I’m thinkin’ that I might have drove you too far
And I’m thinkin’ ’bout the love that you laid on my table”
Unlimited time! And, contrary to everything I ever thought before this, even though I NEVER thought I’d ever be “given” (thanks, but no thanks) unlimited time because of a pandemic, I did not use that time to edit years’ worth of backed up photos. I did not use that time to read years’ worth of backed up books. At first, I didn’t even use that time to unpack years’ worth of packed up hearts and thoughts and fears. I should have, really, done all of it. It all made me feel too raw and wide open. Closed vaults require special locks and keys and combinations, and life has a way of running away with that set of keys. You’re tired, I’m pregnant, the world is burning, the virus is alarming. I think about that a lot these days. How we don’t always do what we should do.
Sometimes things are so good, that you don’t even know what to do with them. The baby is too cute and precious, and the dog is oh so soft and sweet, and it’s like yelling, “Squeeeeeeee!” a lot isn’t enough. You almost want to bite your nails and bury your face. It’s too much! I had a good friend, Eric, way back in the day and he loved cats so much that he couldn’t have one. Not then, anyway. He wrote me, “I love them so much that it’s too much to have one. Do you know what I mean?” And I didn’t. Not then, anyway. I wrote back something silly instead. “Is this what you mean, Eric?” And he wrote back, “No! NO! What I mean is, it’s too much to have one because I love them so much and I don’t know if I could cope with the inevitable loss.” And the obstacles, sirens, and warning signs along the way, because cats (and dogs and kids and adults, of course) get themselves hurt and sick and lost. And it’s a bit much, huh? In the other direction. It’s a LOT.
So sometimes you just sit there instead, staring into space and counting your blinks. A cozy little couch nap, some late afternoon disorientation, and some self care too. Generally after I have stared into space and then taken some sort of action, such as a walk outside, a drive, or a nap, my heart and mind come back clearer. More determined. The murky shapes then develop into ideas and action plans. And then nothing seems too hard, too out of reach, too impossible, or even too cute and loyal and open and beautiful and willing. I’m always thinking ’bout the love that you laid on my table. So pure and true. I’m thinking lately about what it means to keep showing up; sturdy, and with ALL feet (legs) on the ground. Capable of not just holding up the massive weight; but doing so comfortably as well. Distributing that weight evenly, getting rid of the extra clutter, and being built to last. If not forever. Can I do this? And that? Yes, this. Yes, that.
I told you ’bout the swans, that they live in the park
Then I told you ’bout our kid, now he’s married to Mabel”
I think a lot, each day, about how I can be not just “fine” or “good enough”, but better. When tension rises with Cassidy, and our ever-present tumultuous past appears as a dragon in my brain, I could hide and wait for it to work itself out. I could get away for awhile, long enough to miss each other. Or I could show up, instead, and be immersed in nothing but him. I could (and should) break down our walls and barriers, hug until stiffened limbs inevitably soften, and our hardened hearts inevitably give way. To nothing; no barriers between two rapidly beating hearts.
When Des has anxiety, manifesting itself LOUDLY, at the dentist, I could hide and have Cassidy keep taking him. Or I could take him instead; not be immersed in my phone, or fretting with my wrist pressure, anxiety spray, and deep breathing. What if I fully showed up instead? I can hold his head, play him his Mario music, and tell him every colorful donut I want to buy him and his little cousins, and every little hug and kiss, and corner of this fabulous house he can show them.
Do you notice how the wheels go ’round?
And you better pick yourself up from the ground
Before they bring the curtain down”
It’s usually, but not always, to move somewhere somewhat cool. Maybe it’s a McMansion. Maybe it’s by the sea. Whatever it is, it’s NOT home and is, of course, lacking something. It might be missing our giant yard, or our privacy, or our green, green grass. It’s always missing the heart and spirit of this place. And what we have done with this house, in real life, is what we should be doing with this house. We haven’t been staring into space and counting our blinks. We’ve been building dreams here, sometimes comfortably, and sometimes a little too fast and too much, but that’s ok. If my heart is leaping a little, on a regular basis, I’m doing something right. If I get giddy at the thought of loved ones coming to see it, and staying here, well, that’s all right too.
Now, in the aftermath of a big change, we make sure everything is working; will work. Light switches and fire hazards, and also, growing hearts and brains, and mental health hazards. The beautiful and sturdy exterior, doing its job to protect and oversee, and the beautiful, growing sturdier interior. Raw and open and exposed, and building long-lasting immunities every day.
Love as if your life depends on it, because it does, and grow as if your life depends on it, because that does too. If you don’t know how to do that, because who the heck does, just keep opening that heart and mind wider; playing by heart. Everything falls into place just so. You find out a little something new, every day. Taking care of these precious beings; and our precious selves.
I’m talkin’ ’bout a girl that looks quite like you
She didn’t have the time to wait in the queue
She cried away her life since she fell off the cradle”