Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Before January is Gone
I should write. Without any prior plan to do so, I slipped out of bed when I heard Jeff clanking around and making coffee this morning, much earlier than usual. I was hoping that the remnants of subconscious thought would finally set to text and screen what has been swirling around up there for a few months. I have actually lied partially awake in bed very many early mornings and felt sure I have struck just exactly the order of how a piece of prose could go. I rise, drink coffee, plan and start the day and the opportunity simply dissolves. Just disappears and gets buried in all of the things that a day becomes, good or bad, neither. This scenario has repeated countless times.
Today is different. Today is our eldest Juliana's birthday. 23. I was saying to Jeff last night that it doesn't seem any more or less than 23 years, it rather seems a whole other lifetime. A different time and place and group of characters all together. But I look back harder and see myself in that girl, swept from maidenhood to motherhood in just a few seconds. And I see him. Upright and filled with all the love necessary to carry us to here, without a map. And her. Beautiful and amazing to me now, then, and every single moment in between. As of the 22nd Nicolas is now 17 and as of the 20th Eleni is now 11. They are each growing into themselves which feels astounding to witness if you let yourself think about it. And what, Jeff and I wondered in the dark last night, is it that divides these other lifetimes ago that we sense. How does it happen without warning that a group of events or memories suddenly feel like another time and place? How does it partition itself from now? The cities. The houses. The arrival of children. The schools. How soon will it be before we look back on this time and label it another life?
2014 humbled me. I seldom feel an obligation to write here or anywhere, but just let things be what they are, never seeing any sense in forcing it. If most of my journaling these days comes more moment by moment on Instagram, then that is just how it is right now. No doubt it will eventually change again. I suppose that for me writing feels a luxury with all that is on my plate, and one I miss and haven't indulged myself in for a while. If I do have one regret it is not doing my year in review post for 2014. But it really felt like more of an incapability than a resistance. The whole year was filled with growth in my work and in my family, so many good things, but the last few months of it almost emotionally paralyzed me. In the span of one month, my oldest, dearest friend lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. My gorgeous, perfect dog Leo was hit and killed instantly by a car in front of our house. Isabela and I were in a car accident just ten days later. Completely my fault, I still don't know how I didn't see him coming. I do know that right as I was pulling out of our driveway, I was saying the words "I can't believe our Leo is gone, I miss him so much". Crash. If this blog has ever been a place to report my goings on, it stopped right there for a bit. I could not.
I learned something very poignant recently. Studies have shown that the brain can not actually feel the emotions of anxiety and gratitude at the same time. They are opposites. So much so, that psychologists suggest writing down all the things you are grateful for each day as a way to get your brain on the healthier side. I found myself feeling anxious last year quite a bit. Of course with the loss and sadness, but even really good things that required so much of me, wore me out emotionally. I am grateful that my friend has family and friends to surround and love her and her gorgeous twins in these deep days of loss. I am grateful that my boy Leo did not suffer, and that a perfect stranger risked traffic and darkness and helped me in the middle of the road to carry him home, as Jeff and most of the children were gone. I am grateful we still have Cash puppy. I am grateful that the man driving the car who hit me was kind, not angry, mostly concerned about me, and that Isabela and I did not suffer too much banging up. I am grateful we had the means to fix our car.
On the first day of this new year our house and trees were swarmed with a mumuration of starlings. The sound was overwhelming from the upstairs studio as it is just right under the roof. They were stunning. A chorus. A dance. The yard and trees were blackened by their presence. Here and gone in seconds. I think we are that way. From one tree to the next. The same tribe flying high and low, straight and organized and then not. But moving and together, always.
Wishing you a grateful 2015! Look forward to sharing it here with you.