I celebrated my second year of life in the nest by having a polyp removed from my uterus. SO much fun!
Really, it was not a big deal at all. Just an ageing girl thing. I spent the day napping and binge watching the second season of The News Room.
I went looking for what I wrote last year.
Mom's world was more or less dumped into mine. The nest filled up with family furniture, photos, lamps. The nest smells like both Mom and me. It smells like musky old books and cleaning products. It smells like aging. It smells like candles and soap. The smells from the outside float in. Diesel and coffee and smoke. In the morning, before the day begins and in the evening after things slow way down, it smells like pine and water.
I don't know if I'll ever feel completely at home in Hood River. But in my nest I have the first home that feels like a place I don't have to leave. I don't want to leave.
I just read The Odd Woman and The City . (Thank you Kristina.) It's a love letter to New York and a bunch of great thinking about the nature of relationship and connection. I've moved onto another book but I keep picking up the Gornick to reread parts.
When I was in NYC I lived in a residential hotel on the upper west. I headed south every day for work and my hang outs on Saint Marks. I don't remember why but I once looked at a small studio in the west village. I think I was there with a friend because there was no way I could have afforded it. It had a small fireplace and a window onto a garden. I still swoon with desire when I think about it. New York was like unrequited love for me. But I never felt like I had a chance so it didn't even hurt that bad. And I was so at home in SF once I got there.
Gornick writes about her habit of daydreaming her life both past and future. Walking and dreaming. And then at sixty she stopped. She says turning sixty was like being told she had six months to live and she stopped being able to fantasize about the future. That's not exactly how I would say it but I do feel something similar. Some sense of ...it ...being over. Clearly there are ...its ...that are over. And clearly there are ...its...that may still be possible. It's not a dour give up on life kind of thing. It's just an awareness. She goes onto say that the fantasized tomorrow was a refuge and that now there is only "the immensity of the vacant present."
I realize this all sounds painful and it is but it is also liberating. The book is filled with the most lucid expressions of a sense of a failed self. It thrilled me.
It's hard to say all this and not be aware that people may think I am being depressive. Negative. Worrisome. Maybe. It doesn't feel that way. It feels ... real.
Gornick talks on (paraphrasing Woolf) about moments of being. I have moments in the nest when I am just looking around. Looking at it all. The book shelves. The salt and pepper shakers. My maternal family tree on the wall. The old Victrola filled with Pelligrino soda and booze. I take great pleasure in just looking at it all.
This year has been the most challenging year of my life because of Mom. And, although she is much better and things are generally better I know there are challenges yet ahead.
Last year's post and this years post aren't that different. I am happy and grateful and surprised by my life. I am tired and sad and alienated. All true at the same time.
And right now I am in need of my bed.