Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goin' Down the Road

On a Vermont two lane byway, green mountains rolled out, a sky full of thunder clouds and patches of brilliant blue, the Grateful Dead singing along, some times it feels like no time has passed at all and some things never change. It could be 35 years ago and me heading to a swimming hole, my heart bouncing along in time to the music.

Life has changed, though; so many things for the better, even as I contemplate my share of disasters. I am blessed with three children and another I claim as my own just because I love her so much. True friends I can count on many more than my own ten fingers, all of which, thankfully, are still in place after so many years of power tools. My health is good. I can play soccer and ski better than I ever did in my youth (I don’t run so fast now or fall so far). Love illuminates most of my corners.

This week, I started a new job. I have effectively ended my life in construction by beginning work as an office administrator. It may seem like an unfortunate fall to some to move from running my own company to making copies and answering phones, but in this first week it is no less thoughtful than painting trim and possibly has more variety. It is certainly less rain dependent.

In addition to the loss of responsibility and stress, I get to wear clean clothes and suffer an occasional paper cut instead of inch long splinters. I might drink more coffee, but I will not breathe so much dust.

This small partnership is involved in very exciting projects to keep it interesting: book writing and film production. On top of the half-time regular duties, we expect that I will be handed independent assignments to involve my revitalized creative skills, several steps towards the kind of work I always imagined I might be doing.

My mind is just beginning to absorb the concept that, living frugally, this income should support us decently, possibly enough to pay all the normal bills regularly, an enormous change in and of itself, a welcome relief of pressure. In the other hours, I can pursue my writing and music with the passion they deserve, mind free to explore creatively with less worry and more hope. At long last, I am daring to move in the directions that excite my soul.

Ironically, this also is the week I signed the papers to end my second marriage. The depth and need for this severance—so clear to so many for so long—has become apparent to me only in the separation over these many months and the internal contentment that has been nurtured and now blossoms. Still, the legal jargon describing an even split leaves me with nothing material and a heart aching for something that was glimpsed only in the best of times, no matter how good it feels to no longer be fighting.

Since leaving, I have embraced joys which had been set aside: ski, play soccer and music, write whenever the fancy strikes. My son has become a great friend after so many years neglected behind the closed door of his neutral corner. I have grown closer to the daughter of my first marriage after moving away from her to marry again. Old friends recognize the smile of a man they used to know and new ones seem to like the happy man they meet.

As necessary as it was to do, it is sad to be finished with something that began with such blissful hope. No matter the struggle that stretched over so many years, I miss the dear friend I once loved. We both tried so hard to find the dream once shared. In the end, the most loving act was to recognize it would kill us sooner than later, and our children also were suffocating.

Now we can both move on to better songs we sing. For me today, it happens to be driving alone down an old Vermont road, accompanied by my good ol’ pals, the Grateful Dead.

Please share with your friends


laughingirl said...

I love this post a lot: the way you count your blessings, embrace the changes in your new life, acknowledge that, though so much has changed, your essence has not. You sound strong here, ready to continue your journey down the road (and what a journey it will be).

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great Kip when it all comes together finally. I just knew you'd come through the fog OK. I'm very happy for you and for me because I was once in the same situation as you.

Excellent writing as usual.

Laurie said...

Yea!!!! You sound so good Kip! God does answer prayer. We have to be patient and wait for his timing. I can't wait for the next chapter of your life to be written here on your blog. Yours is an exciting story and one that so many can relate to. you deserve this good time. Enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the new position Kip, I imagine that it will be a lot less stressful.. which is a good thing :-)