23:59 A few notes, mostly random.
I am grateful for T. This morning, blessed earth, core of iron, molten rock, source of heat and solid, he continued sleeping in the bed like a chain of dormant hills beside me, and it was I who could plant the first kiss, then slip out and down the stairs. (Usually these days, it’s he the earliest early-bird. But we somersault each other at this, through the years.)
Footfall edging the pine boards as quiet as the tick of clocks, I went down and out, pine and oak then tile then concrete, past the creaking glass door, through the tattered web of fly curtain. Cool of baked clay brick. Then onto dew-laden grass. Calisthenics and sun salutation. Then sitting meditation 10 minutes. Two half-lotuses! This was perhaps the best part of my day. Then a walk just after sunrise, memorizing a piece of text I have always found up-lifting. And on the way, admiring the new soft white bulls in golden glow of morning. But sad for their short lives.
Last night, I was melancholic. Becoming disillusioned and mistrustful of inherent magic. Dulling, and an ache inside for something tapped in. That’s when I used to turn to wine. Perhaps it was to bear the Friday nights. And the Mondays… there is a rhythm here in the comings and goings. I am both happy and sad at the arrivals and departures. But I notice that more and more it is becoming easier to coexist in this new fashion. He no longer offers me wine. He seems to drink less. That time about the skylight? He finally apologized. This happened the day after our return from the mindfulness camp. He wanted to talk about intimacy, why we weren’t having it lately and what could be done about it. He thought the details to be discussed were physical, and perhaps he was partly right. But I told him that before I could go anywhere near that side of things, I needed to get past that incident with the skylight.
It took quite a while to get my point across… my point being that I felt I *needed* to hear an apology, to continue with anything sincerely, and a sincere one at that. I had to explain it several different ways. I finally broke down and told him the awful-to-say truth… that I’d felt fear… and in a place of our house where I felt I should feel loved and only loved. It was hard for him to hear, and I know why. He had a difficult childhood. I told him, I am sorry if this hurts you to hear it but I was afraid. For not feeling loved in that moment. I felt I could read your mind, this is what you were thinking (he confirmed that I was right. It was no surprise, since we have known each other more than two decades now. And to read those thoughts in his voice, his look, his actions was devastating and I could not bear it.)
And then he understood, and he apologized sincerely. Perhaps, perhaps it is the only sincere apology I have ever heard from him. In that moment he closed a chapter, and planted a lily in my heart.
I know he grew up believing that apologizing was useless and a weakness. I feel that maybe his stay at the mindfulness camp, which had led participants through an entire session on “beginning anew,” changed his mind about this. I am not a good communicator in many ways and I had not been able to convince him of it before. Also I understand that when someone has truly done wrong or caused hurt it is most difficult for them to admit it to themselves and apologize. But the beginning anew ceremony gave him a fresh way of looking at things.
Here are the steps for beginning anew:
– “flower watering” (showing sincere gratitude and appreciation for the positive qualities in the other person)
– expressing regrets (acknowledging any wrongdoing on one’s own part)
– expressing hurts and difficulties (explainging about what ails them and why).
I did do these steps on that evening with him, and I had even done it that very night of the skylight fight. But that is how I was raised. I was raised to be a master apologizer. I was sorry about everything, he about nothing. Didn’t he and I make the perfect pair! Over the years we do become more and more like one another. And I am glad for my morphing in his direction. (And I am glad for his also, heehee.) So finally I become more sensible and stoic (well a tiny bit at least), and he becomes a little more compassionate.
He did say that, in his “beginning anew.” He said, “I am not compassionate. That’s not something I do well.”
And I was grateful to hear him say this truth, because it is very rare that he will admit to weakness of any kind. And I am aware that shortness of compassion has other sides that are strengths. It enables a good person to get on with important work instead of running around feeling that the sky is always falling or that heaven is shooting upwards from the roots of trees (though well it may be).
Speaking of that. I have not had many sky-is-falling nor heaven-rooted moments lately. In the past I have spoken of feeling “cracked open,” especially in new sobriety. That feeling seems to have worn off for now, perhaps in part due to my near-total lack of private journalling, which does usually crack me open. I can say that this closure or galvanizing of outer shell is at once relieving, but also, in the worst of times, which are never very bad, dulling.
I am relieved not to feel as though the world is bleeding into my pores, nor that I am overflowing into the world; but at the same time it gives a kind of normalcy and hum-drum quality to life that at times makes me fleetingly miss my drinking times. I would take a “gallon of god” with every first and second glass of red or sparkling.
Ah if only I could have stopped then! After two glasses! But I couldn’t. Or if I did, it was with a stingy controlled feeling, and I was unsatisfied, and filled with longing to the point of obsession.
So now I learn to just exist, in this new state of perhaps-melding consciousness. In the better instances, I believe it is a state of “no being, no non-being.”