Thursday, April 21, 2011

Picking Up My Pieces

Wow, it's been a long long time since posting in this blog. It is nearly two years ago that I announced my launch, and the road has been spinning before me, with wonderful turns and twists, two new grandbabies, so many many lessons...

Now I sit perched in my own tiny cabin, on the edge of San Rafael, overlooking downtown, and beyond, the Bay glinting like a knife of promise...

I find myself needing to write about the journey of an empty-nester single parent, the journeys of so many other single parents, all of us waiting with baited breath at the verdict on our lives' work: our children.

We sit in this dissembling culture, holding on to the illusion which all the visual cues corroborate: that we are now on our own, that our children are on their own, that they are self-sufficient unto themselves, as the edicts of adulthood require. We are all self-sufficient, independent, differentiated humans, going off on separate, unrelated paths. That is as it should be, no?

Truth be told, I feel myself spread out over hundreds of miles, across oceans, separated painfully, on some basic psychic level, split in pieces. The Facebooks, the Skypes, the Text Messages, the phone calls: All contribute to a sense of sound-bite, shard, mosaic pieces with great big gaping gaps. My family is all over the planet, my sisters are spread over half, my children (my son) is 600 miles away and always struggling putting his projects together, my grandchildren are nearby to him, and safe and well taken care of, but they are not yet living together. This is a source of pain for all involved, and hopefully this new transition for him will rectify that...

To survive, I shut out that painful bit that I cannot change or control, and I see my single parent colleagues do the same: the noise in the back of our heads, the listening to our children's well being that we honed so well as we raised them by ourselves, now has to be quelled. We stop our listening, we pray, we take a pill, we chill, we meditate, we let go. On one level.

And this is the level of my spiritual trust: He will be OK. They will be OK. They are always OK. He is strong, kind, honest, hardworking, focussed, smart, creative, and full of good karma. The spring of his life is tightly wound still, he will unfold to the vast umbrella that wind will carry through the skies, us all holding eagerly to his ankles... to safety and security, at last.

I guess his is the impermeable balloon of trust, rolling with whatever happens, always safe, always secure, because his safety and security does not depend on any material or permanent thing.

This Trust, this innoculation against the anxiety that modern culture propagates, is what holds me, as well.

The world is full of everything I need to live: lovely homes, magnificent jobs to do, people who will work with me well and brilliantly, loads of money, cars and transport galore! I have lots to contribute to this world, and, on top of that, I believe I can cure our basic existential anxiety.

That will be my life's work, and all of our lives' work, for this is The Age of Anxiety, and it's eating us up.