Friday, July 24, 2009

Tender in the Night

Just recently I have been working on a new song that includes the line “Doing what it takes to get us through the night”. This was with no idea that within a few days I would be lying awake in the darkness, eyes riveted open and heart clutched with an aching fear.

Perspective at 3 AM, for me, tends to be askew. Reality is obscured by the delusional and seductive. Potent dreams may rise, looming with as much certainty as predictions of the sun’s imminent dawning. More often, it is the fear of disastrous outcomes that keeps me from the sleep I more and more desperately crave.

In the next room on this night, I can hear the mumbled voice of my son, whispered and ecstatic in the discovered mutual wonder of companionship explored via modern technology. Their new world is marvelous and intoxicating; completely devoid of the terror that keeps me awake.

The new part-time job that promised to settle me into an era of creative stability has been just as quickly yanked out from under. My understanding that the Universe had at last provided me with a modicum of abundant support for my dreams of writing and music tonight seems brutally shattered.

I stare at the pieces scattered and wonder what can Spirit possibly have in store for me as a lesson to dangle such hopes before me and then deny the experience. If we are only delivered what we can handle, then why am I blessed to be able to handle so much? Just as quickly as I feel sorry for myself, I recognize there are those who bear much greater burdens. Still, at this strange hour, it is all too easy to lament over the wondering question of “What, dear God, is wrong with me?!”

Where I believed I was adjusting well to learn the needs of my employers, it turns out the fit was not at all satisfactory to them during this probationary period. Without the benefit of negotiation and readjustment, I was simply escorted to the door. Certainly one is allowed to surround themselves with compatible personalities. Having made that choice for myself and committed whole-heartedly to the job, it is now devastating to feel rejected.

Although my view is distorted by need and humility in this late/early hour, I thought I was adapting well enough to an environment that encompassed so many aspects alien to how I have worked before. The office structure was becoming routine and the biggest challenge of my duties was staying alert in the somnambulant early afternoon stuffy summertime hours. The promise of more intriguing projects within the scope of the business made the transition exciting.

Be that as it may, the opportunity has vanished and necessity forces a rapid re-alignment of the re-aligning values, priorities and lifestyle already in progress. In this darkness, I stare at a ceiling invisible, tumbling as if head over heels, wondering how my feet will land, my body aching from so many previous crashes.

The weariness distorts sensibility, but unsure of how to spend the coming day, sleep will not enfold itself around my panicked brain. The mumbling joyful voice in the next room is over-powered by the raging internal cries of self-doubt and consternation within. Every option floated is thwarted by a thousand nay-saying arguments circling as relentlessly as the first chirps of birds outside awakening the dawn.

Answers will eventually come, and in the meantime, I must assert my authority as parent, urging us both to relinquish to sleep our various stimulations.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009


A lot of advice comes my way these days that so soon divorced I should spend time alone and independently. Once married for twenty years, now twice divorced, lessons are available to be discerned. I should allow time and space for the real me to gracefully emerge.

In these eighteen months of separation, after an immeasurable time of emotional disconnection and dissolution, I approached these yellow pages with a fervor to describe to myself the process of transformation that had begun within me. Retreating to a man’s cave, I became immersed in a renovation, repairing with my hands what could not be done in my heart. Alone at the end of each day, late into the night, the enticement of guitar, long packed away and ignored, reasserted itself and I could sing with a new voice matured. My scribbles brought new life to old dreams, and instead of fiction—making up stories to represent emotions I had not felt—in uploading the scribbles, blogging became a platform to share the raw footage of a life rebuilding.

In different ways, I have flirted with lust and experienced a glimpse of what an exquisite love connecting souls might feel like. My heart is both protected and wide open, willing apparently to take a risk against all caution, and able to suspend its beat temporarily as the intensity might dictate. Since we are defined in so many ways by the amount of romance in our lives, being such vital pieces of the whole, I might willingly describe the fragrance of some of these stories, yet because such intimacies involve the details of others, I have not found the vocabulary to share the universal lessons learned in my own humble tale.

Likewise, the relationship just ended, so simultaneously inclusive and exclusive, both ecstatic and destructive (to selves, each other and our children), has a profound influence on so many present thoughts and behaviors, urging the revelations and compelling, at the same time, a respectful silence. Some of what requires processing is better done alone or within the haven of certain select confidants.

These issues truly are the crux of my existence these days, making it difficult to muster words to a blog whose unintended purpose has been perhaps fulfilled. A marriage has been ended, reconnections with most of my children are well-established and prosper weekly. I balance on the slippery edge of a new life, sometimes peering into futures of potential disaster and despair, most times inspired by creativity, the passions of personal expression and a new job.

My emotions are tender, sometimes raw and exposed, others withdrawn and healing. I have emerged from my cave, seeking life in all of its wonders and frustrations, aware that it can be painful, encouraged by the patches of brilliant sunshine as clouds begin to dissipate. My voice is rising, even if for weeks at a time it makes no sound on this page.

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