Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now You See Her…

Last night, I watched a couple of installments of a show called "Disappeared" or something like that, on some obscure cable station. These were stories of folks who had simply vanished. No foul play detected, no trace or trail left behind. They were just gone, leaving perplexed family and friends to puzzle about their whereabouts. Forever, presumably.

On the drive home from a slightly disappointing "girls' weekend," wherein I was hoping to have some enjoyable bonding time with my sisters (not so much…), I thought about the stories on that show. And realized how appealing the idea of disappearing really is.

I find myself in a position that is so abhorrent to me that I can barely stand to think about it. I am a gaping pit of neediness. I need a direction. I need a purpose. I need closure of this business enterprise that I have royally fouled up. I need to figure out what my life is going to be all about once that is done with. I need someone to talk to about all of this. I need someone to hear me.

I hate being needy. Like most people, I think, I would so rather be needed. No one needs anything from me right now. Well, that's not strictly true. What they need from me is…to leave them alone. To suck it up and get through this and quit whining. To not burden them with my struggles.

What they need from me…what all the people closest to me would appreciate the most, I often think, is for me to…


Hardly something one can really DO, I suppose. And there is the fact that, if one were to attempt to disappear, one's past, paranoia, and problematic personality would follow one wherever one tried to hide.


Guess that's not really a plan then, is it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I've been attempting to maintain my peace since approximately last October. Some days, it all goes along on oiled wheels. Some days, actually most days, not so much.

Back in November, when I had that eagle visitation on the dike, I felt so assured. So directed. So ready to go on to the next thing. The unfortunate thing about spiritual assurance, at least in my world, is that it never seems to last. I don't know what the Universe would have to show me or give me that would cause me to finally get it, once and for all. Maybe you're never supposed to get it. Maybe life—at least on this plane—is all about wanting it, needing it, searching for it. The Universe gives us just enough of those "ah-ha" moments to keep us moving forward.

All I can say is, I hope I get another of those moments soon. My peace, assurance and direction are eroding daily. My relationship with the husband is definitely fragile and crumbly around the edges. Turns out, "leaving him alone"—as Terri predicted—is proving to be very challenging. Actually, it's not even so much the part about leaving him alone, it's the reciprocal part: I leave him alone, and he leaves me alone. Utterly. Which leaves me completely without any kind of a support network—however incomplete or imperfect—to help me get through this thing. This dissolution of the dream. This firing of myself from the job I always thought I wanted, the challenge I always thought would make me whole, because I realize I suck at it.

Sometimes, when husband and I are alone together, I lose my resolve and "casually" mention my feelings about what I'm going through right now. And he…changes the subject immediately, or fails to respond at all. As if he hadn't heard me. Our existence together has degraded to pleasantries and necessary communications only. The elephant in the room is practically sitting in our laps…indeed, it has its trunk around my throat. But we don't talk about it. This evidently works just fine for one of us. For me, it's deadly.

I don't know how long I can keep it up. I keep telling myself: Only x-number of months, weeks, days… As of today, it's four months and fourteen days. I can do anything for four months and fourteen days.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Squirrely

I am so excited!

Went out to fling some sunflower seeds into the feeders this morning (the grosbeaks are voracious!) and spied a special visitor:

Now, I know that just about anyone who feeds birds in their back yards HATES squirrels. And I also know that I am never one to adhere to popular opinion…

I LOVE the little buggers! Yard pets, tree rats, whatever you want to call them. I have always valued their presence at my backyard buffet as much as the birds'. Squirrels are funny, smart, and endlessly entertaining.

Ten years ago, we moved to The Land Of No Squirrels. Our home is built in what was once natural grassland. Any trees that are around here were put in with or after the houses. Which has meant that critters who like mature trees—like squirrels and raccoons—have been noticeably absent. And, oh, how I have missed "my" squirrels!

Evidently, our development is aging enough to bring a gradual change to the wildlife population. Squirrels!

I felt that this was such a special gift that I decided to consult a book I recently purchased: Stephen Farmer's Animal Spirit Guides. Here's what it says about Squirrel:


Get ready for coming changes by
lightening your load, clearing out and giving away any goods or material
possessions that no longer serve you.

