Thursday, April 26, 2012

On having a home...

I've used this picture once before, in a blog named "Superfluous". It's a shot I took just after I refinished the table, but the other day I was looking through my blog and another thought struck me...This is a dream shot.

Let me explain: I know people who have basically lived in 2 houses their entire life. They grew up in their parents house, and their parents never moved. Then they went to college and either lived at home or in a dorm. Then they married and lived with their spouse and raised their children in the house they share with their spouse. One life...two homes.

My life was NOT  that way. My parents divorced when I was 6 months old. My father and my first step-father were military. We moved a LOT. I went to 10 schools from first grade to High School, for instance. In 3 states and 2 countries. 

My ex-husband was also military. The moving continued. 

Even after I married a civilian, we moved a lot. We were in the same city, but we moved from one rental to another. Eventually we moved back to my home town. Since moving home in 2004 we have lived in 2 motel like places, 3 different apartments and 2 houses. 

So, I was looking at this shot from the stairs through our dining room and into our kitchen and my thought was "home". It looks like home. Someones home. My home...for now. It has that warm, "lived in" look of a home. And that made me profoundly sad, because I know, once again, that this is temporary. Next year or the year after we will move again. And suddenly, I understood peoples desire to "buy a home"...somewhere you don't have to move away from every year or two or three. Somewhere you make "yours". Where you paint and decorate and you know that next year or the year after stuff will still be where you put your home.

I've always said I didn't inherit that "got to own my own home" genetic thing that makes up the American dream...but looking at this photo, I finally got it. Not that I'll ever own my own home, mind you, but I got a glimpse of the dream and I understand it now. Amazing...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For my Mama...

(my mother loved jade green flowers)

All of my life, I have claimed to be a realist. I clung to this label as a way to stand against the unreality of life, the fantasies people tell themselves, the drugs/drinking/sex people fall into to not have to deal with the realities of life (I typed that sentence and sat here looking at it thinking: REALLY????).

You and I, Mama, had this conversation a few times in my life as you tried to explain to me your way of dealing with reality. And I didn't listen in my moral superiority, in the safety of being "a realist".

I come to you now, too late, of course, to tell you I'm sorry. The realist has always kept a toe (or maybe a whole foot or leg) in unreality, utterly incapable of seeing it, of shattering the safety of thinking "I'm a realist".

I am...most of the time...but in one area of my life I have lived an utter fantasy. A dream that could never be reality based on a perception that was never a reality. And I never even saw it until the other day...

It almost shattered me. Then it humbled me. And now it brings me here, to you, to say I'm sorry, Mama. I was so blind. Thankfully I know you loved me anyway. You and Gram and Daddy had to have seen it, but you all loved me too much to slap me in the face with it. I love you all and I thank you for your grace...

Friday, April 13, 2012


At what point do we get to look at another being and say, "You are a despicable person," or "You are trash or a tramp" or any other combination of disparaging words that say that that person is more "sinful" than we are?
I recently had an evening of someone revealing to me things that had happened to them and I found myself judging the people that they were talking about. They didn't understand my judgement and at one point focused my vision on an incident now 22 years in my past, and called it almost the same "kind" of behavior as the people they were sharing with me.
I have a troubled and difficult past. No one who knows me would say I try to hide who I am. But I had romanticised this "piece" of my history to a point where it was almost unrecognizable as reality because the truth of the matter is that if I had to look at my behavior 22 years ago very closely, I'd break.
Last night I spent the night looking at my behavior. Judging myself and judging myself again for being judgemental of the people originally shared with me. If I had had any money, or ANY where to go, last night I would have run away from home. But I have neither money, nor place, so I had to stay.
Not to mention, as I am wont to say, you cannot run from yourself.
So here I am...looking at myself, my behavior, my choices, and wondering is my whole life since that time 22 years ago a lie? Because I didn't face my own behavior HONESTLY 22 years ago, does that make everything that has happened in my life since then a lie? An unreality? Invalid?
I want to believe that I am no longer that person from 22 years ago. That given the same circumstances now, I would make better choices. That loneliness and brokenness would not drive me to make the decisions I did...but I cannot know. I can never, ever know.
I am intelligent enough to know that I cannot go back, I cannot change a single thing I did in my past, and I also know that to beat myself up about this aberration in my being is not at all productive, but having once looked, I cannot yet look away. Like a train wreck or a car crash, I have to look and examine and see all the parts and things and pressures that caused me to step into the life I have now...
I said to my children at one point (my 4 older children that is) that I don't know who I was at that point in my life, and I believe that is true to a certain extent. And I've also said that it wasn't me who made that decision, but, the choices preceding this one, from age 15 to age 37 make that a lie in some way. Because my choice for acting out in my life clearly went the direction that this choice took me.
The differences, however, are breathtaking in their scope. And the consequences have been both so good and so bad for everyone around me that I hesitate to even speak of it. How do I talk about that time that destroyed my "family" and the decisions that led up to it without hurting people yet again? So I don't talk about it as a general rule, which leaves me fighting my way through brokenness and sorrow and unforgiveness so deep it threatens to drown me if I look too close. So I try not to look. And for the most part, I succeed.
Until nights like last night. Where the ground beneath me opens up and threatens to swallow me whole if I let it. And I run around seeking a confessional, but feeling nothing confessed would ever be enough. And knowing that is a slap in the face of all that is divine, my own unforgiveness...