Saturday, January 23, 2010


I awoke this morning with angst. I am leaving Boston and heading back to my cabin in the woods. I have been impatient about being here feeling like I am wasting time and not engaged. Generally my only life here is the family and I don't make decisions or initiate anything, I just tag along. I sometimes feel like I am 80 or 90 years old. So I was surprised to feel the sadness and heart ache at the thought of separation that came a week prior to departure. I feel it on the other end when I am leaving the cabin heading to Boston.

I am fond of saying that this family is the one I know is mine since I grew up in a family where I felt out of place. I was not my father's child. This family I know is mine as I know where my daughter came from and who her father is and I feel apart of her life.

My journey back to the cabin is usually fraught with some anxiety. I am reminded of the Pharaoh in "Josepf and His Brothers" who always comes back to his home, asking, "Is everything well in the household" always afraid his wife had been unfaithful. I am always afraid that the home power system will be down, or the water off, or neighbors will have moved in or my environment will be altered. Such fears about water and power are real, but hoping the environment is unaltered is a free floating anxiety since I am helpless to stop change or return things to the statis quo.

This time I have the weather as a concern. The main winding mountain road is closed due to a landslide and all the side roads are snowed in. I am coming back with a truck load of furniture and though I have four wheel drive, it won't get me through 3 feet of snow. My dog is with a friend and I haven't room to bring him back also. My Internet service is down and the satellite dish that provides my contact with the outside world needs moving and that has been impossible to arrange before I get there.

These anxieties are of a different nature than the angst of leaving this warm "home" with small children and adults I love. But each end of the trip is painful. The plane flight itself--the discomfort of the seating, the tin can with wings bouncing occasionally in turbulence with only icy sky and no air outside the small oval window, the packed like sardines breathing other people's breath experience is, if you ignore or accept those fact of your extreme discomfort and your possible immanent death, a kind of limbo transition between worlds, a being in suspended animation. You feel it at the touch down when suddenly every one's personality comes back to them and they begin to cell phone or chat or show their impatience or excitement.

It's a strange life I lead now traveling between two different coasts. And it will probably continue until the grandchildren are old enough that they stop thinking that grandma is cool, but instead see her as an old woman they have to be polite to when they are impatient to be with their own friends. At that time I can get the trips to Boston down to maybe once a year with a reciprocal trip from them yearly also. Who knows? Life seldom follows the plans you have set out for it so better enjoy it the way it is.

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