Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I would like to express my thanks.

Unfortunately, I'm going to be mixing metaphors in the process, but please bear with me. I think it will all come together in the end.

I knit. I am not a great knitter, as I find out every time I venture into one of the knit-and-bitch sessions at my favourite yarn shop -- but I love the feel of wool in my hands, the way simple movements of my needles create patterns that make sense. When I make a mistake, I know how to work my way back to my mistake, correct it, and go on with the project. I don't despair. I don't just rip the wool off the needles and throw it away.  Now, if only I could carry that attitude on to the rest of my life.

Reya Mellicker (The Gold Puppy) truly spoke to my heart today, and I am grateful to her. She talked about starting and re-starting, about transitions. I have always thought of my life as a shelf full of books, opened and closed one after the other, rather than as chapters of one long story, related by the story's theme and by the characters who inhabit it.
When a part of my life is over, I say, it is over, and I move on. I cut my losses, and I start anew. At least, that's what I try to do. It must be obvious to even a casual observer that  this doesn't work. An old friend told me long ago (Why didn't I listen?), No matter where I go, there I am. I find myself in awe of the people around me who live where they grew up, who have friends from their childhood, whose lives are, for lack of a better word, a gestalt. Mine isn't. Even my bookshelf metaphor is far too neat -- much neater than my life.


This September, Robin and I will board The Turtle and head back to Ontario. I am excited about seeing my daughter and son-in-law, who moved back east two years ago, and I'm already counting the days -- but there will be more to the visit than that. I will be going back to a place where I spent more than twenty years, where I loved and was loved, where my children were born, where I lost my marriage, lost the continuity of my own story, and went into a predictable tailspin. I'll be going back to a place that I left abruptly, heartlessly, and tried to forget. I'm full of conflicting emotions, bouncing between elation and trepidation. Maybe I will find that everything has changed, that I have succeeded in becoming a stranger. But is that really what I want? Maybe I'll encounter old friends. I don't know quite how I feel about that. A way-too-big part of me wants to buy a wig and some oversized sunglasses. When I'm tempted to do that, I will try to remember Reya's example. I will try to hang onto the thread of my life, to remember that the earlier chapters of my life still have valuable lessons to teach me, if I only have the courage to work my way back, to correct my mistakes -- or to accept that I can not correct them, and that they simply make up the unique pattern of my life.

Brave words, eh? Wish me luck -- and thanks again to Reya.

14 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow, what a beautiful post! Your trip back to that place of so much change and transformation is perfect! This summer (astrologically) is all about personal and collective re-invention. Anyone who has a heart that beats can feel it. Those who respond to the call are the bravest among us. I'm talking about you!

Of course you have conflicting emotions about the visit. Everything will be brought up to the surface, whew!! It's not a journey for the weak or meek. You are neither.

I have a feeling your journey will bring insights and healing and all good things.

Much love to you! Love your new look, btw.

Shalom.

Reya Mellicker said...

Your blog's new look is what I meant.

Mary said...

I am picturing you in the wig, big glasses and a very large-- Okay I'm done laughing!
They way I feel is that everything that happened in the past made me the wonderful person I am now! I'd be someone else if I changed things. You are terrific for the same reason and you should never forget that.


Mary
Giggles and Guns

Karen said...

I have to agree with the others. Remember, "The child is father of the man." Everything we are is part of from whence we came. Celebrate the good and the bad that you have lived through to make you the wonderful person you are today. Then enjoy your visit. You may be surprised.

Sandra Leigh said...

Reya, thank you for your generous comments. I hope you're right about the insights and healing. It's time, I think. Oh, and the new blog header is a photo I took when we were in Hawaii recently. I'm glad you like it. Love to you, too.

Mary, stop laughing right this minute! Oh, never mind. Keep laughing. It's good for us to laugh. I'll have somebody take a photo of me in my wig and shades! (btw, I love that avatar!)

Karen, thank you. I will try to do just that.

kimmirich said...

((((Sandara)))) I hope your journey back brings you much peace and happiness.

Sandra Leigh said...

Thank you, Kimmi.

Betsy said...

Best of luck to you! Positive outlooks are always best!

Sandra Leigh said...

Thank you, Betsy. I generally have one of those, and I was most annoyed when mine disappeared. I'm working on getting it back, though.

Kathy said...

Good, good luck to you! I recently discovered that sometimes what we're fighting and tripping over was never really in our way at all, and the clarity of that discovery took my breath away! Here's hoping you find the same situation in Ontario! Cheers!

Jingle said...

being grateful or thankful is cool!

AngelMay said...

Good luck, Sandra! But life is not like knitting. You can never go back and re-work those mistakes. Better to move forward toward those things that give you pleasure and those people who love you now - just as you are. (BIG HUGS)

Sandra Leigh said...

Kathy, yes -- I do have a tendency to catastrophize (Can that really be a word?). In all likelihood, I will end up finding the places where I was happy and being happy there again.

Jingle, yes. It certainly is.

Angel May -- Hmmm. The metaphor does have its faults. Sometimes, though, I think it's possible to take back a few stitches and restore the row to nearly its proper configuration -- though the yarn has to be willing to co-operate! Phew. That was exhausting. I've been knitting too much.

John Hayes said...

Beautiful--& I've found many posts by Reya to be very inspiring! My life has been episodic like that, & I've tried over the past couple of years, with varying degrees of success, to integrate some of the earlier aspects into my current life. When it has worked, it's wonderful; in at least one case, when it didn't work, it felt devastating, but I've worked hard at moving on--the blog has been a big part of that. At various points I've tried to let emotions about my "past lives" spill over into the writing. It usually helps....