Archive for July, 2009

Life after separation

Before we separated, I can remember feeling very alone and wishing I could live alone. It was unbearable to live under the same roof with someone and yet be so alone. Now I have my own four walls. It is an incredible sense of freedom that came along with the new roof over my head.

It’s been barely three months, and still feels quite new. Some days I wonder where we will both be one year from now. What developments and changes will we go through? Will he find someone new? Will I? How will each of us feel about it? Interesting questions, but I won’t know the answers until it happens.

Recently I felt a strong need to sit down and talk it all out with him — our story, disappointments, mistakes, etc. Every time I suggest we get together, he says he is busy. Now I realize I still pursue this “happily ever after” dream. Why should we be able to sit and talk now — something we were never able to do? I need to let go and take it as it comes.

He is almost painfully proper and correct, which I do appreciate, but it saddens me. There are different phases one passes through during the course of a separation: disappointment, sadness, anger, regret — not necessarily in that order. Perhaps after the initial shock that I finally left, some anger is coming up.

It frightens me at times, as I wonder how dependable he will be. Will he remain so cooperative and generous? Or will he decide he’s had enough and I can totally fend for myself. That I can’t know today either.

On the brighter side, we both have more time to think. From our last conversation, I realize he has given more thought to the children and their respective situations. He is now willing to let our son choose where he wants to be. Originally, he said he should be with me, as he didn’t want the extra work (cooking, etc.). I’m glad he changed his mind. It is important for a child to be able to be where he wants to be, and know that both parents love him and both are willing to take care of him. That is a positive development in my eyes.

A couple of weeks ago a friend mentioned the emotional turmoil that comes with separation. I looked at her like she didn’t understand, and replied that this was such a long time coming, there is no great emotion left. Surprise! I’m not as cool and above it all as I wanted to believe.

So I’m back to trusting in the universe. This was an important step to take. It’s new ground for me, and there continue to be challenges on a daily basis — both large and small. I cope one day at a time, dealing with things as they come along.

Ending such a destructive relationship is kind of like getting over an eating disorder. A massive source of stress is removed, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% easy sailing the rest of the way. No, it means that I am more balanced, grounded, can establish a healthy basis from which to function and cope, but there are still ups and downs, good days and bad, high energy and low. That’s just life.

July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am 5 comments

In Transition

is not an easy place to be. I noticed that this afternoon as I drove home, after stopping by the house to pick up a few things and talk with my husband. I felt a wave of sadness come over me, and could barely control myself. As I drove back to my apartment, the tears streamed. Sadness about what had been, what hadn’t been, what could have been. It hit me quite by surprise. I like to be cool, to have it all together, to be optimistic and excited about the future. Usually I am, but today those other feelings came over me.

Big change is a big deal. There’s no avoiding the moments of sudden emotion. This evening I got together with a dear friend and talked. It was a pleasant summer evening. We went to an outdoor cafĂ© and had a couple of glasses of wine.

It was just 10 pm when I got home. That’s when I fell into a black hole. I sat for a while, wrote in my journal, watched the cat play, cried a bit, and now feel somewhat better. It’s just not always a comfortable place to be. But it’s where I’m at right now.

I thought about what I need to do to clear things up a bit, to give me some solid ground beneath my feet. Now I’ll get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.

July 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

Just one step: Addendum

I remembered a couple more lines, and they are good enough to warrant special mention!

Just one step is all you need.
Just one step will set you free.

July 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Still life: Ocean field

These are the only pictures I took during my trip last week. It was a view from the window of the train — a quiet field that reminded me of the ocean. Perhaps it impressed me the most — as far as the visual impact of experience goes. Otherwise, the Patti Smith concert in Prague was the absolute highlight!
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And now for a close-up:
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The camera is fairly new, so I’m not yet in the habit of taking pictures. But I’ll get there!

July 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm Leave a comment

Price Tag Art

This appeared a few weeks ago. First I noticed a fire hydrant in the pedestrian zone, which I thought was rather amusing. Then I turned the corner and saw this. Some days the stickers shine so brightly, it’s as if they are little lights on the posts.

Every time I walk by here, it makes me smile.
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July 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

Just one step

There’s a tune I heard back in the early 80’s at the Banana Stand on Bleecker Street. Originally, I heard it under the little bridge in Central Park — in front of the Zoo. There was a trio that used to sing there: Longtoe, Singer & Flowers. Flowers had the most incredible smile, that I remember.

Anyway, they played down on Bleecker Street, so I went to listen just about every time they played. And there was this wonderful song they sang that I have never forgotten: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. One foot in front of the other. Just one step. Just one step will set you free.” Those are the lyrical fragments that stayed with me, and of course the tune.

Flowers used to tell the story. If I remember correctly, she had been travelling, had no more money, and didn’t know how she was going to get home. Then the wisdom occurred to her: You start with just one step. I don’t know if she wrote the song to inspire herself and then took a step, or if she made her journey and then wrote the song with her newfound insight. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

It’s wonderful how a “little” song can change someone’s life. They never made it big (as far as I know), but on a small scale I’m sure they inspired quite a few people. There was usually a good crowd. That’s one of the special memories from back then.

July 28, 2009 at 9:30 am 5 comments

Breathe in, breathe out

Such an easy thing to do! Yet sometimes I nearly forget, and breath so shallowly that my body has a hard time getting the necessary oxygen input.

Over the weekend I played at a local peace festival. It was the first time I’d been invited to play somewhere. Usually I organize the concerts myself — and know most of the audience! This was a totally new experience. It was tempting to compare myself with the other — better — musicians, but then I told myself: “If I sounded like them, then I wouldn’t need to play, because it would all sound the same.” Each of us had something special, unique to offer.

The technical side was lacking a bit, so that voice and guitar weren’t so well balanced. Nevertheless, I got some nice feedback afterwards — from strangers! So my dream is nourished. It is not my dream to be perfect. My dream is to play on stage.

One of my long-term goals is to make new friends. I want to meet people who are an on similar wavelength. At the festival, I met a few interesting people, and even exchanged telephone numbers with one woman. I look forward to getting together. It was a nice surprise to see a very old friend. She’d seen my name on the programm announcement, and came to listen to me and talk with me. It has been quite a few years since we’d last spoken!

Again and again I remind myself: I’m where I am. I’m on the path. Sometimes things move quickly, sometimes slowly. The path goes up and down, seems difficult then extremely easy. It makes sense once in a while, and is frustrating at other times. I’m wary of apparent short-cuts, as they tend to be illusions. In fact, in the long run, some have made my life incredibly difficult. Nevertheless, it all fits together to make the big picture.

As I reach each goal, there are new ones and older long-term goals that are still to be achieved. I had to work all day yesterday and had night duty, so today is my lazy day off. I slept for a few hours after I got home, and spent today puttering and reflecting on the peace festival. That’s something I enjoy after such events.

Today I remind myself that I don’t have to always move full speed ahead. I can take a day off and relax. Tomorrow I can clean the apartment. I have a few days off this week, so I can take care of a few things. All in good time. And don’t forget to breathe!

July 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

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