Journal Entry, July 28, 2009
Recently, some loved blog friends have had to go their separate ways, from each other, but not from me. The odd flow of connection & disconnection. Painful. I feel it over & over with time passages, all the times I've had to move (states, homes, jobs). It's just NECESSARY for me to remember that the whole of life, all aspects, is transient. Easier and easier as I age; hellish when I was young, and younger. I just wrote to one of these loved friends, "I don't feel like I know more than these younger women; and yet I KNOW I 'know' more than they do by the simple virtues of exposure, weathering, blisters on my feet and heart -- weight, warp & woof of experience, maturity." Said with a puzzled surety, not arrogance at all. It doesn't mean chasms or preclude commonalities. It just IS. It comes with me, no matter what, can't be denied or diminished. It's a grand exchange for all of us, even amid the kind of emotional confrontation that my blogging posse recently navigated. If these two lovelies had met in person, it may be their archetypes or spirits or physical chemistry would have spoken immediately about a less-than-perfect connection, and the relationship would never have progressed based on those signals, that intuition. The bloglandia environment buffers so much of that immediacy of response, delays its revelation, its impact. Anyway, I was thinking mainly in terms of my boys that I CANNOT take a 20-30 year old and 'lord' my wisdom over them. Mainly because they don't think I necessarily have any wisdom that's of relevance to them in their path of discovery. Certainly I, as an 'elder', challenge that, assert what I know based on what I've experienced. Youngsters [and testosterone-filled men-children especially (?)] think it's different for them [it both is, & isn't]; that THEY are different [they both are, & aren't]. Their adventures, curiosity, fresh approach & attunement, rattle me out of my presumptions, my stereotypes, my habits of thought. I love that! What I give them? I have NO idea, except usually a most unwelcome reality check, the caution and perspective of LOOKING BACK (20-20? perhaps) vision, which is mainly useless because it falls on deaf ears. I'm down with that because I'm the only 'me' that is and ever has been, and my path can never be exactly replicated. So someone else, someone younger, my sons specifically, truly CAN anticipate & achieve an utterly altered outcome. With David and Kevin, I have become the one who only gets loud and assertive when I think they're endangering themselves, their futures ... OR infringing on my right to think, choose, BE as an individual ... OR when I'm downright sure they're taking advantage of me, of Double BB, of gifts they're given but behave as if they're entitled to. That's when the can of whoop ass gets taken off my mental pantry shelf and emptied. In it's entirety. I'm Mom -- as such, I have certain inalienable rights to vocalize, to revoke or adjust privileges, to expect behavior modifications and to effect consequences if those go AWOL. An uneasy, NOT easy balance between me and two 'men' who are also my sons. Much as they may seem to chafe & eye-roll when it occurs, it's not an interaction I see myself dropping -- EVER -- just tweaking, constantly modifying to embody nuances. But they do what I did to my parents for so long, which is to see me ONLY as "MOM" [which contains such a plethora of presumed, sometimes paralyzing, parameters] -- and forget I'm a woman, a stand-alone individual, also. The older they become, the more I find I'm emphasizing my individuality, ON PURPOSE, because they need to separate from me (as Mom) but still have "ME". And me is not the sum total of my car to borrow, and clean folded laundry, and combs to swipe in one hand and deodorant in the other, dinners to eat. Those are functions that anyone could conceivably provide, not characteristics of my PERSON, my SELF. David, now 22, is seeming to perceive me, sometimes, the way I'm now able to see My Lovely Mother, My Daddy-O: as 3-4-5-6-7 dimensional beings who (in essential, intriguing ways) have absolutely nothing to do with me. SEPARATE -- the parent-child dynamic is no longer ever-present, though it's still of course a constant beneath our exchanges as adults, as individuals. My boys aren't there yet, clearly, and I don't have any desire to rush that. Even another decade won't bring it, I doubt. Maybe when they're in their 30s, with perhaps a child of their own. THAT event, singularly, altered every perspective I ever had of my own parents. Immutable, overwhelming realization, awareness! Have a child, cross a threshold in my own estimation of myself, who I was/am, and of my parents, who they ARE, who they WERE. BAM. I'm talking BAM - squared. Well, it was that for me -- total shock, even amid the joy & welcome & excitement. Oh! My! Gawd! I now have this David, this Kevin, to tend, to nurture, FOREVER. Can I do that? Well, of course I could, one minute at a time. And now they're 22 and 18, and I'm still asking if I can do this, this Mom thing! It doesn't get worse, easier, better. It just changes, minute by minute, as it has done since they were born. I guess I feel that so long as I'm still testing myself, strenuously, open-mindedly, with the question [which is one of my most HUGE and VALUABLE and ONGOING], then my eyes/heart/soul/love/intellect are able to receive what I need to help us all make it through each minute.
[On Friday, July 10th, I walked around Ian and Traudel's Durlstone Close neighborhood in Sheffield, and shot all these photos.]