Thursday, September 03, 2009

Entering Dreamtime

To say that I have been a little lazy the last 17 years is to be truthful. You become a bit complacent when you realize that there are two of you to make ends meet instead of just yourself. It had been hard back then before Tony. It will be hard now, although now, unlike then, I do not have a 12 year old to raise. Jon is now 25.

There were important things that I came away with both of the hard times…..when I was younger living vicariously with my grandmother in Daly City, and then again in Fresno after my divorce. I found that I could be both resilient and resourceful. I found that in extreme adversity, I could survive. You get creative living on a shoestring. Extras become special treats instead of everyday commodities. Bisquick, once again, saves the day at suppertime, or lunch or breakfast. The library becomes a free vacation to anywhere in the world whether it is past, present future or fantasy.

There was a simple grace in those days. You relied on what you knew you had. You would use it more judiciously. What you didn’t have, you didn’t want…period. When you could afford it, its appeal had tarnished. You could get other necessities you could really use in the future and put away now. Therefore, you didn’t really want or need it in the first place.

There were mistakes made; many foolish ones. Those same mistakes will not be duplicated due to the lessons learned the first time through. There were certain things I just couldn’t have known as a kid. I had to learn adult mistakes by myself.

Making enough to pay the bills, put food on the table and clothes on are back is more than enough at this point. Some might say it is merely being able to get by. No, it’s more than that. It’s the comfort in knowing that everything else is just icing and glitter. Simple living has so much more substance to it. Amazing how much we, as a society, have forgotten that!

Knowing now that I will not be going to the parties, or dancing, or looking for Mr. Right (due to having found him, married him, and now am his widow) takes the emphasis off what had been supposedly important the first and second times. The fancy clothes, make-up, hair and shoes have been replaced by sensible, necessary and wrinkles. There is a comfort in not being in the “meat market” frenzy. I hadn’t enjoyed it the first time.

The big date has taken on another meaning…a final one. I am rather looking forward to that knock on the door by a healthy, boyish-looking husband to come and take me home to his place once again. I know that once I step through that door, I will be transformed not unlike Cinderella and her pumpkin into the girl I once was. (Boy that will be some hot reunion! Yes, I did go there.)

I don’t want to imply that I intend to let myself go. On the contrary, my interests are being focused in different directions. Classic books that have waited to be read for years are calling to me. Teaching myself and relearning skills I had once had or wanted to attain is now mine to achieve, such as writing, painting and drawing. Solitude is not an enemy.

Since I was the kid that didn’t quite fit in, I learned that being alone and my own best friend wasn’t to be feared. Some of my favorite evenings as a teenager were spent sitting and talking with my grandmother in the cottage in Daly City. We would turn off the radio or t.v., not turning on the lights when it began to become twilight. There we would sit with coffee and maybe cookies she had made that day and she would tell me stories about the family. I remember seeing her turn gradually into a silhouette against the curtain backdrop, slowly fading into the evening. Her voice was soothing and soft. Birds would twitter in the background as they settled down for the night. Gradually, even the noise of the traffic moving down the hill and on Juniper Serra would fade ever so slowly until you could almost hear the ocean 4 miles away.

There was a magic to those evenings. I was aware that the magic was still there over the years, waiting for me to recapture it, and I have. The summer evenings are spent sitting outside on a chair or the front bench, perhaps before the open window of our bedroom.

Wrinkles, middle age spread and strands of grey in my hair are no longer dreaded. They are a testament to the fair share of hell that I have raised in my time. I am thankful to have made it this far alive and in one piece. I’m not telling the stories to an attentive audience, but I am writing them down. It’s my turn now to sit in the soft glow of sunset and recall memories or make new ones.
I have entered dreamtime now....passing into the shadows...