Yesterday, I opened a new book, unwritten, but full of all the hope and optimism that any good book’s first page offers. And I dedicate this new book to yesterday because in that day I was touched by many people who pushed me forward into today. The first person was my son, who showed me that no matter what you are doing, or what is going on with you, if you approach it with a sense of fun, imagination and irreverence you can get through anything. This is us having lunch in my new backyard after I had spent the morning on my hands and knees scrubbing out the LaLa to get it ready for its final inspection while Tin played the plunger like a trombone and created a rap song.
The next person was my new neighbor who used to be my old neighbor across the bayou, who is in the midst of a major remodel who stopped to talk and suddenly we found ourselves describing our past long marriages and having kids and being over 50. He said to me that he stayed in his marriage for his children and it almost killed him.
Then I was finishing up with the plumber who couldn’t get the washing machine to work, and the floor furnace guy who said I couldn’t have the room situated the way it was to use the furnace, and the now washing repair man who couldn’t come until next Friday and the therapists and lawyers who couldn’t help me get to a binding agreement and I had almost forgot about the closing ceremony for the LaLa when I had to go retrieve Bam Bam and return him to his new owners when I saw Tin and Tatjana on the bayou and remembered that I had put Tin’s training wheels back on his bike since it is too big for him still and I told him and he got so excited that he wanted to get on it and so then I caught up with them and went around the bayou.
Then I wanted to go to Zumba so I could just dance and forget about my cares and I was on my way back to the LaLa to put the bike back in the nun’s garage because I haven’t transferred my bike yet (again, no room anywhere) when I passed my good friend’s house who had a visitor from Texas [which reminded me that earlier I had seen that bumper sticker DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS and I had thought I would get one that said I MESS WITH TEXAS, but I digress] – a guy who I had spoken with about transitions and life’s journey as he had almost died of heart failure and been resurrected by a miraculous operation that saved him and had been in a relationship that fell apart when he became whole again and he is looking to make the most of every day of his life and he asked if I had had my closing ceremony and I said no, but let’s do it right now and he ran with me to the LaLa that is now cleaned out of every trace of me – even the vacuum bag was thrown away afterwards – and I took those glass panes and I wrote in indelible ink each dream that had gone awry and I placed it over the OTR GETAWAY beach towel and we each took one of the two granite samples from the architecture firm in San Francisco that I have carried around with me for years and we shattered each one of those dreams. Then I took the journals and lit a smudge stick and set fire to each book – all under the watchful eyes of Yemaya, the mother ocean goddess, and all with a glass of champagne to toast.
Then we went back to my friend’s for a minute while the visitor played classical guitar under the starlight and I jumped in the truck to head to Zumba when I got word that it was cancelled and so instead I came to my new home, the Red House, which is what my new apartment is called by Tin [always little boys naming my houses for me] and took my first shower there and walked down the street with a friend to Santa Fe, and at dinner she told me that she had reached a point in her life where she was done with her family’s expectations for her to take care of each one of them — she’s done, done, done. [I have basically decided this person is my twin sister from different mothers, even though her mother reminds me in so many ways of my mother.]
And I came home and I dreamed of my own mother and my sister. My mother wanted to be taken to the hospital to die and later the doctor had called me and said that my mom was trying to take her finger off in order to get her wedding ring off [and I knew my mom wanted to make sure my sister got the ring that she had been asking for specifically all our lives] – the doctors said she couldn’t arrive to kill my mother until 7PM and I realized I had to go, I had to get to the hospital, I had to be there with my mom right then and there, and so I was in class and I went racing down the stairs to my sister’s class and my sister said, which was a lie, “I was already there this morning,” which would have been impossible since I had taken my mother into the hospital myself in the afternoon, and I woke up.
That’s right I woke up. I woke up and realized I keep re-meeting people in my life who force me to play out earlier interactions and to not necessarily get them right this time around, but more to understand them and me in those relationships. The archetype that was front and center was the person who does nothing to deserve all that they get and my recurring feeling of my not getting what I deserve even when I ask for it specifically.
The journey of self awareness, of self actualization, begins by understanding why you behave certain ways with certain people and how to break out of the repetitions that keep you from growing and evolving and ultimately from being happy. The journey is also about being very aware when growth happens, so you may celebrate each milestone with a proper ceremony and with worthy people.
To all of you who have helped me on my journey and especially yesterday, I am forever grateful.