DEEPLY AWAKE COFFEE TALKS By Kathy Vik
While the wind is howling and the snow is drifting this morning, I have made four attempts at an essay. One by one I’ve wiped them, moved around the place disgruntled and preoccupied, settled in, tried again, moved around again.
I know when I do this is it because I have something to say I am reluctant to spit out.
So here goes.
There are two things that distinguish something alive from something dead. Dead things do not breathe. And dead things are silent.
And so, I am struggling with a grief that I fear may never conclude. It is a grief from which I can be distracted, but not for long, it seems.
I’ve been feeling it since the weekend, and it’s been so strong at times I have wept. There are no words anymore, no arguments can be sustained. Just tears. Just loss. Just grief.
Then I function, and to be sure, no one really knows how much I am hurting at times. It’s not all the time, but, lately it has been intense.
The problem is, what I grieve still breathes, but, it is silent as the grave.
It was only this morning I felt the relief I had been asking for. Sitting at the side of my bed, I played it all through, I felt through the whole thing, until its inevitable end. The yellow brick road suddenly, quite suddenly, turned into a dirt one, leading someplace neither of us wanted to go. We shrugged, muttered, “Well, ain’t that a bitch,” and stormed off separately. Silently. Sadly.
Although I slammed and locked the door, it had always been on a trip wire, and my bluster was merely for show. The decision had long been made that sooner or later, the gates would once again rise and the moat fill. What needed to be said, once that started?
This icy morning, I feel a bit like Cinderella after her crazy night, one shoe on, one shoe god-knows-where, head spinning from indelible love moments, dressed once again in her uniform, wondering what the fuck comes next.
But I am beginning to understand that this business of loving is one which does not end. Maybe whether it does or not depends on the lovers in question, and just what they want from each other, but, more importantly, what their souls have in mind for each other.
In my finer moments, I am happy to think on the great love I have known, and know now. I enjoy considering the fascinating and truly cherished people I know. I can let go the disappointments and imperfect outcomes and just enjoy the show. It’s when I feel small and scared that I feel I must cling, and it’s then, I guess, that it’s easier to grieve the inevitable losses that go along with offering my love as freely as I do.
I read a quote yesterday that I found so moving, I took time to write it out and tape it to my desk. It reminds me, in essence, that it is absurd to argue with one’s life. This is indeed arguing with oneself. I like that thinking. Arguing with what I have created, what I have co-created, is arguing with creation itself. I don’t have to like how it feels, but, how much of that is due to how I am taking things, oh, there’s the rub!
It makes the times when I am dissatisfied with others, with their choices and need fulfillment and general disinterest in tending to me, a whole lot easier. It doesn’t take away my grief, but I figure, grief, when it comes up on me like it has the last few days, that’s just something I need to work through, and if I do my work, I can go deeper next time. Longer. Better.
In the end, I wish it came down to more than waking up in one’s skin and feeling acceptance and joy for a new day. I wish it was more complicated, and had more moving parts. But, I think it comes down to walking through my days, every single one of them, holding myself as a sacred part of this big thing called life, making my little contributions and playing it just as big as I can get away with.
Nothing is solved over coffee, and yet, nothing really needs to be. That’s the weird part to it and what I want to say to close.
I think I have operated under a false notion for many years, maybe for a lifetime, that it’s only after “X” that I’ll be happy/peaceful/free/complete/intact. Only after “X”. I can say “X” confidently, because we all have one, I think. Some thing that, once achieved, will make you feel real good, will bring you home or make you well.
I see this in operation nearly daily, in my life, now. How I have this weird template floating above me from which I can safely judge everything going on, as perfect, imperfect, ready, not ready, good, and bad.
And I do not think it is the template’s fault that bad things happen when I pay attention to it. I think it is an agreement field from which some have already exited, and in which I have never felt comfortable.
This idea that once I have “X” then everything will be ok.
It is a simple device, and one that is so clever, induces such a formidable split in consciousness, it is a lovely thing from which to extricate one’s thoughts.
Sure, I know what feels good to me. Of course, I do. And I want more of what feels good, and less of what feels crappy, in my life. That’s sort of a given for everyone.
But if I do not feel good inside, if I am grieving a loss and feeling empty as a result, if I am scared for the future, or feeling wobbly, then, it is much easier to reach up and play with that template that says if I had “X,” then this pain wouldn’t even be here.
It is not a long journey, but many find it arduous, the travel that must be done between the place where perfection is a picture, seen from without, and where perfection is a knowing, sensed only from within.
The two states cannot be compared, and there are no instruments, as yet, to determine the focus of a soul. But I find there is a feeling of ease and comfort, imagining that there is nothing to measure up to, no standardized way of doing things around here that guarantees happiness.
I think, in the end, the only thing that is going to guarantee my happiness is seeking out things that actually make me happy. Dead ends and dirt roads don’t. Comparing myself to others certainly doesn’t. Being able to sit smack dab in paradox, surprisingly, does.