Some urgent questions, a conversation, and emotive-seismic waves can shake the walls and reboot the system. It can happen overnight. It did, to me. It’s how I knew the angels had done their work, whether you like to call them angels, or mysterious, internal forces, or harmonizing synchronies of intuition and action, or whatever fits your worldview—it doesn’t matter. Humor me and call them angels, okay, angel?
A week ago I wrote a blog post and noted that I had been suffering quite a lot. I knew that something had to give, but didn’t think it would give the very next day.
You understand, I hope, that it’s not easy for me to write about certain things, for fear of making myself or those I love overly vulnerable, but this is something I need to write about, seeing as I’d like to give you some context for requesting your feedback, thoughts, and information on the next chapter of my family’s life.
I had a long conversation with Tom last Monday night, and he said things that surprised me and gave me a big shift in perspective and a sense of greatly expanded possibilities for the future, mine and his and Lily’s. (For the uninitiated: Tom is my husband and Lily’s dad. We don’t live together. Despite being separated, we very much consider each other family, love each other, and rely upon each other. I’d rather not go into every detail of our relational configuration at the moment, but I think it’s important to note that we inhabit a gray zone that some people assume can’t exist—we are neither completely together nor apart, whatever those words mean. This is not experienced as a lack of resolution or limbo to us.) He knew that I had been suffering and feeling very stuck. I told him that part of that was based on his being quite settled and content with his location and job, and that it was hard for me not to feel resentful that my life and Lily’s life revolved around maintaining his status quo, that I chafed at not being able to consider relocating or making big changes to my life because I couldn’t, wouldn’t consider separating him and Lily. (Lily is with me on weekdays, and with Tom on weekends, and the three of us spend Friday evenings together.) There is also, of course, the significant issue that he and I are still quite attached, despite needing certain degrees of space from each other. The larger issue remained, however, that I wanted to move forward, to be a healthier, happier person, to be a good mom, to look after my own needs and Lily’s, no matter what changes it would require, and I felt hobbled at the outset.
He said he didn’t want me to feel trapped. He said he didn’t expect he would want to stay in one place and in the same job forever, anyway. He said he couldn’t bear the thought of not being near Lily, and that if she and I moved, he would move to be near us, too.
It wasn’t what I expected at all. I was just about breathless. It felt like emerging from a very uncomfortable, enclosed space into a bright meadow with an enormous sky above.
There’s no clear plan right now. It’s okay, though. I’ve already experienced much more flow and ease in the past week, knowing that the currents are unobstructed, knowing that we are committed, as we have always been, to each others’ and Lily’s well-being.
Despite there being no plan, there are some ideas and feelings roiling away, urgent messages from my heart saying Listen! Listen to me! Ignore me at your peril!
Okay, Heart, you take it all from here.
This is what I want:
- To live in the country. I need the quiet. I need the beauty.
- To live near people who could love me and Lily and who we could love back, whether we know them yet or not. I want them to reject the Culture of Busy* as much as they possibly can. I want them to love the earth, the food, the common dirt, the community. I want them to be a part of my daily life, or close to it. (“Culture of Busy” is my shorthand for Culture of Busy, of Competition, of Swallowing Insane Cultural Narratives Whole, of Thinking We Must Submit to All Institutional Demands, of Numbness, of Alienation, of Isolation, of War, of Planet-Killing.)
- Other kids around for Lily to play with, every day.
- Other homeschoolers/unschoolers around more, without it being contingent on participating in paid activities.
- To be in a region with four seasons, not unbearably hot summers, snow in the winter, not prone to drought, not prone to earthquakes or tsunamis, with rivers and lakes nearby.
- To focus on the activities that bring us joy, growth, and meaning (writing, art, helping others, singing, playing, growing/gathering/preserving/cooking food, walking in the woods, swimming, reading, learning, nurturing, conversing, loving).
I’m sure there will be more that comes up. But with that, perhaps a few readers might have some thoughts to offer? I think your feedback would help. Thank you, loves.