I went to a bridal shower this afternoon and one of the bits of wisdom shared was that marriage is heartbreaking work. While I generally agreed with the sentiment it didn’t feel like a total articulation of the experience.
So I sat on the train to Harrisburg en route to visit my mother in law thinking about love and heartbreak.
As an artist it’s clear to me that developing a beautiful piece of writing is a work of creation delicately balanced with sensitive pruning. The spaces, the gaps, are as important as what’s on the page. The story should neither be over nor under developed.
Marriage, I’ll posit, has some parallels to good writing. It has broken my heart (the gaps). Repeatedly. Excruciatingly. Viscerally. But I turn the page, take a breath, and re-open my eyes to my lover and companion and my heart is made anew (the page). Sometimes, on the other side of suffering, my heart grows wilder in its kindness. The generosity of shared daily love (with all its comforts and struggles) leaves me more curious about the human condition, able to connect with other humans with more empathy. I grow humbler and, frankly, stronger. The well of love digs deeper into me, and my resources grow. It’s neither comfortable nor pretty. I’m convinced it is worthwhile.
Let me bring the bonsai picture into this. The bonsai above is in training–a comparatively large rock dangles from one of its limbs giving it the graceful shape the gardener intends.
As a spouse I experience all three: sometimes I am the rock, sometimes I am the branch, and sometimes I am the gardener. And that is love to me: My heart breaking and being remade, by turn.
Yesterday was my last day of work. I said goodbye. A lot. This took its toll. My composure transmuted into more of a wet sponge facade. However, it turned out I had the following arrows in my quiver (some lucky, some planned for):
1) A long walk to the museum to distract me and give me the opportunity to take cool pictures of Philadelphia to look at in Kolkata’s heat.2) Seeing trees invariable calms me down.
3) Plus there was white wine waiting for me in the Philadelphia Art Museum. But also, 4) one of the world’s greatest entertainers, Miss Martha Graham Cracker, a local treasure.
And, 5) because I need to know as I’m moving (feeling naked and unprepared) into the future that the relationships I’ve built come with me, two lovely friends met me to watch Miss Martha sing and banter on the steps of the Museum.
The walk, the laughs, the wine, the art in the museum, my friends, and Miss Martha reminded me that what I love in life is still abundantly present in it.
And I felt better.
I have finally killed procrastination for good. Allow me to qualify this statement by adding some specificity.
I have finally mastered a student’s enemy: schoolwork-related procrastination. I’m still quite the procrastinator when it comes to several other important life arenas (cleaning, you know who you are and i curse you), but I feel that as a student, I’m making rapid headway.
Here’s my trick. I love being done with assignments ahead of schedule and not having to worry anymore far more than I love goofing off until the last possible second. I rather be calm. I rather feel a bit smug and have a cool summery beverage. I rather watch TV with lovely boyfriend in state of relaxed joy and indulgence.
It’s kind of amazing how different I am as an adult student compared to how I was as an undergrad. I think this is due to several factors. The most important factor being: I know exactly what I’m giving up in order to pursue my studies: All that time with friends and family. All that time at the movies. All those Center City Sips outings I’m not going on. All those story slams I can’t participate in. All the Free Library author events I can’t attend. They have a price. So I’m going to be as responsible to myself as I can be, and I’m going to try to reduce the stress on myself and all those I love as best I can by getting ahead whenever I can. Plus, it’s kind of fun. Yes, I also happen to be a total nerd.
Loving India. I get it. It’s hard to say without sounding a little operatic, but there’s something wonderful, and demanding, and difficult, and beautiful, about life here.
I would go back to Rio or Hong Kong in a second, but India is captivating and heart breaking in a way I have not dealt with before.
Time for simple begging has come, and I am before you, on my metaphorical knees, asking you to please subscribe, with the humble promise of more interesting blog posts in the near (possibly very near) future.
Among other things, I want to test out my website’s ability to manage subscribers and its ability to send out notifications of new posts. You, brave you, help me out?
One stark reality from my second Social Work class ever–there were about 20 women and one male student. One dude (charming as he is). That’s what the hyper steeped in estrogen future of therapy looks like. Also, in chatting with a friend who is more ambitious than I, I realized how far I’ve come, baby: Reasonable Girl is in full force. I’m all about right-sizing my commitments and my expectations these days. My commitment is to be a decent student and my expectation is stay in touch with those I love as my life gets progressively busier. That’s it. Sounds simple we’ll see what twisty plot developments occur in the future.
I have no idea what I’m doing (owning a site, and being responsible for technical things), but here I go doing it. You’ll have to tolerate my learning curve.
I’ve decided to start a new blog on writing. The process of writing my memoir was documented here.
Why write about writing?
I know. You haven’t seen people swim about swimming. Or maybe you have.
I’ll think of this space as a record of my development as an author. I’ll try to keep it entertaining and inspirational as I go. Quotes from favorite authors, links to things that inspire me. You get the idea, just your standard hello world blog.
I know I like blogging. So here goes.