Not too long ago, I started entertaining the notion of taking up the fight with the ex-husband that would undoubtedly ensue by moving my little family away from here, away from him and the pain of our divorce and into the loving arms of my family and/or friends in other states. I had conjured up images of long sunny days frolicking in the yard with cousins and kinda-cousins, sharing drinks with my sisters or my girls and giggling. Maybe I'd even find myself a nice man who lived in my circles and settle down again. My mama and I could bond, my kids would know my family and community values.
As I reflected it became apparent to me that I was perpetuating a tradition of idealizing the dead. It is, I suppose a coping mechanism that we humans have to remember the dead fondly, we tend to blot out their very human traits that irritated or even harmed us. It hurts us to know that someone will remember our own transgressions, so I suppose in forgiving theirs, we forgive our own. Nevertheless...sooner or later I had to recognize that not only was my own very dead past just as buried in the dust as any saintly gone-by relative, but that it had just as many of its own ugly tales buried under the rosy glow of my wishful memories. What would small town Nebraska have to offer me in the way of support or even after-school care for my behaviorally challenged special needs kid? How about my family? How would they deal with his condition when faced with the sometimes hard realities of it? How about my hippy dippy approach to spirituality? I actually spent sometime thinking about all the reasons I've left all the places that I've left. And I became pretty despondent.
Why do I not find the peace I'm looking for? What is missing? I wrote a blog, when I first started blogging about the old Marcel Proust quote, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." I've tried to have new eyes, but the same old ones seem to be there every day when I wake up. I find myself more recently remembering another quote, that I can't quite recall verbatim and can't seem to even google up, but it was from a recovering alcoholic (is that the proper term these days?) who laments that the problem with getting sober is that you have to deal with the person that started drinking in the first place. That strikes some serious chords in this whole battle about where to call home. I think I've been running from place to place, and dragging the problems right along with me, because I never stuck around long enough to quite get "sober." These days I'm sober. I'm not running. I'm dealing. But facing the person who started running in the first place, it isn't easy.
Taking it slow. Practicing forgiveness. Have you been there?