Monday, November 12, 2018

Decisions, Decisions

Friends, I wrestled for some time with the notion of sharing this with you. If you're inclined to worry or pity -- please scroll on; I will be fine and I certainly am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me.

Likewise, if you're inclined to be "judgy" or give me advice -- please scroll on; you know I won't take it well to be scrutinized and scolded, and I probably won't appreciate unsolicited advice.

This is just me, being honest about what's going on in my life.

I'm not really happy/satisfied. And I feel kinda guilty about saying that, because I have plenty to be happy about (and am happy about those things), and plenty to satisfy me (I want for nothing, which is more than most people on this planet can say).

But choices that Greg and I made based on a future together now no longer make sense to me as I face a future without him. It is a weird sensation to feel as I do. At times I feel a sense of guilt; at times I feel fickle. My rational mind knows that I'm neither of these things. My emotional mind -- perhaps still tied to what might have been -- plays tricks on me.

Some days, I'm paralyzed with doubt and overwhelmed. Thank God for Henry ! If it were not for Henry, I might not get out of bed every day.

Right now, I'm sitting outside, listening to cicadas and other insects buzzing busily. I hear frogs chirping, and think there'll be rain. Acorns make popping noises as they fall out of the trees. There's the hum of air conditioners to remind me that I'm still in civilization. A short time ago, strictly by chance, I had a very pleasant conversation with an older neighbor who'd grown up in Asheville -- had, in fact, attended the same high school my father had attended. We talked about Celo and Loafer's Glory and Red Hill, about the fabric and furniture mills of days gone by, and about new roads that have brought change. I live in a lovely, extremely safe community ... but I'm not entirely happy/satisfied with my situation.

I desperately miss having a music room! I miss being able to sit down and play the piano strictly on a whim. I miss being able to leave my dulcimer set up, so that I can think through a tune that’s fermenting in my brain. I miss having my music books quickly accessible on a shelf.

I miss having an "office" area that's not blended with my "living space." I miss being able to leave unfinished business in a big pile on a desk without being concerned that the pile is going to be in my way.

Once upon a time, Greg and I sold our house so that we could locate closer to the facility where he'd eventually have a liver transplant. We pared down our life to live in our Airstream, and talked about all the places we'd go in that Airstream when he was finally free to travel, post-transplant.

And now that life is gone, and little of what's left makes sense without him.

Be assured, those of you who know me through our company Celtic Heritage, that the crossroads I seem to be reluctantly coming to are personal crossroads. I very much enjoy my professional life and am happy/satisfied in it. In truth, I feel that if I make a few personal changes, my professional life actually will be enhanced. It's worth noting that two of the major sources of dissatisfaction that I’d like to “correct” are related to my professional life. Huh.

I scrupulously avoided making major decisions after Greg's death, because I've seen too many people make too-hasty changes while they were still in shock/grief ... and then regret those changes down the road. But I'm confident that I'm past that. I'm pretty confident that whatever decisions I make will be with an eye to the future: moving forward, rather than running away.

If you've made it this far, you're probably wondering how to respond. Don't worry. You don't have to. I am writing this as a catharsis for myself, but also because some of you have expressed interest in my healing process. All I ask is that you say a few prayers, think good thoughts, dance to music, sing loudly -- and if you can't sing well, then sing even more loudly, with gusto. I'll feel all that good energy.

Thanks for "listening."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Guardian, My Gift





His muzzle is grizzled by age, but he still strikes a majestic pose.

This wonderful creature came into my life as another wonderful creature was preparing to leave it. He stepped up, sometimes in demanding fashion, sometimes tenderly, to remind me that for the living, life does -- it must -- go on.

His steps are a little slower these days; his energy, once seemingly infinite, now comes in bursts. His needs are simple, and in meeting those needs I find simple pleasures: The sound of a rushing river, the raucous caw of a crow, the sweet song of a robin. Perhaps the most pleasant pastime of all is found in watching him explore and savor whatever little part of the universe he finds himself in.

There is no doubt in my mind that he is my little teacher and my fearless trail scout and my faithful companion and guardian. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a gift from God.