Transition Girl

Why transition girl?... Best answered by a quote from the Iliad....."The soul was not made to dwell in a thing; and when forced to it, there is no part of that soul but suffers violence."

Friday, May 14, 2010

as good as

A friend of mine is getting married in the next little while. A small part of me prefers wakes to weddings as the former seem to me to be happier occasions when measured against a benchmark of celebrating life. Though the friend who is signing the piece of paper will also be giving birth shortly, so perhaps this time around my psyche will be swept up in the joy of the occasion.

Perhaps not surprising weddings do remind me of my ex. Though the date of his birth is also rapidly approaching and I suspect the combination of the two is sparking some reflection...

I am going to return to a moment in time, which also coincided with a birthday.

I will be the first to admit the essence of my relationship with my ex was physical. We had so little in common. And I did not really try to change that. I seriously suspected, on my thirtieth birthday, that my deliberate actions to disconnect my mind and body were possibly not the best approach to a relationship.

Out of mind, out of sight? Maybe a distance away but never safely so. I penned the following piece on that day, while on a train to Boston.

Staring out the window of a train.
Half way through a six-hour journey
that falls (coincidentally) on the day
I turn a year older.
Having just seen one of
the seven natural wonders of the world
and I am struck by a sense that
the sheer scale of what
I have witnessed
has failed to make an impact on me.
Not even sure how I was supposed to react.
I have no feeling of inspiration.
No feeling of pure awe
despite having seen one of nature’s miracles.
No feeling at all.

A moment’s reflection on the last few weeks
and then the last few years reveals
I have been sleepwalking
through my existence.
What of the weeks and years that are to follow?
I can’t even recall any moments of rapture
that might have made
the long spaces of void in-between
I’m sure there were some moments.
Were there?
There had to be.
But any exhilaration lasted
just the blink of an eyelid.
Long since faded from my memory.
No feeling at all.

Is this life?
What if another 30 years pass me by
and I look back and wonder why
I was here at all?
Is this the best that I can hope for?
A handful of random flashes of joy
otherwise nothing but
an all-encompassing emptiness
to fill my days and nights?
This numbness is engulfing
every fibre of my being.
No feeling at all.
Have I set my standards too high?
Should I be expecting so much out of life?
Should I be content that this is
as good as it will be?

My ex was sitting next to me on the train that day. I committed pen to paper like a woman possessed, while he read quietly, occasionally looking up to stare out of the window as I did. Every now and then he would reach across and take hold of my hand, interlacing his fingers in mine and, with his Peter Parker lopsided smile say nothing at all before returning his gaze to his book.

My moment of crisis simply passed him by. This is a price I paid for never revealing my real self to him.

It was one of my life’s most profound lessons. I am a different person now. Mind, body, soul? If or when I fall now, I will be an open book.


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