Yes, we are all well acquainted with the oft cited spectre of a woman who lives alone: the slow erosion into societal outcast, harkened by the hordes of feral cats that prowl across her unkempt living room, sending empty tuna cans skittering to accumulate under the sagging sofa, but what about the terrors of white tulle and twinkle lights?
Why has no one warned us of this positively Havishamian possibility?
Henry: if I play dead, no one can blame me
It started out innocently enough (hmm, on second thought, isn’t that the way ALL horror stories begin?)— I had seven windows and a friend willing to bring me birch branches from her New Hampshire woods.
Forgo the need for curtain rods– secure a few branches here and there with a bit of twine and presto– all that’s needed is a bit of sheer on the sides, yes?
And thus, off to Ikea (so very conveniently located near my new home)– and behold, a pair of white curtains for $4.99– a PAIR. (Clearly I wasn’t the only shopper trying to get my mind around this as there were no fewer than four signs posted about stating, “yes, there are TWO panels in EACH package for $4.99).
I was going for light, breezy, ephemeral– you know, drowsy fabulist sanctuary.
But I am tweaking. I’m tweaking. It’s a work in progress.
My dear, darling Jeanine– she of the lionhearted courage just posted from the trenches of making huge life changes — how utterly raw and harrowing it can feel when you are in the middle of the transformation, when nothing has yet settled into place except the fears and insecurities swarming to feast on the open expanse of your vulnerability which hasn’t got so much as a smear of sunscreen protection at this fragile stage of the molting process.
I, of course, being the wellspring of all wisdom with regard to moving through life as a cliff diver with alzheimers– was quick to dash off a consoling email:
Subject line: “but baby, we’re all gonna die”
I’m thinking that cheered her up.*
There was a time in my life when, if “summertime and the living is easy” came on the radio, I was compelled to shout, “like FUCK it is.”
Whether it is big transitions or small daily mountains– life can feel like an endless game of eye-punching with Larry, Curly and Moe. It can. It does. For all of us.
I certainly don’t have anything figured out (like I need to tell YOU that, ha) but I am definitely learning some tricks for this current section of road I am navigating.
1. Grounding. Root Chakra. Get out of my head.
2. Re-route the neurons. If I am in my head, I damn well better be shifting the gears and remembering to flow, trust and stay out of my own way. My consciousness is a lazy wench and I have to pretty much constantly make sure she is always expanding and redefining the world as I thought I knew it. This means I am no longer allowed to entertain old friends like fear, anxiety and depression– when they show up, I gotta close the door in their face.
How do I do that? See #1 above.
Does it work?
I don’t know. I feel better. Life can still kick me hard in the gut and I will hurt. I’m just more able to see how much control I have over my response to the gut ache– how I can simply feel the acute pain in full measure– and then let it go– breathe, ground into root chakra– and move on.
And then, one day, I wake up and damn if there isn’t a sexy goddess in a yellow dress singing a whole nother song about summertime.
P.S. hmm, I am thinking this post should be re-titled, “how much preachiness can you take?” but then, perhaps most of you probably never made it this far since you had to rush to a dark corner to save what was left of your vision after I blinded you with twinkle lights and tulle.
P.P.S. *apparently it did — yay for preachy friends + email + wild opinions