Yes, I finally made it back here for a few words.
One of my favorite musicals is "The Sound of Music." A former friend of mine used to call it the "cult that Sarah belongs to," for I would go and see it at sing-a-longs on the outdoor park theatre screens in Missouri and sing with my favorites: "Edelweiss," "Climb Every Mountain," and "Something Good." (The last one was always kind of a hopeful thing going on--I felt sure that if I waited long enough that I would redeem the "wicked childhood" I'd had with a love of my life. That doesn't feel so realistic now.) I was thinking about "Climb Every Mountain" tonight--in the movie as the song opens the Reverend Mother is informing Maria that you don't run away or hide in the abby to avoid whatever is haunting you--you face the ghosts. I always marvelled at this irony, because, of course, Maria hides in the abby with her husband and step-children later at the end of the movie to avoid the SS. But for the time being, that particular song grips me tonight.
I abhor writing about work in here this year, but here is my demon, which stretches from work to home to transit: I have a tendency to expect entirely too much from myself. I beat the holy hell out of myself this week because I couldn't fully be there for my father, I couldn't be there for the 1400 people at work who need me, and I felt lost for help. I didn't want someone to come and rescue me--I wanted someone to say: "Hey, want me to come over and make you some tea?" Simple stuff. People are uncomfortable with silence, sickness or grief (Michael J. Fox was on Oprah yesterday and gave the best advice of the day, from a freakin' movie star of all people: "You learn to accept the looking away"), for they are afraid it is contagious. I always felt best when I felt needed, and worst when I felt used. The line resting between them is incredibly thin, like spider-spinnings. Charlotte, give me Some Message.
I have learned all kinds of things in the last week, and forgotten them, and then remembered them. I learned that for all of time people will try to manipulate each other with guilt, and they don't even have to be related. The least amount of guilt I received this week was from my father, fresh from surgery, and he doesn't have that track record. I have learned that people forget you pretty quickly when someone new steps in, and that was in regards to social and emotional charity. I learned that people will change overnight, or stay the same but reveal what you should have seen all along, or, in extreme cases of delightful rarity, will fight to keep your friendship, no matter what it costs them. I was stunned by this last one, and, hoping that I am not a sucker for the 40th time in my life, I call on my mother. Mom, what would you do if someone who hadn't shown themselves deserving of my friendship in the past year suddenly offered me the world for it again? She was a freakin' saint, so I probably should forgive this person. But there remains a guard.
Strangely though, that guard is mine because I know that I ask entirely too much. That is the one thing that no one accepted in me. It's something I will always struggle to let go of. And something I do not accept in myself, the never-ending prison, like a mime in a park. I wish I had one person to talk to but not whine to, one person to sit with and not unload on, one person to tell stories to but not bore.
I guess God is the one who can withstand that kind of weight. We'll see.
Sleep well, dear reader.