Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Do you ever feel like pieces of your life may never completely come into their own?
Like there are things that will never quite fit right again?

This will sound convoluted, but it is like a mosaic. A mosaic comes together from the broken parts of many different things. An image, often beautifully fractured yet whole, comes to be. But sometimes it feels even though mine is an ever forming mosaic there are pieces that will never be able to go. They are parts of of a different story. One that I treasure but don't know how to reconcile and thus don't know how to make part of this emerging narrative and image.

When I think of my past and what is often referred to as my "former life" I think that as time passes and I build a new life - what happens to the sacredness of those memories? Because one cannot live in the past and must forgive themselves the ugly and even the beautiful they have to take it all and wrap it up into somtething whole and, then what? Set it free? Bury it? Carry it?

Today the subject of this past is my marriage - a relationship of nearly 7 years with someone. One that as time passes slips away into a deep and distant history. It's supposed to I am told. It has to I know. But the fragments that remain continue woven into my very identity. When I got a call this morning about some pictures that he is sending me, ones he found when going through the old albums, pictures that did not pertain to him but me on hiking trips with youth groups etc. I felt the pang of an eraser. An eraser digging into my memory. And then I felt the pain of having left him to clean up a shared life - where I got to move to an empty city with no furniture, no buildings to remind me of special times, no corners to turn that will freeze my spirit or snatch the ability of my brain to move forward. But him with an apartment of memories, of a table and chairs we searched for, a couch we fought about, in a room we shared. While he is less sentimental than me I have a difficult time imagining staying in a place that held so much.

What Leonard Cohen says in, "Is This What You Wanted":

You were the promise at dawn,
I was the morning after . . .

And is this what you wanted
to live in a house that is haunted
by the ghost of you and me?

Which I played for him a year or two ago and he thought was sort of ridiculous. Mainly because LC also sings about tangerines I believe. Nonetheless, there are pieces of this story that I do not know how to keep and do not want to forget. Because forgetting erases meaning, or so it seems.

And thus my fear of marriage comes in, but that is probably for another blog because this one is quite lengthy and quite heavy. Particularly for me.

And by the way I do know how this sounds, like one who has not let go. But is it so bad to not know how to hold your history especially in light of my current happiness in love. I want the same for him - and I would really like it sooner rather than later. But that is in part for selfish reasons.

1 comment:

The Princess Abdicated said...

Trust me my dear I know exactly what you mean. I keep getting Pieces thrown back at me as well. About 2 years ago I received 2 boxes of "stuff" that I had left with my ex. I opened them and because a lot of it was things from when I was in the military I wanted to keep it but Almost all of it had my married name on it. I didn't know what to do. I have had a hard time trying to close that chapter as well because no matter where I go or what I do there is always something there that has to do with that "former life". Parts I miss, Parts I don't but it will always be there, and it may not fit in with the mosaic, but you can always put them in a box and maybe one day they'll help form the picture.

About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: http://themessinessoffaith.blogspot.com/ And my comments and anecdotes on life at: http://sheisaworkinprogress.blogspot.com/

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel