html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Heaven's gates are standing open

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heaven's gates are standing open

I have felt, for ages now, that my life is on hold. I don’t know how it got stuck in this position, but for years it has been locked in place, centered around my fun home and my friends and sport. It is a good place to be on hold, but it is not the progression to other versions of me that I have long wanted. This year, finally, I seem to have stepped out of that. I am more than a little ticked that the way that happened was sheer brute force on my part. That wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted change to come to me gracefully, mostly in the form of a sweet and funny man. But when he doesn’t show up to waltz you into a new and even more pleasant life, it turns out that you can shake your old life by working like a fucking dog.

So I have been. And now I feel tired of that and greedy and impatient for the results. For months and months I have been working through chores and projects, self-assessing and re-thinking, discarding, loosening tie after tie and setting new ones. I have a new aversion to carrying things. I am so tired of carrying things around, loading and unloading and taking them back. So far, change has just meant work.

The end is in sight. The chores are a finite list now and some of them can be postponed. My sister and I ate breakfast Sunday morning, with a heavy push planned for the day. Tired from Saturday’s heavy push, I dragged out my last sips of tea. “This will end, right? The work will stop, and then we’ll coast, right?” She reassured me, and Sunday was indeed the day that we furnished my room and restored the back yard from construction site to yard.

If the tide has turned, I want the good parts. Moving from stagnation to head-down straining at the traces was, at least, change. But it isn’t what I want to do any more. Far as I can tell, most of what I want to do is sit around tables with people. I want to sit around tables in rooms in Oakland, with olives and cherry tomatoes and sharp neat people telling me what they think about. I want my old friends around a picnic table at a campground, and a fire going near by. I want to look down at a table littered with empty glasses, fruit slices in a pitcher of sangria, big trays of picked over nachos, in a yard with lanterns. I want to look across a table at a him, and be astounded that things go this well when I’m with him, just look how we stumbled into this perfect restaurant.

Everything is turning. Solstice is just about here; the calendar year is about to end; it will be my year again after that and then my birthday will make me a square number again. Surely some of this winding and turning will flow through me, lend me more momentum than I generated by myself, give me an extra push on a downhill coast. I’m ready.


Anonymous Mitch said...

I thought head-down straining in the traces was your thing.

A pitcher of sangria in a yard with lanterns does sound pretty cool, though. Alcohol and lazing about with people. That sounds like my kind of thing.

Here's to the kind of coasting that's not about being lazy, but about being fully engaged with what's going on, in a relaxed way. More like surfing than coasting, maybe.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous polly said...

Re the feeling of being on hold: is it caused by this? For the first twenty-five years of life, as a middle class person, in a developed country, enormous changes present themselves automatically on a conveyor belt. Primary school, to secondary school, to university, to getting a job, to learning how to work. After that, subsequent possible enormous changes - getting married, having children, getting promoted briskly or changing to more interesting jobs, or carrying out self-defined projects – require much more initiative and are far more difficult choices. But this feels very different to different people, depending on how active or passive they had been about their lives up to then. It can be difficult to really really grasp the shift in gears.

Reflecting on my own experience, may not be relevant to your current situation. Very best of luck with your change of locale.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Here's to surfing! I like that. Surfing.

10:25 AM  

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