This week has been strange. A dear friend is pregnant for the very first time. My ex-husband took his new wife on a tour of the tiny New England town we courted in. One son got his driver’s permit. Another friend maybe headed to court for more child support. A friends’ father passed away. Another lost his mother. Someone else is dating happily after all this long time being yelled at. It all just turns and turns. What do I want to say?
The world this week full again of awful news- stranded walruses and beheadings and on it goes, and goes. I understand Russell Brand when he says, “look at the faces of our politicians. These are not our leaders. Their faces are all fear.” Yes, the media and Ebola and the Seattle rain that has started to fall- it is a lot. And waking up and all that, also a lot. And I completely get it when friends are just done in. I have been so done in, so many times. Elizabeth Gilbert said earlier this week something like…grace is whatever keeps you lifting your head up from the mud. I can picture myself a few years ago, chain smoking on my front porch, literally knocking down the hours with cigarettes and calls to friends and walking the dog twice a day. Hour after hour after hour. Yet this morning I could not wait to get out of bed to have a day.
I stand amazed, in the midst of so much awful, that it has become easier (even possible) for me to see connections and beauty all the fuck over the place. Even here, writing this, and that Thrift Shop song comes on and in that just one thing I have a dozen powerful connected memories. That he played at a Sweet 16 party my eldest, most anxious son attended his first year at a new school, how it was the beginning of a new happier time in his social life. That when Elliot and I were at Value Village last week to get baggy green clothes to make a Pippin costume, he started singing “I’m gonna pop some tags” in line, making the grump in front of us smile and everyone waiting started to get jiggy with it. That my brilliant friend and yoga teacher hung Macklemore’s portrait at the front of the studio for a while, in good fun a true reminder that he is living his dharma, sober and trying hard, like so many of my dearest and funniest friends. That one of them who I met in treatment, a beautiful doctor from NYC has relapsed, writing scrips for herself using her sister’s name all over Manhattan, texted me last week from the Four Seasons in Bora Bora, saying “I’m using. Headed to treatment. Help.” And I was able to answer with “I love you” first. The rest matters so much less than that.
I thought I was sitting down to write about finally being brave enough to ask for what I want from my beloved. Instead it turned out to be about how brave everybody is, and how brave the world is too, how it turns up- again and again – in a thousand small ways, beauty and effort and love mattering, over and over.