January: cold, damp, grayness

January: cold, damp, grayness. Oh, Mid-January with its cold damp grayness. I have been chilled for the past two days. When I come in to warm up, after any excursion outside, I over heat, then strip off layers, then chill, my body heat is bouncing up and down like a pogo-stick. Of course, I have a head cold. Been playing with this one since New Year’s Eve. I thought I was done with its last week, but no, out on full bloom for this weekend. My beloved has suffered more with a flu syndrome and a radical change in one of her business ventures which presents opportunities, only if she is up to the challenge. And she is not! She is at winter’s low ebb. Despite all of this illness, we were graced with visits from my daughter and her son and his s/o. Both of us got to smile and laugh. The rest of the time, I manage to get outside for one or more errands, damage control, repairs, clean up, or some-such-thing, at least once a day, and the rest of the time writing, reading or watching TV. The best part about the last three, is that I accomplish my goals sitting in my recliner with Luna on my lap. She is an amazing animal. Gorgeous to watch, she is almost completely graceful and would be totally so, had she all of her claws. She doesn’t know she has been declawed and as a result finds herself in clumsy situations on the leather arm rest or backrest of the recliner. She hasn’t fallen off but has slipped and scrambled many times. She ends back on my lap after a few such awkward excursions, purring, stretching, longingly staring at the cupboard where her treats are kept. She won’t stare forever though, she can tell when I am not going to relent and treat her. Then she either makes herself comfortable on my lap for the long haul, until I do treat her, or rather disdainfully she leaves my lap and nonchalantly walks away. I am okay with this, and quickly take advantage of her pride and go back either to my book or computer.

So, my question is: Does she, in fact, have ‘pride’ or is that my anthropomorphizing. When she is stretching in my lap and turns and looks in my eyes, is she considering me, does she even recognize me as a person? Am I anything to her other than an olfactory pattern with which she is familiar and associates with food, treats, and a warm lap? I suspect that she has no concept of self. That this rather miraculous organism, called a cat, reacts pretty automatically to my smell, my sound, and to a much lesser degree to light. (The vet has said that her vision is quite compromised by a cat’s variety of cataracts). Her muscles move sinuously under her skin, and her velvet fur ripples over them. Gorgeous. But, self-aware, hard to say. Especially since it is also hard for me to know if I am self-aware. The more I watch my self, I see so many versions of me and I have so little say over when or why or under what circumstances they are in charge of my being here, that I am seriously considering that like my cat, I am a collection of trillions of cells and billions of other collections that belong to other life forms while inhabiting my body. And that again like Luna, I react to my circumstances, by putting forth, not only behaviors but also single facets or aspects of myself. Who am I really? You know it is much easier to not think much about oneself and just stay reactive. Easier, but perhaps not happier nor satisfying. At some point in my life, I was not feeling particularly satisfied with my life. I certainly had all of the material pleasures that privileged white male status bestows, but, I didn’t have love. At least I didn’t have the kind of love that I both thought I deserved and in the defined relationship of marriage thought I was entitled to. My children loved me as children. I had friends who loved me as friends do, and I much appreciated all of that love, couldn’t have survived without it, wouldn’t have wanted to. But the keystone of it was missing. I did not have the love of a woman. My wife had actively rooted out of her heart any love she had for me. Did I have a role in that? Absolutely, (not that I could admit to it then), I was way too shame ridden to be able to cop to anything, but in any case, it wasn’t there. And it didn’t get any better in my second marriage, worse in fact. So I changed course. I decided that my loss of the love of once loving partners had to originate with me. I chose to own it. I took a sacred vow, out in the woods at night, candles, a circle of protection, calls to the four spirits, and the great spirit as well, that should I ever be graced with a loving woman again, I would stay the course. I would learn “unconditional love” and bring her home (to transcendent consciousness through our loving) and turned the entire matter over to the great spirit. Sure enough, a week later I met my beloved. For six months we had the greatest love affair of both of our lives. And then I moved in. There was plenty of need for me and my love in the house. There were three teenage boys who were basically fatherless. (I am still in loving relationships with them). My beloved, however, looked at me differently and a chill entered that wrapped a gray blanket around the body of light that we had been generating. It didn’t happen all at once, but slowly over years and I found myself once again in the same situation. But. I took on the challenge in a different way. I chose not to blame her for my loss. I began in earnest to look at myself. I have not liked a lot of what I saw. I have changed much of it. My beloved too looks at her life and her dissatisfactions and works to create changes. Both of us are engaged in this task, and I suppose if we weren’t both so stubborn and blind, and obstinate, we would have had that light body back in full shining glory. We don’t. It appears occasionally. Once and awhile we meet each other in a loving embrace. It is okay. Enough to keep me in life. I can imagine more. I am doing so (imagining more). I am certain that I am on the right path. Working to change myself, working to build a temple out of the love that lies at the base of my marriage. I will. One kindness at a time.

                                                                             ###

(1171 wds)

critiques welcome. Dr. Robert

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