The best way to deal with the
challenging situation that's before you is to confront it head-on and be totally
honest with your feelings and thoughts.

Be extra vigilant and cautious right
now, and be willing to avoid or escape any threatening situations.

Prepare for the future by gathering and
storing extra food, water, clothing, candles, and money for possible later use.

Although you're actively and
aggressively pursuing your goals right now, you need to balance this pursuit
with more socializing and play.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On the Bridge

Immersed in the "changing décor" mindset (it will take me several days to de-Christmasify my home and the café), I decided on the spur of the moment last night to change my heading picture here at Coming to Terms. The red-tail was lovely, and still one of my favorite personal photographs of all time; but I'm not feeling too "soaring hawk"-ish these days. I felt the need for a change.

The picture I had in mind—of a flight of brown pelicans dipping over the tops of the waves at a "land's end" beach—ended up being…somewhere not exactly at my fingertips. On one of my jillion other computers, I suppose. So I ended up with the one above—a shot of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which connects Oregon with Washington near the mouth of the Columbia River. The picture was taken from the foot of the Astoria Column—high up on a hilltop overlooking the city of Astoria and lots of beautiful coastland. And the bridge.

When I thought about it, I realized that the bridge picture is SO representative of where I am in life right now. I'm on a bridge, somewhere between two major points in my life—in-café and post café. The bridge in the picture leads from the breath-taking beaches of Oregon, with which I am so familiar, to—well, to more of the same north of the border. Places I have heard of but have never visited. Places of equal beauty to my beloved Oregon coast.

This is how I must see the life bridge I am on now. I'm certainly going away from something I have loved, something I thought was the fulfillment of my fondest dreams. I'm not particularly happy about saying goodbye to it all…but I'm in the middle of the bridge, and I can't turn around now. I have to have faith that what waits for me on the other side is as wonderful as what I'm leaving behind. And that the lessons I've learned are packed safely in my trunk, ready to be pulled out and put to use when new challenges confront me. Perhaps giving me a better chance of accomplishing something real and lasting in my next adventure.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Thing About Peace…

"Don't let them steal your peace…" It seemed so simple the first time I heard it. Straightforward. Steadfast. Intentional. Don't. Let. Them. Steal. Your. Peace.

But like everything else, it's not as easy as it sounds. You have to HAVE peace before you can guard it. Sometimes I have it. Often times, I don't. And the times I have it, I wonder whether I really HAVE it, or if I'm just faking it. And faking is something I have never done well. Never liked doing, never wanted to do.

To my black and white little mind, faking feels dishonest; and I have always had a monstrous moral bias against lying. To the point where I am even unable to pad or cloak the truth in order to grease the works of a relationship or spare someone's feelings. Really, pathological honesty does not make one's life easy. It sucks, in fact. But it doesn't seem to be something I have the capacity to change.

So now, I've taken to wondering whether the peace I am trying to maintain is an authentic peace, or a manufactured one. Real or imitation. Live or Memorex…

The question I need to ask is, "Does it really matter?" If some degree of "faked" peace is keeping me from jumping out of my skin, or jumping off the nearest bridge, is it important that it isn't "real?" If clinging by my fingernails to a façade of serenity I've painstakingly erected—possibly without knowing it—helps me to fend off daily assaults to my bruised and battered psyche, who cares that it hasn't sprung spontaneously from some bottomless pacific well deep in my soul?

What does bother me some is that I feel compelled to live SO on the surface of things. I cannot plumb the depths of anything right now. I can't think about reasons or motivations or plans or reactions, for fear of handing away the peace--real or fake--that I'm trying so hard to protect. And that is so against my nature, I find that in itself is a source of irritation…that I dare not think about. Honestly, I don't know how long I can keep up the Scarlett O'Hara act: I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about it tomorrow…

So I huddle inside—or hide behind—my various incarnations of peace. Hoping that someday, the true peace will grow from within and meet up with the erected one, so that they become one and the same.

Meanwhile, I have to make it through the next four months and twenty-nine days using any and every resource available. Tomorrow is another day…