Saturday, July 04, 2009

An Apology from Life's Cliffs

A very personal post today, so I hope you'll forgive me.

I’m at the very end of a big phase of my life. I’m all but finished with my Ph.D. program, I graduated, I defended

As I stand here though, where the future looks like a frightening bleak expanse, which I can only jump into, and the past is a welcoming mass of things all radiating nostalgia, both in good and bad sense. First as things which I no longer cherish, but wish I could and others which I have left behind and wish I didn’t. Whenever we come to a point such as this, we wish desperately that we could sift through that old life, like a family searching through an already burning house for the things that are most precious, and pack a suitcase to carry them with us.

But you know that you can’t do that. Some if not most of that old life will be waiting for you at the bottom of the cliff. It will appear brand new at first, but then begin to signify the same familiarity. What scares us the most about this situation, this transition, this literally life-changing jump, is not that we can’t control it in the sense of deciding what we take with us and what we leave behind. But its all about finding a way to live with, or to continue to go on, despite certain choices that you have made, which prevent you from taking something with you into the future. It is not that the rules of the universe scare you and prohibit you from mastering this transition, but what you have done to ensure that you will never actually feel complete once you take that jump, you will always pine for or be haunted by something you made a conscious decision to leave behind or betray in your path.

As I ponder this point in my own life, my mind is constantly drawn to the figure who meant the most to me during this time. Other than my daughter Sumåhi, she was the most cherished and loved piece of me in recent years. For anyone, love is always a charged and strange thing, but for me I don’t generally have any pretense that it is a simple thing. When I say loved, I mean she was someone I put my trust in, someone I made myself consciously dependent upon, someone who I, against all my selfish or self-protective instincts, would make myself vulnerable to, would allow to see parts of me that I don’t show to anyone. Let her have a power over my that I wouldn’t want anyone else to have.

This is why love can be so hard though. There is no Hallmark card that lays out what love will be between people, it is always an issue of context and dynamics, and the intriguing part about it is that people always change roles and end up deflecting and shaping their loves and demands off of each other.

One of the main ways in which I made myself vulnerable, the ways in which I felt love and made my love known was through the sharing of my academic work and accepting of criticism and editing of it from this person. I know that probably sounds like the least romantic thing in the world, but romance like love is all about context, and so within this context, this was the deepest and most private thing that I could share, and this was the most sacred way in which I gave her trust. I hate letting other people read my writing with an expectation that they can criticize it or suggest improvements to it. I hate letting other people edit my work, but with this person things were different. Although I would still resist her comments and resist her power over me, it was still a bond we shared and one I was happy to share with her. I don’t say this with any exaggeration that she was my rock in graduate school, and I literally could not have done it without her.

The complexities of life, and some of my choices, my stupid, and sometimes my desperate choices made it so that we could no longer be together. As I prepare to take the jump into the next phase of my life, I find myself constantly looking back for her, instinctively reaching out for her, desperately hoping that there was something I could do or so, to make up for the hurt I had caused, purchase some sort of insurance that would ensure that she could be down at the bottom of the cliff below waiting for me.

When a relationship changes drastically, and when the love of one changes, it is almost worse than simply breaking up. If the other partner can be an evil thing, a horrid, wretched thing, which hates me now, which can never spare me another smile, except to ridicule or mock me, than all the love I once felt, can quickly make the transition into hatred and facilitate the moving on process. It may not feel good regardless, but it can allow that person feelings of anger and action, it can keep them from feeling like they are a hopeless, useless victim. If it is not a matter of love being extinguished, but rather just changing, things are so much harder. There may be anger and hurt, and so moving on is harder, because things always feel like they could still just be the same.

I don’t know where I am going next in my life. People tell me things, and there’s places I need to go and things I need to do. But I feel horribly incomplete now as I leave this person behind. Although I’ve only talked about academic dependency here, she was so much more to me, and although I never talk about it, everyday I struggle with how to go on without her comforting voice, with her advice, without her presence as a rock, a source of sanity in my life.

Este na tinige'-hu i tiniestigu-hu para Hami yan i guinaiyan-mami. Despensa yu', asi'i' yu'.

*********************************
"Little Star"
Eloise
Semantics

I bought a phone card
I pay good money to argue with you
When speaking to you is like reaching for the stars
And talking is like is reaching for the moon
And maybe I'll argue my way to mars
Get a little bit closer, to you
A little bit closer

How the hell, how the hell
Do you do what you do to me?
Distance is terrible
I can feel you growing apart
I might as well be a zillion miles away
And you might be my little star
And maybe I'll never reach you anyway

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