Friday, January 17, 2014

I Am Not Sad

It was during our walk late yesterday afternoon that I realized that after a full day of icy grey coldness, the skies were clearing and the sun (that had only been out for a very short period of time) was slowly settling over Cedar Butte.
As Kory and I wandered around town, and silently watched the deer as they silently watched us, I made the decision that the short walk that I had originally planned was going to be long after all.
The sky was rapidly changing by the minute - morphing from grey to pink to red to purple to yellow - and on a very quiet and cold day I was content to share this sunset with my dog...............
There is something both therapeutic and maddening about the quiet and isolated life that I lead these days.
At one time I was a national caliber martial artist and at another time I was a national caliber adventure racer.
At one time I was professionally skilled enough to be recruited for a position resulting from a national search.
At one time I ran 3 loops of my 7-mile-loop at the military base trails in Tennessee.  Not for training, but just because I could.
At one time I was a business owner.
At one time I was the mother of two beautiful sons.
I wander aimlessly around this town and around this desert trying to heal a wounded heart and head that won't be healed and that doesn't really want to be healed because the pain keeps me close to my son.
The silence is welcome and embraced and mostly I appreciate the opportunity to
But there are times when life in a small town in a big desert can feel like I am going a little crazy.
Walking endlessly to nowhere.
I remember when I was a teenager thinking "In the year 2000 I'll be 40 years old".
40 years old!!
To a teenager living in far away Australia 40 years old was unbelievably ancient, but I was certain that once I was that old I would have all the answers to all the questions that teenage girls have.
40 has come and long gone and not only are there no answers, but there are only more and more and more unanswered questions.
Is this it?  Is this my life?
Is it?
The needle on the compass spins and spins and spins some more.  Not ever stopping.  Not even slowing down, not even a little.
The needle on the compass just keeps spinning...............
When Kory and I first left the house I had anticipated that we would wander for a short period and then simply head back to the house.
After the sun broke through the clouds and immediately began to set over the two large buttes to the west, I realized that we were now walking simply as an excuse to watch the sky.
To watch the ever-changing sky.
We wandered up and down roads, and then wandered up and down the same roads a second time, always pulled towards the last road in back of town that looks out over endless BLM land, and Cedar Butte and Big Butte............
A couple of weeks ago my friend M&M in Tennessee lost her dog Sadie.
I never really realized just how exceptional of a woman she is until I left Tennessee and accepted the job in Juneau.
I had assumed that when I left my job in Tennessee and left the state, that we would go our separate ways because that's usually the way these things go, but somehow that didn't happen, and somehow over the past few years I have learned what a good friend she is.
Sadie was her only family.  A beautiful, sweet girl, she was the same age as Jamie when she died.
I knew that she was not going to be with M&M much longer but my heart still sank when I logged into my emails a few weeks ago and read the subject title "Sadie".
M&M accepted a position in Arizona not long ago and will soon be heading west............
All during the time Kory and I had wandered endlessly in a town that is small enough to not be endless, I had been focused on the sky and buttes to the west.
For the final time I stood looking out over the forever world of a winter desert in Idaho.
It was beautiful.  Sadly, colorfully, silently, sadly beautiful.
After turning away from Big Butte the second (or maybe it was the third - or fourth) time, I looked around me and realized that the entire sky in all directions was an amazing kaleidoscope of color.
The Twin Buttes in the far distance lay on a horizon of blue and red...............
He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others--the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.............Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated 

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