Today I sewed for several hours as my husband managed the house and took care of me besides. He put his computer in my sewing room and put music on he thought I’d like: the Dodos, then later Men at Work’s “Cargo” and then “Jesus Christ Superstar”. The heavy dose of this music and the music I listened to when I went running (more later) were deeply restorative. Singing along and alone with my hands and my work. Laughing and singing to JCS, a rock opera (NO, not a musical) I love incredibly dearly, a mixture of pathos and deep sadness and the most hilarious costumes and overblown performers (Pilate in his little velveteen boatnecked shirt and the way his voice cracks, “You misguided martyr” – ahahahAHAHA!) and the awesomeness of Yvonne Elliman, who was just about the most beautiful thing I’d seen, and I envied her long greasy hair (everyone in that film looked incredibly fit but like they reeked of body odor) and her beautiful plaintive voice. I don’t think I’ve listened to the album that I wasn’t immensely cheered. Funny as I can’t stand anything else of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s.
The kids were quite active and quite independent. Phoenix’s (many) male admirers stopped by and she spent the day outside at a fort in the rain, and then later around town with the older set, and kept her own counsel. “But she grew up tall and she grew up right,” my daughter is reed-like and wildly beautiful and fierce; she cooked her own soup recipe at midnight and wrote the recipe down and charged a dollar to any who’d want a bowl.
Nels asked Ralph and I in for a performance and did one of his sort of poetry-slam/song pieces. It was beautiful and profound (and also overly-long) but he would not allow us to record it. I watched numb with fatigue, but a good kind of fatigue, being sought out by my children, who gave me many hugs today, going about their business and painting watercolors (beautiful work I am pressing now). And Nels is so tall too and strange to me, now with one tooth missing, and his erstwhile baby softness is gone, all the way gone, and he is so slender, his face thin enough his eyes are huge and he’s healthy but seems something wild and slightly beyond me although first thing this morning when he woke up he asked me to bed and held me and said, “I love you so much, Mama… you are such a lovely little creature” and fortunately I had the presence of mind to breathe deep of this experience.
I started the day with a run, which felt amazing as the lovely rain-lashed fall weather is upon us, perhaps we have no more hot days of summer left. No one was on the track although a few girls sat way up in the stands and we waved to one another. I wear sunglasses out because I have light-sensitive eyes, eyes that tear up easily and are stung by even a bit of sunlight. This wasn’t always the case. I mention my eyes often because I am still laughing I have this problem. It makes me feel silly and weak but it’s true at any rate and I’m still getting used to the fact. At the end of my run, the girls long gone, the track lonesome and lovely, I took off the sunglasses and quite suddenly experienced the real color as a physical shock. I thought I have never seen greens this deep or blue sky like this or the brick red of the track like something I could reach my hand into.
And at this moment through my little earbuds the Decemberists came on, “California One”, and I was completely overcome with despair and sadness, it’s a song I was listening to when my dad was dying, it reminded me of him and the trips he and my mother would take in their bus together, knowing soon they could take no more, their ways would part. And I started crying, just a little at first, overcome with the bodily joy of being out in the rain and the lovely music, but then the Sadness overcame me and it was too much.
Take a long drive with me
on California one, on California one
And the road a-winding goes
from golden gate to roaring cliff-side
and the light is softly low as our hearts become sweetly untied
beneath the sun of California one
My run was over and I sat on the stone bench and just cried and cried, my face in my mustard-yellow hoodie, I don’t like to cry in front of anyone except the kids maybe. No one was around for which I was grateful. I miss my father so painfully and when this pain wells up it hasn’t changed one ounce from the day he died. I will never Get Over It. I don’t care if no one understands. I know no one can understand all the way no matter what, no one else is Me, but there are those who understand more than others, and those people are quite precious to me. But in any case I don’t have to justify the crying, I write about it here to be honest and real. I was glad to be alone for it though.
Later after a hot hot shower Ralph and I went out to eat together and shared conversation. I did the best I could to eat, moving slower than normal, drinking some really horrible tea at the pub. He made me laugh as per usual and we discussed our shared Plans, our unfolding week, our children, the malicious little cat-creatures we live with, his work, my work. Our life. And I was tired but still able to Be and find peace in the day.
And it was a good day.
The Sadness comes out of left field sometimes. It really does, and the crying. It helps. I think it does, anyway.
My husband’s never Gotten Over It with his father’s death, either. I don’t think you really can; I think you can just choose to stop acknowledging it–or not. He chooses not. I’m glad it was a good day, even so.
Yes ladies. Much like when laughing so hard you cry and almost pee your pants (or more than almost) and your gut hurts? Crying can be like that too, and since I was alone I got to have that. (Crying can often be stifled and icky-feeling but luckily it was a good one).
Thanks for your comments.
Kelly, I find you to be incredibly inspiring. You write so beautifully…I actually ache a little when I read it. You have such a strong, knowing voice.
I am in a period of great transition in my life, and reading your tweets is one of the things that inspires me and keeps me grounded. I appreciate your resolve and sense of self. Reading this was a balm to me.