Filling the time
So living alone has given me more time. Figuring out what to do with it has been surprisingly difficult. There are always books to read, a movie to pop in the DVD player, and of course the time consuming black hole of the internet.
I like having more time to write, and putting the emphasis on a handwritten journal has been good. The feel of a pen in my hand and its scratch along a piece of paper hold a pleasure that typing never will. It also slows me down. I scratch out lines, paragraphs. I toss sheets into the wicker wastepaper basket beside my favorite battered chair. I look more carefully at the visual effect of a poem on a page when it's handwritten. I just think more. Beyond that, I like having a calloused groove on my third finger that perfectly fits a pen.
I had to learn again how to cook things slowly. The quick and easy meal doesn't always satisfy, and letting a meal develop in its own time has become almost a Zen practice for me.
These are good things. They've brought me pleasure, and that is actually part of the problem. As my incessant whining in this blog has shown, I've lived a lot of the last couple of years hurting, mourning, depressed and frustrated. I've wanted these simple pleasures as a way to make my life better. The little pleasures made the pain stop for awhile. That's just not enough anymore. I need meaning. I need a purpose.
I'm not going to find it in the ongoing emotional autopsy of my life as wife and day-to-day mother. It's definitely harder to find than a re-run of Buffy. It took me months to find things that I enjoyed again after losing R. So, finding purpose and significance in this new life of mine will probably take me awhile longer. I don't take time for granted the way I used to, and I'm impatient. I want it now, and even though the thought of this makes me grind my teeth, I'm just going to have to have faith that I will find it.
What's significant about this though is that I am ready for something deeper, something substantive and real again. I haven't noticed all the steps that brought me to this point, but it's nice to know that I'm here.