Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting a Broader View

photo by biogeonerd


As I sat down yesterday morning to write in my journal, I started with the date, as I always do.  August 14.  The day my father was killed 41 years ago.  That's always the first thought when I see or hear or write that date.  My second thought is always "I wonder how my life would have been different had he lived".  And yesterday, my response was different.

"What if it was a gift?"  Whoa.  His death was the real start of my "story", my terminal uniqueness, my victimhood.  I've carried it around for years, it was part of my defining narrative.  That had he lived, my life would have been so much better.  I wouldn't have experienced the hardships, financial and otherwise.  And yesterday, I saw, I felt, I knew, really for the first time (duh!) that those were the thoughts and fantasy-escapist thinking of a ten year old.  I have no way of knowing what my life would have been like - if it would have been easier or better.  I just don't know.  The possibility that it could have been worse never entered my mind.  Yesterday's revelation certainly broadened my view and showed me once again there are many things that I don't KNOW.  It was my story and I believed it - certainly as a coping strategy - but it no longer serves me and yesterday, it just fell away.  While it had been my truth, or what passed as my truth, it wasn't THE WHOLE TRUTH.  

After thought and input from others, the tree is coming down and out.  I need to put a replacement in that spot.  I've got another pine tree right off the back door to the house that will need to come down and it is far too close to the house anyway, so no replacement is needed there.  I'm thinking of leaving it and building/having built some sort of table thingy around it.  Suspend a repurposed chandelier with solar lights, attach an umbrella stand holder, fashion some sort of cool table-top.  Who knows.  That will be sometime down the line.  The tree guy is coming over today at 2 to give me an estimate.  If it's decent, then he says they can probably finish the job today.  

Looks like there isn't a municipal ride tonight, so Wendy (one of the women I rode with last Saturday morning) suggested we all go for our own ride, so we are doing that.  Angela Pea - we are meeting at The Woodshed at 6pm to do a 20.  Please join us.

Tomorrow night is book club with Valerie and Kendra.  We are, at Kendra's insistence, reading this book.  I just finished the first three chapters and I'm not "hooked" yet.  However, given my lack of attention span these days, I don't know that I can be anymore.

Friday night, I've been invited to a co-worker's daughters' birthday party.  While it's not a formal quinceanera (one daughter is 15 and the other is 16), there is a dinner and a dance.  He's invited the entire office, but I don't know if anyone else is attending.  I don't think I'll go, which violates my "go where the people are" tenet.  I feel like I do need to proffer an answer today - although no RSVP was requested.

That's all the news that's unfit to print.  Variations on a theme.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Broaden your view.

-Roxie



14 comments:

  1. So what I read here is that you've now had two defining moments from your father: first from his death and secondly from realizing that while some of who you are IS because of his death, not ALL of who you are is that.

    Beautiful.

    As for me, I think book club books should be fun. Not everything has to be about constant self exploration.

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    1. I agree with you, Helen. But I didn't choose this - if the book club trend continues, I'll suggest something a bit different.

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  2. Whoa. The whole truth - without the childhood filters, without the perception lenses - is liberating, isn't it?

    LOL...I'm with Helen on the books and book clubs! I spend so much time reading technical journals and reports, I want my fun reading to be frivolous.

    Thank you for the invite; alas, I have offspring obligations this evening. Parent orientation meeting at DirtBike's school and taking The Architect to the not-so-local-BS for fittings for new team jerseys. He designed the jerseys and is meeting with the manufacturing rep for the final sizing, color selections and styles before they set the order. Please, please invite me again in the future!

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    1. Will do. If you like, email me your number and I'll text you for future rides. A couple of us are riding Benbrook lake from Art's trailhead (22 miles) at 7am on Saturday. You are welcome to join us.

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  3. Roxie - so beautiful and so true. I have to tell that you have influenced and inspired my journey a lot. I followed so many of your steps. I learned how to be grateful, I looked into my co-dependencies, and recently I got a great bike:) I think about you in terms of "My Internet mentor". GO girl - spread the beautiful light so we can light ours:)and shine it on others.

    If you ever happen to be in DC please let me know.

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    1. Robin, you are too kind. Oh wow - congratulations on the new bike. I hope you are loving it and having some great adventures.

      You know, DC is on my list as I've never been. My travel plans are rather full up right now, but I've got an airline voucher sitting in my back pocket and I here the cherry blossoms are spectacular in the spring. Who knows? If I make the trek, I will be sure to let you know.

      Watch This Space.

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    2. Will do. I really, really would like to meet you:):):):)

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  4. I am sorry to hear that no reasonable solution was found for your tree other than for it to come down. I'm afraid that's where ours is headed as well. I watched as lightning split it nearly down to the ground, taking 2 other trees with it. But yet it still stands back there while my husband and I are determined to find a new life for it. Your idea for the other tree sounds awesome - very creative.
    Do you find yourself more acute with your writing during days that have significance? I have been writing on August 13th every day for the last 13 years - the day I was asked for a divorce. Some years I read back through so I can see how far I've come - sometimes not, because the early days are painful to read. Nonetheless, writing soothes the soul, I'm convinced. I'm glad that you take that time for yourself.

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    1. Based upon your query, I went back and tried to read the stuff that I'd written on the date. I've written online longer than I've used a paper journal. Unfortunately or fortunately, I've lost the stuff from 2001-2006 (the ESPECIALLY ANGSTY YEARS) as it was on a friend's server and I can't access it anymore. I'll need to contact her and see if I can figure out a way to off-load it. Or not. I suspect that most of it is pretty darn painful to re-read. I remember enough of the low points to know that a day-to-day chronicle of me floundering about, doing myself no favors whatsoever, won't be particularly enlightening - other than to be grateful it was just the first steps on a great journey.

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  5. You were so young to lose your dad - I had no idea. Very sorry for your loss. I'm impressed that you are continuing to grow from that experience, all these years later. Shows how open you are to what the universe is revealing.

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    1. The revelations have been interesting and surprising, for sure. As for growth, well, I think I had some catching up to do - a case of Arrested Development, as they say.

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  6. My spiritual teacher says pain is a gateway to enlightenment.It has to get so bad that you dont have a choice.
    Thanks for your post.

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    1. Di-Git, I agree with your spiritual teacher. I change at the rate of pain, for sure.

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  7. What a profound realization...I had a similar one when it occurred to me that my parents' divorce at age three was also a gift. Have you ever heard of The Work, by Byron Katie? On her website she has a bunch of videos in which she is coaching people. One of them is a man who lost his father at a relatively young age...by doing The Work, he was able to come to the same conclusion that were: it was a gift. Hugs...

    I had also meant to comment on the loss of your tree. It's a lot harder than you'd think, isn't it? We lost a HUGE beautiful maple tree last fall in Hurricane Irene...

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We'll try this for a while.