The other day I wrote a beautiful piece on loss. It may have been the best thing I’ve ever written. I had just watched Spike Lee’s Requiem in Four Acts on HBO, remembering Katrina. Rich was in Switzerland and I, of course, continue to be shell shocked by this move. I wrote from the heart and it was emotionally powerful and I also wrote from thirty years of professional life (a professional life I’ve lost, at least for the here and now.), witnessing people struggle with loss, so it was insightful. It was about the grief you feel when you lose parts of yourself- family and home and ways that you define yourself in the world- and how that is such an individual experience, not relative and not comparable to anyone else’s loss. I was feeling guilty about all of the whining and complaining I’ve been doing, while really wanting for not much of anything, but also I was recognizing that it’s not a contest to see who leads the most Job-like existence. Despair is despair.
So I wrote this very good bit about that and then I unconsciously navigated away from the page and poof! It was gone. I cried a lot. Then because there was no one around to analyze and no one expected in the next day (or months), I self- analyzed that bit of finger tapping and figured that it really IS supposed to be my loss to bear, balance and bring perspective to and not necessarily something I need to keep sharing.
As long as I’m sharing, I wrote to Dan in an e-mail that this is one of three times in my life that I have experienced severe depression; the others, once post partum and once with divorce. Just so you know. I was writing to Dan about it because he too is struggling. He is away from the object of his affections as she studies in London for the year and he is moving to NYC to play jazz before continuing his Masters. And I wrote to him that he would feel better once he settled in and found some direction. That was a mother thing to say.
A bit later I was talking on the phone to a friend I had counseled over the years and she said, "Remember what you often said to us: ‘You won’t always feel this way. Be patient.’ " I said, " I can’t believe I dished out that pap for thirty years."
Then I got off the phone and said to myself, "Get over it."
So, where to begin. I have volumes to share with you. About this ungainly, over electrified, Escher-like house (you got that right, FC!) that is not yet a home. About life beyond my brick walled courtyard (note the new little sidebar picture) here in the land of Oz (WHERE did all these people come from?). About alleys and restaurants and pacing cats. And then there are the Starter People with their busy and interesting lives. The Florida bungalow which is under renovation in the middle of hurricane season.
I’ve decided to start posting daily, "There’s good news and then there’s bad news; which do you want first?" in an effort to find balance and humor in my current situation. I also think, for the moment, a better way to find balance is to step out of my world and visit elsewhere more routinely. I was headed in that direction when I read the Times for the first time in a month. That was the day Pluto got demoted. Believe me, when you’re already on shaky ground you don’t want to hear that the planets are no longer. So I backed off until Monday and that was when the crocodile guy died in the most freaky way possible. More terrible news. Today I’m going for the local scoop in Washington State, Asheville, Bloomington, rural routes of the South and, of course, I’ll swing by Big Dave’s neck of the woods to see what’s news in Tree Town. But first…
The Good News:
Our next door neighbors invited us over for a light supper and they’re really nice! Earlier in the day she took me over to meet the ladies of the Oz Park garden group and we tidied up the perennial beds of the Emerald City Gardens. Yes, there are beautiful parks and gardens here-both four houses and four blocks away. Over the next few days I’ll introduce you to Oz Park, named, of course, for Frank Baum who lived here and wrote The Wizard of Oz. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a short ten minute walk from my front door and I’ll be taking you on detailed walks there, too. I took this picture the other day on a brief and daring foray beyond my own brick courtyard.
The Bad News:
I picked this house on an impulse. I no longer trust my impulses, which have historically been quite good and creative. Some kind of loose synapse was in play when I picked this townhome. For starters, I give you the main floor powder room, where the view is, ah, well… think about it for a minute. Talk about seriously negative Fung whatever.