Friday, January 18, 2013

Feelin Good Again

I read a book today. I haven't read a book that wasn't a how-to book for some sort of craft or a juvenile fiction book read aloud to my children in years. It's embarrassing to admit it. I even told Jake one night a few months ago that for some reason, I've turned into a non-reader and I worried about what that meant about me, about my children, about my life. But I read a book, on recommendation from a friend from far away. Julian Barnes' A Sense of An Ending. It was not at all satisfying at the end, but maybe that's what literature does these days. I don't know. It was absolutely lovely to read until the last chapter was over. Is that why I haven't read in so long? Because if I was the writer I would leave more hope or less hope or more things knit up or more things to wonder at, not just this blankness? But I'm thinking about these things.

It's been a week of coming back, of coming back from a dormancy, a gathering of clouds and energy for one storm so I could settle into something that better matches who I am.

I shared a bottle and a half of wine with a friend on Wednesday night and it was more than I should have drunk but just what I needed to do. We didn't talk about anything important--trivia, literally, we talked about trivia, and it made me realize how long it's been since I spent time with any friend, just talking. And drinking wine. It's not the wine, although I found myself saying things to him that, not that I wouldn't have said, not that I would have kept them private, but I would have thought not to say them because they weren't important. Goodness I'm so done with important talk. But it's not the wine. It's the table and the focus and having the moment knowing I'm probably stealing time but enjoying the time where it is so much that I don't care.

So I walked into Zelda's house this afternoon and demanded we get a mah jongg night together. I talk to Zelda, usually in bursts of "CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED??" lately, and I'm tired of that too. I'm tired of the drama I've been living in. I just want to play mah jongg and have a glass of wine and talk about trivial things.

I got a letter from my oldest friend today. She had a tubal pregnancy. That is pregnancy #6, with 4 living children, the oldest is Fiona's age. But then I reread the date--it was her Christmas letter--and realized I'd already cried for this one. Her handwritten letter further explained that I already knew that information. I still cried all over again.

I looked at the 1940 census and I have to get the end of that story before I tell it. But I'm excited to say it once I can.

I went out with Gretchen last night to a talk at her daughter's school--they bring in a speaker every year, really good stuff--and we caught up on the missing pieces from the fall. She'll go to mah jongg, too, when we get it together.

I think in the end, I'm an extrovert, and I had to sequester myself out of the desperate need to control or prepare or not be absolutely insufferable all this past fall, and it wasn't until I broke up with school (it was like a break up, too, it was uncomfortably intimate) that I realized I could, in a sense, start dating again.

3 comments:

Mary Helen said...

Hooray!

Indigo Bunting said...

Breathing room.

aseparatelife said...

Yes! I loved this.

I've also read A Sense of An Ending, and just had to google it to remind me of the story! Enjoyable enough to read, but not obviously that memorable. Still, obviously just what you needed.

Mali
(PS. If you're wondering why I have to sign off as Mali or appear only as A Separate Life, it's because of new your log-in set up.)