Saturday, December 17, 2016

In the Heart of the Winter, This Night is Not The End

"In the heart of the winter, you can see through the trees, 
and the frozen ground waiting, is the feel of your dreams. 
Life used to be simple, the world used to be sane
There's something that's missing, I want it put back again."

A year ago...

...Was the second year anniversary of my mother's death...

...I filed for divorce...

...I attended my work holiday dinner with a hollow smile nailed to my face and watched my energetic colleagues receive (well-deserved) awards and dance with their love interests...

...I drove home, and got on Facebook, to see that my soon-to-be-ex had thrown himself a birthday party, and was surrounded by many of our mutual friends...

...And I sat in my bed and cried. And then had a lengthy phone conversation with a totally inappropriate person, and drank a lot of vodka, and eventually fell asleep, not knowing if or when anything would change.

And now, today. A year later. Everything is different, in all the best ways imaginable. I'm removed from that life, that environment, and most of those people. I'm safe, and busy, and I have the only thing that I knew I wanted. I'm home, and I'm trying to re-build a life that I never should have left.

Fittingly, tonight--on a cold, sleety night, just before the start of winter-- I attended a concert performance at the UU Church here in town called "Made in Indiana", featuring one of my favorite musicians, Tim Grimm. He, and another musician, and two authors, all shared their reflections and stories of life in Indiana, and Tim sang a song about the winter solstice, that dark time of the year...basically, where I was this time last year. Then I was struggling, reaching out for any sort of hope, reassurance, validation, no matter the source. Now I am in a quiet place in my life, laying fallow, perhaps. My soul is regenerating, I suppose you could say. I imagine that in a while, I shall be ready for more hope, more experiences, more possibilities, more risk. 

For now, it's enough that I am here, and that everything is different. 

"No, we are not alone, this night is not the end...
Brothers and sisters, all around, 
a new day is ready to begin..."

Monday, December 12, 2016

I lost a month of my life.

I mean, I knew exactly where it got to, but still, it's lost. Gone.

On October 30, after a long night of some pretty hard partying, I woke up tired and achey with a sore throat. Thus began the WORST headcold of my life--which lingered throughout all of November and into December, and in fact turned into a sinus infection and bronchitis, and possibly walking pneumonia. (I'm waiting to see on that last one.) This wretched epizoodie from hell was still going strong on November 8, when my friends and I gathered together and threw back drinks called "Nasty Woman" and "Putin's Puppet" and "The Bad Hombre" and prepared for the election results. We were trying not to jinx anything, but I would be lying if I said we weren't looking at each other with hope, and excitement, and glee. 

As the night went on, the mood went downhill. A lot of our friends are LGBTQA+, and they started making weak, grim jokes about the internment camps. Anna sat on Michael's lap and began to cry. My friend John saw the expression on my face and silently switched over to making me gin and tonics. 

I cried myself to sleep that night. 

The next morning, I woke up with a crying hangover, probably an actual hangover, and my sickness still wreaking havoc on my body. Like so many of the folks in my country, I was decimated, devastated, disgusted, and frightened. I still was, 10 days later, when I flew down to Florida for an extended Thanksgiving holiday. 

And so, I lost a month. An autumn month, at that. And then when I emerged (still coughing) into the cold, grey morning of December 1, I noticed three things: 

1. It got cold, at some point. Goodbye, fall, I barely knew ye.
2. I somehow managed to inexplicably sprain my toe.
3. The upstairs toilet flooded. 

The following days haven't been nearly as bad, but I am still kind of bewildered about how I lost a whole month. Only in the last ten days have I really felt like I've opened my eyes again to my surroundings and hopes and plans. The days are long, but the years are short, and when you've lost a month of your year, it gets even shorter.