It is 4am and I am awake, thinking even 15 more minutes of sleep is worth the next two hours. I think about happiness, what does it mean to be happy? I think my dad spent the better part of his life being clinically depressed, and I think sometimes, maybe all the time, that it might have a genetic component. I know I should be happy. I have a good job, with good benefits, I have a beautiful albeit at times struggling adult child, I have a decent place to sleep, plenty of spending money and few expenses, food to eat, hobbies to occupy my mind and soul, good friends, family that loves me, a great yard, pets that love me, dote on me, students who love me so why in this deep dark part of morning do I sigh as I turn over and place my clasped hands against my cheek and pull the covers over my head, am I NOT happy? What is missing? And I know it is not an external thing, it is something on my insides. I know I need to return to meditation, and spend more of my time on art.
I think of this event horizon. When I first met the ex, I had this intense feeling that he would have a profound effect on my life. I had always thought it was a positive effect, but I now know it was totally not that, it was this other thing. It was like being sucked into a black hole, you are one thing on one side, and you are stretched to an unrecognizably thin, tattered, atom infinite blobby particulate version of your self, where every cell is a separate entity. Nothing in my life has ever been the same, every new thing that enters my life, must pass through that black hole before I can even begin to process it. When I was struggling he texted me (his stalker girlfriend?) I am not sure I lose track of what happened, its course and its places, “I have moved out of our house, I am not coming back.” As if I wanted him back, because as of the first part of October, I never ever did. I could see that I was already unalterably torn apart. As though I had been dismembered and sewn back together and he was saying, your body will never be the same again. *S* Really? I didn’t know. *S*
Ironically my day unfolds beautifully, it is a picture perfect teaching day. I go to help a teacher with a Literacy project which requires a poster as one component of its final product. Two boys sit on either side of me, best friends, talking talkity chatty heads in my class. I show the one how to draw a zebra, and he struggles immensely. At first, but slowly this incredible beautiful graphic/design image appears and grows, I make him go back and draw lines he draws half-assed, I make articulate the decision-making process of an artist, should I do this, or that, what should I put here, is it too empty over here, what kind of tree would be near a zebra in the wild. And at the end his pride is evident. I point out to him that we have been sitting side by side for an hour and a half, and he hasn’t even budged one inch from his chair. His buddy on my other side draws a snake, and he admits he is jealous of his friend’s zebra, but also that he loves the picture. And also there is a question from him. Ms. I haven’t talked in a long time, we never sit this close together and not talk but there is a question in the sound of his voice, and I explain to him about silencing the mind, that art and talking come from different places. They confuse your mind, he states simply. Yes. Exactly.
Later my second worst class is there and they are wonderful, so good for once it surprises me. And after a student from another school comes in as a transfer to the special education class. I greet her warmly, take her hands in mine and tell her she has a friend already at this school. Her mom is visibly relieved. I needed a day like this. Maybe she did too.
I pull in the driveway and the magnolia tree is pink in its full bloom, and the flamingo in the front yard is a stunning accent to it. I change and put get my tools from the shed, I kneel to pull weeds and discover so many plants hiding under years of neglect, forget-me-not, primrose, scented thyme, cinquefoil, Salvia, oregano, rosemary, parsley, dragons tail, the dog is leashed to the iron bench on the porch, he lies in the shade panting from the heat. There is a pleasure in this, I think, and I realize that I need these kinds of comforts of routine, of the outdoors to rejuvenate. And for a moment I feel intense hatred for the stalker for taking away my park time. But I let it pass, knowing that this summer I will be in the woods for weeks without the fear of ever seeing her. I will return to it, as I must.
Now as the pirate mows the back yard, the dog, yards from me is sniffing every nook and cranny, free to wander at his leisure, the buffalo skull like God, looks empty and omniscient over us, ignoring my prayers. The pirate grins as he passes by me, and I watch him thinking of how nice it is to not have to boss him into the mowing. He curses as he steps in poop, and I laugh. The wind chimes, an ever-present music, rattle softly in the light breeze. He whistles to point out more poop for me to scoop and the dog runs to him and then past him and further on in the yard, and he tosses a ball that Sancho, even in his arthritic old man state, runs after.
I breath, a sigh of relief. Would that more days were like this one than not.
Not sure how to make it happen.