Sunday, May 25, 2014

Reflections...on life, love, death, and other things

Once again, I find that it has been some time since I've written.  A good blogger, I suppose, is one who blogs, regularly, and by that measure, if no other, I'm not much of a blogger.  I don't often feel as though I have much to say that merits sharing here.  As I look back over the things I've written, I see a me whom I recognize, but don't really identify with much these days.

Since last I wrote, so very many things have happened in my life.  After twenty-two years of marriage, I am just a few weeks away from being divorced. How that happened is still something of a surprise and a shock to me, not because it was something that happened to me, but because it was I who blew things up, in a most unkind and unexpected way...unexpected to me as much as it was to my wife, my children, my family. Reflecting back on it, I know now (though I was asleep about it until the moment that I blew things up), that I had spent perhaps half of my marriage suppressing and sublimating my needs, my wants, my desires, myself. I did the things that I thought a good husband and father should do.  I provided. I sought to serve the needs of my wife, my children, my family, without acknowledging my own. Those rare times when I sought fulfillment for myself, when I reached out for a connection and got none, I rationalized...told myself that it was OK, that my wife wasn't in a place to give me what I needed, and, after all, a marriage is about going the extra mile when your partner cannot, and so I could wait until another day.

Awakening came in the form of another woman (how cliche!). She was a lightning bolt, an intellectual and emotional stimulation like I hadn't felt in years (or maybe ever), a personality that just lit me up in every way. Perhaps it was my own desolation, the void in my own life that made her look to me like something which she was not. Perhaps it was me seeking fulfillment in another, rather than in myself.  Regardless, I looked outside myself for all of the things that I should have sought within myself.

Also, during these months, another friend lost a daughter, to cancer.  However much I feel my own pain and sorrow, I find myself...ashamed?...that I feel so badly for myself, when my life is, by many measures, so much better.  My children are all alive, happy (mostly), intact.  How can I feel that any of my troubles are so bad when I still have them available to me?

So I sit alone in my apartment (Jesus, I haven't lived alone in nearly thirty years!), lamenting my state, and yet grateful for the opportunity to recreate myself, to step into the void that stretches out in front of me and...create...a life that I want to have.  While it feels overwhelming, sometimes hopeless, now, I know that life will go on, whether I will it or not, and so the opportunity is to seize it, to drive it, rather than being driven by the past...

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