Yesterday I got a call telling me to start making plans to fly out to California. My mother is in stage 5 of Liver Disease and although plans are being pursued for a transplant, the disease has its own plans to be pursued. We all know who will win that race, so I am preparing for the voyage of saying good bye while she can say good bye back.
Today I got an e-mail telling me that The Artist in the Office is also in stage 5 of Poor Sale’s Disease and will be remaindered for its final leg of its short shelf life before going out of print. I am preparing myself for the sam fate of Great Gals, which sold even less.
I walked out of the library this morning, surrounded by leafless mountains and snow flurries reeling with all this. Do I need to tell you what all this means?
The tide is out, my friends.
Change is wonderful when it is exciting, when it harkens something beautiful like falling in love, having books published, reaching a goal, or making a giant leap forward. I have experienced all of those kinds of change and felt like I was dancing in a parade of confetti, drinking champagne on the rooftops of the dazzling city of my life, and panted wild eyed at all my good fortune.
A lot of the time though, change is death. I have experienced small versions of this and I have experienced large versions of this. I have experienced times when all that I have known and built up and tried was knocked down and burned to the ground as I stared wild eyed with shock at all the devestation, sometimes holding the matches that took it all down.
The last 3 years have been a giant BUCKET of change. Within a period of 6 months I lost my job, had a baby, and published my first book. In the next 8 months I made another book and that got published. It was a shock, to say the least, and I only see now that I have been avoiding the wild and painful change in all those things because who the HELL wants to experience that BY CHOICE? I did okay avoiding some of it, and for the most part doing OKAY (in all caps), even GROWING in some places, but there were cracks, rumblings happening in the CORE.
Moving to this desolate town, away from the romantic notions of New York, the romantic notions of where I *SHOULD* be, what I want my life to *LOOK* like, has left me in a desolate small town of the soul. I don’t see many people here and don’t feel a lot of company, but it is making me change into something. What that something is, I don’t HAVE A FRICKN’ CLUE YET.
The good news is that the core of my life is in tact: my marriage and my family/home life are like the last bit of earth that I hold. The good news is that I am old enough to recognize what is happening because I’ve seen it before and I see it for what it is: a necessary phase, like a season, that will emerge as something else if I let it. Beyond that, I am watching so much of what I hoped, what I have known, what I thought get stripped down. I said it before–I am in a new phase–or perhaps, I am not quite there yet. A new phase might have more edges to lean on, boundaries, a sense of place. I feel nothing of that sort right now. Where I am is cold and confusing and yet I feel oddly strong in it. I am not so much depressed as grief stricken. I can get depressed, but when I do it’s because I am fighting against the tide, fighting to regain control, to get some GRIP.
I wanted to write this down, to make sense of it, to tell the truth. I’m not sure I’ll be doing that here much longer and that is also part of the truth. I feel so many things saying let go let go let go. The tide is out. God help me, I will try.