Monday, February 19, 2007

Pastoral

Normally my writing feels timeless – I can write on a Monday, post a little later, barely poetic license. But somehow the where and when weighs on me tonight: it is Sunday of the holiday weekend, 9:30 at night, a quiet bedroom tucked away in the Berkshires. I am visiting family, my family, traveling with my little ones but not with Carrie. The young ones, exhausted from the fresh air and the outdoor activities are tucked in, my sister and brother-in-law are in their room reading and surely reviewing the day and I am quietly pecking away, alone in my room. alone with my thoughts.

By any measure it has been a good weekend, love of children and love of family abound, activity and quiet moments in equal measure. But today as we played games, music in the background, I realized my sister had “raided” my iPod – I am the family music man. One of the playlists caught her attention, one named Nate. She loved it and complimented me but I had to demur; Carrie had made the mix, made the mix as a gift to me and it contained the songs of our year, beautiful songs, but bittersweet songs.

And as I sit here tonight I am overcome with the reality of it all, the reality that what I had, what I cherished, will at best never be the same and at worse will lie in tatters at my feet. Yet I feel unable to change the direction, unsure that I would even want to. When I have moments of self doubt, of wanting to undo, I am accused of fear, fear of being alone, fear of the monetary toll, fear of facing myself. There is truth to elements of these, but I do not see these fears as driving the bus as I once did.

Last night I started a post, but was interrupted and stopped. The working title was dance card, a tale of a dance card unexpectedly full. Somehow that post feels empty today, but I mention it because I do not labor under an immediate fear of loneliness – my problem is varying relationships and opportunities with a number of men. So it is not the fear that brings on the melancholy. It is the impossibility of balancing it all.

I do not sit here, laptop warming me, thinking of the men in my life. My thoughts turn to Carrie. But there is a disingenuous element in it all: I will as the night goes on, enveloped in the darkness, find myself thinking of men. I will go home tomorrow and have my e-mail back. Sam is away until Friday, no need to e-mail him. Another friend from my group has e-mailed me – getting together to talk is in my court, he is respectful of my confusion: I will make time - willingly and happily - for a drink and conversation. And yes, the man whose phone number I brazenly asked for in a bar a week back – we are having dinner on Wednesday, I suppose my first real date of this new world.

Yes, disingenuous indeed: thoughts of my love for Carrie being crowded out by my social calendar. I spoke with my brother in law last night, a quiet personal moment. I told him that I thought my marriage could still, even at this late date, be resurrected if I would just pull back from the precipice. He listened and then cut to the chase, asked the question, the one that is always there. He said “What do I want?” And as painful as the answer is, I am enjoying my new life, the attention, the flirting, the brushes and the kisses. It is easy to overanalyze: Freudian interpretations of looking for male power, or simple imagery of the dam finally bursting, or just plain sexual greed.

But one can strip away the explanations, the presumed motivations, the doubling back and missing of Carrie. At the end of the day, I want to continue going forward down this road. The pull may not be easily explained in all its aspects but the pull can surely not be denied. It is the reality of my life.

3 comments:

Spider said...

I was looking tonight at your profile picture as I was reading your entry Nate. That is one of my favorite Monet's in that series and that is my favorite series of his.

Then it struck me - your profile picture is an impressionist painting. Impressionism - the artistic school of thought that most leaves open description and explanation to the view. The content and the mood can change based on the lighting or the direction from which you view the piece; and the artist, in this case Monet, can paint the same exact scene 5 times and come away with a different view each time - depending on observation and conditions.

This is where you are Nate - you are a Monet - being viewed by yourself and others differently depending on mood and situation and lighting and which painting we are viewing. And I think this is comfortable for you right now.

I will be interested to see when you change that picture...

MK said...

i cant comment on the more important nature of this post because it is totally foreign to me. but i do hope that it is beginning to sort itself out. i would love to know some of those songs though. they can explain so much emotion and may mean something to other people as well. if you choose to share i would be seriously interested.

Nate said...

When I looked for a picture, I gravitated to Monet, but was not very aware of this series - I have always been a fan of the Cathedral at Rouen (which I once was blessed to visit).

When I saw my profile picture I was struck almost as much by the title as I was by the picture: "House of Parliament, Effect of Sunlight In The Fog."

I have thought of changing it, updating the picture, updating me, but I keep getting back to the juxtaposition of sunlight and fog because it feels so representative of the place I am in.

Whatever happens with this process, with my life, during the past year the sunlight has started to cut through my fog, the fog of lack of self awareness,the fog of denial, and it is only in that sunlight that there can be decisions, hopefully right decisions, albeit none will be easy.

Thanks Spider - I chose that painting a long time ago and it is good to finally talk about it.