Archive | Age Matters

A Lonely Otherwise (The 10-Year Breakup)

ghost

I felt anger rise when you’d regale me with endless stories of your family—the spats, foibles, boasts masked as kvelling. I would have loved to have loved to listen but you never even learned my parents’ names. It took a decade for you to learn my full name.

I felt anger rise when you said I was deluging you with my life. You never asked questions but rattled on about yours, deleting only the parts that would cast you in an unseemly light.

Such as: the other ladies.

Such as: who really paid your bills.

Ten years before, the last time I saw my parents, I told them I had recently ended it with someone. It was the first of our many breakups, and the wound was fresh. Continue Reading →

Solstice Visitation: Space Crone Transcends

Last night was summer solstice and I stood in the darkness by the river, weeping without entirely knowing why. It had been a beautiful day but lonely. After sessions I had mourned my solitude even as I’d appreciated its authenticity.

Its charge.

I woke thinking of my grandmother’s funeral and knew she had come through again. She doesn’t return often–only when I really need her. She rarely shows up in a big glorious visitation because that’s not how my intuition works and that’s not how she works. She arrives in an essay, a wrinkle in time, a shining, shared solitude.

She died a few days before my 18th birthday; the funeral happened a few days after it. I was so conscious that no one could ever again legally lay claim upon either of our bodies.

We were free, and it was terrible.

I had loved my grandmother and not felt sure of her. That’s the best way to phrase it. It’s not that she didn’t talk. She spoke when she had something to say. She just wasn’t the type to hold forth. More, she was was the type who listened and to whom others paid court.

By default and by virtue of her quiet self-possession, she was the matriarch of our large, wild family. There was no patriarch. My grandfather had died when he was not much older than I am now, and I’m not sure he ever reigned easily. I never met him –he died months before my parents married–but heard tell of fights, fugues. Futwahs.

My grandmother reigned easily. Everyone confided in her—speedily, anxiously—and she listened with the lids of her large blue eyes lowered at half-mast. You could never tell if she was rapt or bored. That question lived at the center of every exchange she ever had, I think. Continue Reading →

I Do Not Dervish Well (Morning Regrets)

last night

It is an absolutely lovely Sunday morning and I am find myself reflective in a way that would be better suited to a real essay but I have a kitchen to clean and a greenmarket to visit before the best spinach sells out. So I’ll just write this out in a few messy overlong paragraphs, perhaps most fitting for my fugue.

It’s just that never before have I been so aware that human joy and connection is fleeting. More than that: fragile. And never before have I felt so stricken by this fact. This last week has been more social than the 15 months before it, and I have been constantly overstimulated, giddy, and anxious. How to find a center in this whirling dervish of everyone and everything after the cozy claustrophobia of covid incubation tanks. This morning my cuticles are bleeding, my guts are a mess, and I am obsessively running over the dumb things I said and did in every social event I attended–the myriad ways I failed to listen well, hold space for others, breath before opening my big trap. Not to mention the small and big hurts I glossed over in everyone around me, including how they were clocking me (how embarrassing). I of course am an extroverted introvert; I naturally replenish energy reserves alone rather than around others, who drain me even when I adore them (especially then) because I always clock everything they’re thinking and feeling even as I am prattling on a topic of my own (especially then). Worse, it means I am someone who dominates and performs when nervous–so much so that you can tell I actually trust you when I got silent.

this morning

After 15 months of nearly zero socialization I have lost my mechanisms of self-regulation, meaning that I get so overstimulated by the energy of people around me that I keep turning into That Lady–the oxygen-sucker with mentionitus, which is what I call the pathology of using everything someone says as an opportunity to jump in with a comment of your own. AKA the worst. There’s not much to add to this and in fact it’s the kind of post that I normally leave up for 15 minutes and then delete. But for now I’m pressing send just in case anyone else is feeling this particular overwhelm. A sense of being so grateful to be back in this world. To still be alive. To love so much. But also a sense of not living up to any of it when trying to live within it.

My dreams–well, my dreams have been a mess.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy