Saturday, September 22, 2018

now you see me

I ended last night offering D the string of heartfelt apologies that come from knowing you have messed up and unintentionally and undeniably wounded someone you did not want to wound. It is agonizing to send blue messages into a silent void.

But I am usually the silent void.

And I found something shift inside my heart that allowed me both to offer my apologies and alleviate the anxiety that sources insomnia. What I found comforting was how mollified I am, when I am hurt or in pain, by reading them, knowing that the person on the other end is also in pain. And somehow their pain is medicine, for it proves that they do, in fact, love me. And even if they do not love me well enough to prevent all possible hurt, they at least love me enough to wish that they had not done whatever stupid thing they did to hurt me.

I have never been in the driver's seat before of that particular exchange, and it was, in a word, illuminating.

So I offered up the requisite apologies, because I wanted to, but also because I knew he wanted me to. How to humble oneself before another without self-excoration is an art I am still learning, but this was a good first practice.

And it is agony to wait until they are ready to talk, but you have to. Because you cannot force them into reconciliation on your time line, although you are desperate to do so.

Relationships are mind-numbingly difficult and they reveal all sorts of unpleasant pockets in your heart. And I have always known that there is a lot to delve into in the recesses of my heart, and I know that I do not want to go there alone, or with someone ill-equipped to handle it.

After talking on the phone outside in the glorious, fresh autumn morning with my cup of coffee, I go inside to finish the task of making pancakes. Charis, my nine-year-old housemate, who just last night I had been laughing with her father about how perceptive she is, about how boys say they like her but are scared of her, walks downstairs.

You seem really happy this morning, she says to someone in the kitchen.

I ask: Hella does?

Hella is the dog. Hella is always happy. Of course she is not speaking to Hella. She is speaking to me. But to be approached by a nine-year-old prophet at 10am while making pancakes generally catches you off-guard.

And so I made pancakes, and drank coffee, and read Balthasar, and did not worry about going anywhere or doing anything.

Just previously, D had said: I had no idea you were so unhappy in South Bend. Am I?
I wondered. I do not know.

Of course I am not: I am simply frustrated because the happiness that Charis sees this morning has been so fleeting and so hard to come by in September.

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