Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A week in a life

Alot has happened. Some of it tangible, like a finished play. Some intangible, like a shift in the cosmos. A week ago I was sad, alone, lonely and wondering how to get through the next few hours, let alone a whole week, and today, although I am very tired, I am more centered, more at peace. That peace comes from grace and faith, friendship, family and prayer.

My class performed last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each performance was two hours. They were stellar. They were brave. They were humourous, dedicated and musical. As they often do, they stole my heart away. Each one of them so shining in their individual moments, but even more so at the last scene when they were all on stage. All 13 of them. So beautiful, so proud, so accomplished.

But, this was also a week of great pain and reflection. Past hurts, long past, once again surfaced and the scab pulled off to reveal the abcess of a wound unhealed and the realization that it will never be healed. It is like living with a chronic illness. But harder. A chronic illness I do live with, every day, although it is less in my mind as it seems I am in some kind of remission. This situation is not like that. It is not a diagnosis you can look up on the internet, or discuss with others who have experienced a similar medical situation. This feels, as Jaques says in As You Like It, "like a melancholy of mine own." Tolstoy said "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

A friend of mine said to me last Monday - "Our families bring us the greatest joy and the deepest pain". Last Monday I was in deep pain. The kind where you can't eat, can't swallow, can't sleep, can't imagine when the pain in your stomach will stop."

As I have written before, my relationship with my mother is complicated. That complication makes other family relationships complicated. Even when you are one of six siblings, even though you think that each of you are being raised by the same parents, you really aren't. Every parent/child relationship is unique. And some are easier than others. I have written in the past that I, at times, didn't like my mother very much, and even came to the place where I realized I didn't love her. Saying those words does not mean that I don't have familial love for the woman that raised me, that there weren't loving moments in our relationship. There are fond memories of her within the painful ones. Especially summer memories, talking in the garden, drinking coffee before anyone else was awake.

But this is not where the pain lies today. The pain is for the impossibility of unity, of reconciliation. The pain is for the realization that the stories are too far apart. A teacher friend of mine said recently that in any disagreement there are three truths. Their truth, your truth, and God's truth.

Perhaps, for this lifetime, I have to let the truth lie with God. There is nothing to gain in trying to give my side of the story, because the other can refute it, deny it, not recognize it, argue it.

It is not enough that there is pain in different perceptions. That, perhaps, I could live with. I could have learned to live with my mother's anger. I have been angry. We have all been angry. It is the meanness that lay behind, or sometimes in front of, the anger that I find hard to accept.

It is an anger I again recognize in another. That is where the pain lies. In the realization that it exists for another generation. And perhaps another after that.

Generational anger and hurt. That is where the true pain lies.

I used to believe that I could bring reason and rationality to the situation. I couldn't then. I can't now. I think at 56 it is time I accept that. It is over. My part in it is over. There is no percentage in hanging on to false hope.

So I will focus on the love and respect I have for those close to me. Some are family that I would choose to be friends. Some are friends that I consider family. I am loved by many, and I in turn love many. That is what took my pain away one week ago, and that is what will heal this wound once and for all.

1 comment:

  1. I can feel your deep hurt and understand it. Family relationships are where we are challenged at the deepest level. By being Love and living Love, such as you are, you are making a positive impact on everyone around you. Including those who are unable to recognize it. Each one of us is presented with unique challenges we chose to address in this life and we cannot presume to know what others need to experience. Continue to be true to yourself - you are not responsible for the choices others make. ( I know you know all this - just a loving reminder ♥)


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