Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Retreated


I’m not the greatest at relaxing and then I get guilty for not relaxing but it was nice to know that I didn’t HAVE to get up when I did at 6:00 a.m. on either of the two mornings I woke in Pine Mountain Club. We retreatified in the Dancing Bear Cabin there for two nights, in what is a private planned mountain resort community, replete with golf course, country club, equestrian center and an inordinate amount of negatory signage but in the middle of pretty piney mountains. None of the cabins were over 10 years old and most of them were over 5000 sf and some of them were staggeringly ugly.

Our lair had a pleasing Ralph Laurenesque look on the outside but the inside had textured drywall and was jammed to the rafters with teddy bears. We also found a Mormon dayplanner and a dozen boxes of Passover matzoh so we were confused about the identity of PapaBear, the cabin owner and loquacious e-mailer, whose true name, ala Father Knows Best, is Jim Anderson. It is clear that the Andersons are thrifty. A bucket of hotel toiletry products, all open and mostly two thirds used, greeted us in the bathroom with its claw foot tub and old fashioned pull chain toilets, chosen perhaps because when flushed, they explode with a bear of a roar. The kitchen basics consisted, in addition to matzah, jumbo sized Tupperwares chock a block with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and soy sauce packets. Himself was totally nonplused by this but I found it creepy and disgusting. Our attempt to formulate some picture of the people who owned the house was further frustrated by the oddness that no drawer, cupboard or closet had a handle or knob and we were all weekend jamming our fingers under drawer rims and muttering.


My mother is in the hospital and having some fluid removed from her lungs and they say she is confused but knows where she is. I am not at her bedside. Himself agonizes about calling his own father. I am filled with pity for both of these parents and feel that perhaps we could do better by them but it is a challenge to love them. I have an emotional ritual I perform to steel myself for the weekly visit I make to my mother. She knows no difference, but for me, I spend a penitential couple of hours with her every week. Perhaps it is not good enough but it is as good a daughter as I can be, or, as I choose to be. Today she is in the hospital and I imagine it is hard for her to breathe and she is scared and confused and a better daughter would not leave her side. I will leave work early but it will be a brief visit. She won’t know the difference whether I’m there for five minutes or five hours or not at all, but I will and this is sort of fucked.


The fifteen year old is hard to love sometimes too himself but with a teenager we call it a phase and not, like with aging parents, a permanent condition. We are virtually home schooling him through the summer and possibly indefinitely if we cannot enroll him in an appropriate school. This means he is with me at work two or three days a week and for the most part I dislike this. I dislike having to police him and yell when there are computer games on the screen instead of his physical education independent study program. I dislike him hearing my phone calls and conversations with employees and looking over my shoulder while I am working. I dislike that he wants lunch an hour earlier than I have trained the staff to eat (so that we can finish off east coast orders). I particularly dislike it when there is an overdue essay about Romeo and Juliet and the writer of said essay is found to be snoring in his Grandpa’s little cot. I do not like the melding of my mom persona with my boss persona and perhaps this has exacerbated the snippiness I prefer to keep in abeyance and this is sort of fucked.


The car is neutral territory and I am king of the road, although there is often discord regarding musical selection and radio stations. Yesterday was an NPR day and we listened to a report about what a huge surprise hit the Sex and the City movie is. Lots of chicks were interviewed upon having seen the film at a busy Washington DC multiplex. The reporter concluded by adding that not ALL of the viewers were dickless and turned his microphone to a male viewer of the film. The interviewee sounded like Paul Lynde and said something about high and low fashion and the fifteen year old and I both burst into laughter. Today was a music morning and I played the newest Radiohead which I haven’t listened to for a couple months. My first impression had been that it was forced and thin but today it sounded much richer and more compelling and wonderful. Just as I was thinking these thoughts, the fifteen year old commented, "this sure sounds a lot better than it did" and this is my boy and man, I hope that spending time with me will never be a big fucking ordeal for him. And it’s moments like this that keep spending time with him from being a big fucking ordeal for me.


Hillary, it seems, is a goner and I am very sad for her. I am struggling myself these days with issues of success and failure and when I heard Bill’s comment that perhaps today is his last day ever in such a campaign it made me think how hard it is to garner love and trust and respect. I do not have a dick, although I know people who do have them, or at least purport to. I suspect that this is complicated in a different way for a woman. For the rest of her life Hillary will think of how hard she worked to make herself the best loved and the most respected and how, in one, highly public, high stakes aspect she failed. Will she be able to take the better person (I hope) she has become and not be bitter that she wasn’t beloved and anointed as she might have been, as she’ll always know she should have been, and take some quiet time as a wife and mother and woman and simply bask in who she has made herself into?

I have nurtured many seeds with my love and grace and it is sad sometimes to accept that there are those that just will not grow and to watch them whither. Some have failed to see the best in me and I have been free and generous with love and at times, it has not been reciprocated. I strive to face this with open eyes and heart and to let it sweeten the love that does flow back and forth and back again and to exalt in that glory. Rejection and failure wear on me and while I know in my heart of hearts that I am loved and cherished, in living my loud life, there is sometimes reason for doubt. While relaxation is just not a natural forte for me, this weekend, an army of teddy bears bore witness to a temporary surrender of doubt and disappointment, as we fell together for a tiny crack of time, not parents or workers or children of aging parents but simply Himself and me, reaping the harvest we have sown for nearly twenty years.

1 comment:

Fionnchú said...

Thanks for a wise set of reflections. xxx me