Do you know how many posts I've dictated to myself in my head that went absolutely nowhere because I didn't have computer/internet access? Now my very own, brand spankin new laptop has arrived, I have access to internet 24hrs a day (if you include work) and my mind....is a blank.
To be honest, I think I've just gotten used to not having anyone to talk to (about anything that's really important) so the thoughts have just dried up.
I'm dried up. There's such a thing as too sober, as my dear Papa has wisely stated. The last time I saw him, a few weeks ago, he was in a desperate state, worse than I've ever seen him; I'm scared to call him now because I know my mother left him hanging and I don't want to hear the suffering in his voice. Just when I finally got him to admit he needed her and to be willing to give her an official position at the university (instead of just milking her); it's what she proclaims she's always wanted and I finally make it happen and she abandons him like he was her own child (ha!)
She finally arrived literally at the stroke of midnight on the eve of my daughter's ninth birthday (her first with me and without her mummy). Earlier that night, I lay with Ms V on our empty balcony to watch the full moon traverse the trees while an outdoor concert filtered through the night air towards us. And she said,
"Maybe I could just kill myself. Life is so DIFFICULT!" and she was disturbingly calm and flippant. It was a rough night. Never count on my mother for anything, except that she will show up too late whenever you need her the most. I was so broken after this shitty month in Uganda and yet by the time she showed up, I'd already pulled my shit together and moved my baby and I from the old place to our new home. By the time she showed up, all my vulnerabilities had been tucked away behind my warrior spirit, so much so that it didn't even phase me to put my arms around my little girl's articulated ribs and hear her threaten to take away everything I have committed myself to living for. Can you imagine? Five years; ten; fifteen years down the way, after so much loving and bonding, and FUCKING committing she may decide to let her demons win after all, and poof, it will all be gone. I should be able to imagine since I know exactly what it feels like to have the heavy love of my mother's arms around me, but still feel empty and insubstantial enough to think it no big deal to wish myself away.
Besides that rather dramatic moment (in the end I dredged through the psyche that is Ms V only to find she was "afraid to fail"-we had been discussing her upcoming entrance into school-and so it goes), the most amazing part of that night was that Ms V didn't know the date so she wasn't sure when her (happy) birthday was. I convinced her the date was August 5th and we'd missed it by 3 days-it was surprisingly easy to convince her, but in true Pollyanna fashion she said "well, never-mind anyway, but at least we have to celebrate my Happy Birthday sometime".
At night, just about now, I hear the Islamic prayers observing Ramadan, the sounds of night insects have replaced the crows and exotic day bird sounds; and then, out of the blue-the deep, deep blue, in fact-comes the bloated groan of a cargo ship at sea; it sounds to me like a plaintive yearning; a reminder of obligation and duty in it's most lonesome form. But there is something else: it sounds to me like a miracle begging to be born, magic begging to be remembered, the chance of a lifetime waiting for the perfect moment. When I hear that sound I feel renewed in my own commitments; I've come this far, but my journey goes on; beware-the journey goes on. I hope that sound will always affect me like that. I want to always remember that this-right here-this is what I started. And I am committed to carrying it on (and therein lies the miracle, right?!).
Perhaps it is time to air out those hidden vulnerabilities. My daughter has chosen to flirt with alienation from me. My mother is here for a time, but it was I who had to sit her down and break all her Ego barriers apart so that she could do a decent job standing in for me as primary caretaker. So now they are enjoying each other generously; following my orders in partnered conspiracy. It is a painful thing to go through. I needed her, my mother, to take some of the load off while I get into this new job, but that need has come at the price of being excluded, of losing respect. I don't understand why, when it was my mother who was working, my daughter revered her for it and looked down on me for staying at home, and now I go to work, but it seems this too has earned my daughter's disregard (if not disdain). Frankly, I think it is the ironic fact that my mother really doesn't give a shit (and I do) that makes her the favorite.
In any case, plugging along warrior style just makes me a poor facsimile of my mother; I am not so cold and practical; I am not so ruthless and flippant. Both my daughter and I are flirting with separation, testing our need for each other, testing our Love for each other, hoping perhaps it is not so strong, hoping we can reverse the bond; denying our mutual commitment. Perhaps she is scared I will slip away from her, as my mother so often slipped away from me. I know I fear the indications that the journey ahead may not be as straightforward as I naively believed. I know I fear there is a burden in her heart that was there long before I came along and may be there for a long time yet. I think we are both suspicious of the other, suspicious of the other's potential to break our hearts. My mother is just a distraction. This right here, this is a Transition and we are fully in the throes of it; we are suspect that what we go through in the next several weeks will determine forever; little do we know.....it's all already happened.
I held her in the moonlight but only after letting her slip into a pit of fear and leaving her to flounder; at first I lay there alone and felt....betrayed; then it hit me: the future cannot betray you, but your present fears can; if she was not ready to fight her fears, then I would fight them for her. So I pulled her down to me, into the nest of my Love, and begged the moonlight to fill her with the heaviness of its beauty.....of its existence. I whispered,
"Life is not difficult; Life is just Life. Who ever told you it was supposed to be different? Who ever told you it was supposed to be so simple? I think Life is beautiful and so do you; you sing about the Joy of Life all the time baby, all the time; you don't even hear yourself; but I do. In every moment it is up to each of us to decide how we see Life-beautiful or difficult. But either way, Life is just Life.....and baby, we are ALL afraid to fail....
Her tense body relaxed into me and she began to yawn,
"Hey......guess what happens at midnight."......