Archive for May, 2009

Starting Over

One day last week, I set the last remaining herb out in the garden.

The rosemary was an early casualty.  It’s little individual yogurt container got tipped over in the washpan during one of my transits between the Piedmont and the CRV.  It never really recovered.

The oregano made it through the summer and spilled over it’s individual yogurt container in a small, but showy splash of good smelling foliage.  But at some point over the winter I got distracted and forgot to water it.   It preserved it’s form and looked fine.  But the reality was that it was dead and no amount of extra watering would revive it.  I took that for a grim reflection of my mood this last dark winter and chucked it into the compost pile with finality.

That left the hearty basil.  It had grown well over the summer and needed to be transplated from the individual yogurt container into a quart yogurt container.  I kept it watered, more or less, and basil can stand abuse in that regard.  What it has a harder time with is lack of sunlight.  And the aspect out the kitchen window has been dim.  Still a few wan leaves greeted the Spring.  And in recognition of it’s survival, I transplanted it into a row of basil that I’d started from seed in my hugely expanded garden.  It seemed symbolic of my new stay-at-home way of  life.

Since last August when I drove home in three easy days after my surgery, I’ve seen the DP exactly three times.  Once for a pre-planned week in the USVI.  Once for a traditional holiday rendevous.  Once because she basically insisted that we needed to see each other at least once between January and September.  I didn’t initiate any of these visits and I didn’t have much expectation for them either, I must admit.

Since the debacle of my emergency surgery and pretty much solo recovery, I made a decision that revolving so much of my life around the needs of the DP didn’t make practical or emotional sense if the return when needed was going to be so paltry.  I really try hard not to live a tit-for-tat life, but sometimes reality or something demands to be noticed.  When I got home, I knew I needed to stay home.  I knew that home was the Piedmont house.  And I was willing to let the chips fall where they may.

I don’t know if we ever really had a family together, but if we did that has pretty much completely fallen apart.  Things with the Kid are better than ever for me, but the Teenager and the College Kid (now Graduate) seem to be little more than previous acquaintances.  For awhile I thought our relationship was headed in the same direction and I thought I was okay with that.  And maybe I was.

But.  Interestingly.  The DP was not okay with that.  She made our visit in January happen and paid for much of it out of her own pocket — the financing of travel having been an issue between us.  She also insisted on our most recent visit, made hotel reservations, planned our activities, and — most significantly — plunked down a reasonable sum of money on an old Flying Scot that she termed “our sailboat.”

This last trip, I drove again to the CRV for the first time since last August.  The plan was to spend the weekend rigging and then sailing the new boat.  The weather was cold and very windy for most of the weekend.  We got the boat partly rigged but decided it might be the better part of valor not to take her out on a maiden voyage with two such very rusty sailors in that high wind.

That left us with some time to talk about how things had been going between us.  It turns out that I, who has consistenly lobbied for our relationship and at times felt that I was single-handedly keeping it afloat was pretty much okay with the new distance.  I’ve been concentrating on my sustainablity project, which it turns out is a lot easier if one is not trying to make it portable  and the Kid.  I had a base-level of depression over my emotional life, but I could live with that.  Or thought I could.

Interestingly, it was the DP who came to feel that she could not.  She was not satisfied with our distance.  And she was not wanting to break us up either.  I rather dispassionately pointed out that the only other alternative on the table was to make a more substantial commitment to bringing us together which was something she had hitherto left mostly in my court.  I pointed out that it was not in my court anymore and if that was going to be a goal, it was up to her.  Shockingly, to me, she agreed with all of that.

I’m not quite sure what that means or where it’s going to go.  We solidfied plans for me to come up for the week in July with the X and the Kid head to the beach.  We made a more solid commitment to some inchoate plans to re-visit the USVI in December.  And we made a rather unspecified stab at the layed aside project of combining our finances.  And we sort of left it there.

It feels shakey and yet it doesn’t.  When the DP makes up her mind about something, you can feel it.  For these last six years of our reunion, I haven’t felt completely that she’d made up her mind about me.  But now I do feel it.  I can’t point to any one thing that makes me sure.  I just know that since that October day in 2002 when I decided to give things with her another go, I’ve been trying to take it on faith that she would come around to the same notion of where we should take things that I had.  I had a strong faith and I thought a bottomless faith.  But it wasn’t.  It did run out.

Now somehow and again I have no words for that difference.  No one place that I can point to and say — here and that.  But I don’t need faith because now I have fact.  And I’m feeling, unaccountably, a weight that I didn’t realize was there slowly but steadily lifting.

We still have the fact of the physical distance between us.  We still have our separate lives and our separate families.  We are still raising our children with other people.  But I know and don’t just believe or hope or wish that we have a core of us together that won’t be easily broken or dislodged.  And somehow that fact makes all of those problems seem like mere obstacles in a path we are certainly walking together.

May 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment


Feeds