Well, I have to say, after so many years, almost twenty-four, that was spent as a wife and the mother of Zoe (of course I’ll always be Zoe’s mother), it is very strange to be living on my own again. I was writing about it this morning and I wrote “alone” and then a few moments later I wrote “free.”
I feel both alone and free. I am free of the constant worry about my own mother now and the stress of being responsible for her care. Zoe is living in San Francisco, in a lovely apartment with roommates (who are both away this month) and she will be looking for a job. It’s all very strange and this morning I was reading in one of my daily readers about walking through the sadness. I wish there was a detour I could take, a way of avoiding the feelings, but there really isn’t.
It’s a challenging time. I’ve seen four movies in the past three days, they are great distractions – “Taking Woodstock” – at a Writers Guild screening with my friend Lisa. James Schamus, who wrote the screenplay, spoke after the film. Yesterday I saw “Funny People” which was too long for my bladder to handle, but I thought it was good. And then today I watched “I’ve Loved You So Long” with Kristen Scott Thomas, which was one of the grimmest films I’ve seen in a long time and”The Tall Guy” with Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson – thanks to my friend Annie who recommended it. It was written by Richard Curtis, one of his early films, and there are some very funny scenes in it (especially a sex scene.) In the next week or so I will be on a marathon of “The Wire” which everyone says is the best thing to ever have been on television. This is my way of handling pain, I guess.
And then there are Lucy and Lola, my dogs. I am so grateful that they keep me company and take long walks. They both seem to be falling apart a bit physically, but then I am too.
Thanks to Pema Chodron and my meditation practice (such as it is), I am feeling the feelings and “leaning into the pain.” And I have to say that it isn’t pleasant. But I was thinking about other friends who have gone through this and they’ve all moved on and are doing relatively well. I spoke to one friend tonight and she just started having hot flashes, so I’m grateful to be past that. I don’t know what is happening in the world, but every time I watch the news I see these morons talking about health care and attacking Obama’s plans with ridiculous concerns like killing old people, fueled by conservative organizations, so I am sticking to movies. And “The Wire.” And I guess I should see Julie and Julia, since people seem to like it. And who doesn’t like French food? That’s a good diversion. And the weather is glorious – it’s a beautiful summer night. Life isn’t all that bad.
I also was reminded that so often several things happen at once – the loss of a parent, the end of a relationship, job loss, whatever. It just seems to occur that way.