Friday, March 29, 2013

They Don't Call, They Don't Write

** The title of this column is a tongue-in-cheek reference to something people of a certain age will likely understand, and others maybe not so much. Also, I imagine it depends on your cultural background and experiences, so I will attempt to explain it since I do have a worldwide readership likely made up of different age groups as well.
Typically, the words "They don't call; they don't write" were spoken by a Yiddish elder and referred to his/her adult children who were too busy with their own lives to stay in contact with their parent. It was generally used as a punchline, a serious-but-not-serious reproach, a loving wistful reminder that "Hey, I miss you; touch base."
The expression was/is also ironically used when referring to people not in a position to call or write. For instance, in the film "Dances With Wolves," the muleskinner uses dark humor when he points to arrow-laden skeletal remains lying on the prairie, and remarks, "I'll bet someone back East is going: Now, why don't he write?" ~~GH
Someone asked me why I got divorced, and I flippantly answered that my ex had met and fallen in love with another woman. But those of you who know me by now, know if there’s a twinge of untruth in something, it nags at me until I listen. I hate being nagged so I tend to listen. Life is too short to carry around backpacks full of hassles.

Why did I get divorced, I asked myself. I got divorced because I didn't love my ex. I didn’t divorce him nearly soon enough, and put us both through a great deal of grief because of my neglect. Instead of acting on my heart, I relinquished my agency to the “authority” of the institution of marriage. I was “supposed” to be married: I had committed to being married, and by gum, I was gonna fulfill that commitment.

But I’m not past that ridiculous submission to false authority even today. And it bothers me. I realized that despite the fact the marriage had effectively been over for years as far as I was concerned  (and functionally over for many months as far as both of us were concerned), I still waited until the “official” ending signified by the final divorce hearing. THEN not only THAT, but I had to have the physical divorce decree in my hands to feel truly free. It was only after realizing that, that I knew how silly that was. I haven’t felt married in seven months. 

I started examining what other areas of my life I wait for external authorization in order to take action. (Not going to bore you with those details. It's a work-in-progress).

Whose authority am I waiting for? It depends on the situation. For instance, I now know I can write any damned way I choose to – don’t have to submit to the rules – and people will read and enjoy my work. And yet I wait on the man I love to “tell me” what he wants to do -- or do I? 

I am living my life, going where I want, doing what I want to do, and enjoying my activities. But I feel a deep void where I’d like him to be. (And no, I don’t just mean sex because, as much as I’d enjoy him filling that void, there is one deeper still that would benefit even more from his presence). 

I don’t want him to tell me what he wants to do so much as I want to know I am in his thoughts, and his heart. I don’t require a lot of attention; I’m pretty self-sufficient. But I do require a certain amount, and I’m not receiving it. 

Actually, I think the real issue is the lack of a clear declaration. I could float for a staggering chunk of time on the wings of clarity, but this dense fog of uncertainty is uncomfortably grounding.

I’m intuitive but still hesitant to fully accept my intuits. My heart tells me all is well. My LRM (logical rational mind) tortures me endlessly with “facts.” It feels like if I could wave an email or a text in front of my LRM and say “See? Now shut the hell up!” that I could have peace and enjoy my happy feelings. It is ridiculous that I expect Emotion to satisfy Logic with facts. This is an underlying flaw of my Western mind.

My metaphysical work continues. So I keep peeling off layers, dismantling bricks, pulling back curtains that mysteriously close themselves out of habit. I consciously practice openness, receptivity.  I am still tender, but much less afraid than I used to be. And I'm closer to softness and further from tenderness all the time. 

I dialogue with my inner child. She talks a lot these days. She’s pretty cool, and I like her. I work to integrate body with soul, to become whole. But I still check my inbox. Tumbleweed City.

Thanks for reading. ~~GH

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