My wedding dress and shoes sat waiting for me on my porch today. I’d asked my mother-in-law to send them since they’ve been in her closet in Canada for years. Wrapped in brown paper with her handwritten letters on the front, a familiar knot rose up to my throat.
This stuff is hard.
For months, there’s been a tug-of-war going on inside. On one side: strong pulling of nostalgia and sentiment that leave blisters on the palms, the grip is so tight. On the other side: new found strength stemming from time, self-acceptance, and loving support.
No side has slipped over the line. No side has won.
With the exception of moments that offer a little give, the tension across these sides is pretty constant.
To add to matters, during this time, the words have gone into hiding. I yell for them to come back, to emerge from the shadows, only to hear my echoing plea. Aside from feebly comparing a marriage separation to the pulling of a taut rope, similes escape me. There is little to liken this experience to and no former lesson to draw from. This is the hard stuff. The life altering stuff.
I used to write quite regularly here, back when there seemed to be a new experience every new day I opened my eyes. After all, this blog was inspired by the decision to make a large life change. It stemmed from the curiosity of chronicling the events that led us to Laos where we departed from the comfortable teaching lives we knew. In a way, it was intentional impermanence. And, in that brief chapter of life, I had a lot to say about the matter.
Thing is, the impermanence maintained even after the experiment. These months of being back in the states has proven to be of the Year of the Unexpected. Even with such experiences, I fall short of expression.
How does one define the empty space left from 11 years of partnership? What words are used to share the process of re defining the self? How are the heights and depths told in a way that makes sense?
That brown wrapped box has been tucked away in a hidden corner of my closet. I am not ready to open it yet.
That rope connecting confusing sides of emotion is still pulled pretty tightly. I have not released my grip yet.
The time will come though, I know it, when letting go is the experience, when resistance no longer serves and release feels so much better. I suspect, when that happens, the words will rush in.