometimes dark and often heavy, with many pitfalls and strange sounds, snakes in the form of thoughts, spiders shaped like letters in the mailbox, unknown and I sure would like to simply throw it all away without even opening it. What you don’t know won’t hurt you, right? Ha….if only.
It would be so easy to sit down and hide, to pretend like it’s all some sort of Pick-On-Rootie scheme that will go away on it’s own. Even now, 3-1/3 months later, it still feels unreal, like a dream or a strange very realistic part in a movie and someone is going to yell ‘CUT!’ and the world can return to normal. At night, when I go to bed, it feels unreal. In the morning, when Himself would be showering for work, I still want to fix 2 cups of coffee and decide if he’d rather have oatmeal or a sandwich for breakfast. His truck is still in the driveway, his clothes are still in the closet, little pieces of what’s supposed to reality still lay around. I don’t know if it’s me, holding on to it in the futile hope that the REAL reality will return, or if I’m just too tired of this new reality to do something about all of it. I don’t know how long it will take for WHAT IS to supersede what I want.
Have you ever watched a wound heal? Have you noticed that it doesn’t heal from the middle to the edge? It starts around the edges, and gradually creeps inward, and can be pretty sensitive while it does. Especially a really large one. It also leaves a pretty big scar, one that is quite evident for a very long time. This is like that. Gradually, around the edges, I am taking care of things. Small ones, and very slowly, as much as I can without rushing it. It isn’t going as fast as part of my brain wants it to, but that is the part that has always gotten me into trouble. That part is having to sit in time out, with no snacks. And it is definitely pouting, but too bad.
The thing is, I am supposed to be working on this small book about How To Widow or something (that is very much a working title…something better will come up eventually) and naturally, it will take a long time because I can only write up to the 3 month mark. However, I am not really sure how well that is going to go right now. Every time I sit down, the whole entire thing is relived, from the moment I returned his call and he said he was on the way to the hospital, through all of it to today, when I woke up feeling like I was an actor in a bad movie. Due to that, the writing is going slowly and painfully. I am not even sure it’s time to be doing this, which is annoying because #4 will be gone for the bulk of the Summer and there will be all sorts of time available.
One friend recommended that this time be used to heal, that I not worry about things like jobs or educations, because healing is pretty important. She is probably right. Another friend commented that I seem to be finding my own voice, and suggested that time this Summer be spent figuring out what i sound like, that perhaps the Summer is a gift for that purpose. Maybe it all is, a chance to heal and find myself. That sounds so self indulgent, and that is the biggest hurdle. How do you heal when healing seems to be a waste of time? How do you find a voice that has never really been sung? I don’t even know where to start.
I really feel a bit like I am sitting in that unfamiliar forest, with interesting bits and pitfalls and strange animal sounds. I can hear the creek, but am not really sure which direction to find it. I know I am not alone, but this is work that I need to do, someone else can’t do it for me. It is entirely new…in a direction I never once considered I would have to go. Maybe the thing to do is think of the Right Now, and sit, listening for the creek, looking at the partridge berry and monkey jugs, and poking a stick around to check for hidden pitfalls. Maybe instead of writing a book I will paint a room. That’s simple enough. Fairly satisfying, too. Maybe I’ll just look at today, or this week, and let tomorrow, and next week, take care of itself.