Tuesday, August 24, 2010

That's Heavy, Man


Summer of 2010 will go down in infamy as the heaviest summer of my life.

Back in 1971, when I was 16, we used the word "heavy" to describe something profound, inexplicable, or really bad. "Wow, that's heavy, man" meant "I can't wrap my mind around that idea" or "That's a terrible thing" or "That's so deep I don't know what else to say."

This summer has been heavy. I watched my mother's mind retreat somewhere I couldn't follow. The repercussions of that amongst my family were emotionally wrenching. The three days of her dying were gripping. Her death has shifted my paradigm.

Then there's the whole issue of the hospital that held Mom hostage for five days in May/June, and the legal ramifications of that. I haven't abandoned my search for justice in that fiasco.

I'm home again after a weekend devoted to the totally irrelevant subject of my novel, and I'm wondering this morning what the heck I'm going to do now. There are work assignments to do, loose ends to wrap up, a couple of little projects that need attention, so I'm not talking about my daily schedule. I mean something else, something heavier than the little chores that have to be done.

Why do I get up in the morning? Why is it crucial for me to be alive? What's my purpose? I'm floundering here, trying to describe a question I don't fully understand. All I know is that some important thing has changed, and the inner Chris feels directionless, unbalanced, unmotivated, disturbed. It's heavy, man.

I'm a poet. I'm a wife, mother, writer, friend. I'm a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous and a child of God. I'm a blogger. There I come to a screeching halt. All these things are things I do, roles I play. I write, go to meetings, blog, pray, interact with others. But if you take away the actions, what is left? What AM I?

It sounds stupid. What's so imperative about Chris? Why does does it matter TO ME that I get up in the morning and walk through the day?

I've learned to not sit around in angst, gnawing on the problem. I know what I have to do today: Put my day in the Creator's hands, take care of the business in front of me, try to be helpful to someone else. Stay out of my head.

A note about today's photo: It's a lead weight, as large as my hand, that I found on the shore of the lake near me. I wonder what it's for. It can't be a fishing-pole weight; it's much too big. And people don't fish with nets in the lake. So what IS it when it is what it's meant to be? Kind of like me and my questions about Chris: What IS she when she is what she's meant to be?

That's heavy, man.

24 comments:

The Bug said...

That is the million dollar question - one I try to not dwell on. Since I'm pretty sure that if there is a purpose to my life I'm not living up to it. Now that's some backward thinking isn't it? Hmmm - need to consider this further...

Syd said...

You are a wonderful body of cells and organs all connected to each other, a living, breathing testimony to our better nature. Sometimes life is just heavy. But it can't all be a pink cloud. Don't we learn from the heaviness of it all? I believe so. Maybe the priorities have been shifted for a bit. Give yourself time.

Summer Ross said...

I crawl out of bed every morning for my two girls, I do everything for them mostly, but when it comes to me- what is my purpose, I have no idea other than to raise my kids, maybe one day my purpose will be to write? Its a big question to ask yourself, but I hope there is something to motivate you in your life.
My mother died 8yrs ago drunk driving accident and that crippled my world. Its hard to recover from death, or huge changes.

Totalfeckineejit said...

The 'King Neptune' thing is a mystery.And life is a mystery.Sometimes we don't need to know, just accept.You arepart of this world Chris, to me you are a gifted poet.To other people you'll be many other things,many other parts of the jigsaw.But that jigsaw is incomplete without you.We are all special in our own way.

I wouldn't for a second (despite the enormity of all around you) describe your novel as 'insignificant' and ( though I totally understand where you are coming from)neither should you.

Brian Miller said...

i imagine you will find that out along the way...as long as you dont let the weight hold you back...intersting...much of what you list is how you give yourself away in different arenas...dont know if that helps...

C. said...

Maybe we're just here to laugh, and make dogs happy.

Rachel Fox said...

I think I've had some of the same feelings since my Mum died in May. Certainly I've felt directionless and unsure of myself... a big part of me (even at 43) was being that woman's daughter... and now I don't have that guide in my life. And I don't have a god either so just think how lost at sea I can be!

People say this all will pass. And it is a little better every day. But it is like becoming a new person (and one who's much more like my Mum apparently, oddly, comfortingly...).
x

Monkey Man said...

We are the culmination of our experiences and relationships. As Popeye would say, "I yam what I yam". Chris - you are what your are and are good at being you. Don't analyze, utilize.

The weight appears to be for a scuba diving belt. The belt loops through the slots and hangs with other weights to help a diver sink. Most are now covered with rubber.

Ps - in 1971 I was 17.

Paul C said...

'...the inner Chris feels directionless, unbalanced, unmotivated, disturbed. It's heavy, man' How does one address angst? Is that what it is? I appreciate your honesty in expressing how you feel. Don't we all feel this way at times?

e said...

I think with some time and rest, your answers will come more clearly, as Syd said. I think that my purpose here is to learn and pass on what I can to others. That's the only thing that makes sense to me. You need time to figure out what you've learned from all of this...

Hugs!

Enchanted Oak said...

I love you people.

It's almost 4:30 p.m. and I've made it through this angst-full day intact.

At the noon AA meeting I shared these thoughts and afterward a young woman came up to me and said she was helped by what I said. There's a bit of usefulness.

And Monkey Man makes sense of the odd King Neptune weight.

Mission complete!

Woman in a Window said...

Ok. Here's the answer. Holy heck, eh? ds, another poet and blogger (do you know her?)turned me onto Gerard Manley Hopkins. He wrote and was never published until after his death. And so it goes. But he wrote this, "What I do is me: for that I came." Somehow in here lies a truth I have needed. To be ourselves honestly and to continue to work on ourselves, on the world, and with/on the people around us. That is all there is. We are our own special blend of good/bad/crazy. It is our gift, these very things that sometimes hold us back. To exercise ourselves inside of these clothes, for that we came.

much love
hope it helps
xo
erin

Andrew said...

But if you take away the actions, what is left? What AM I?

But if you take away the actions, what is left? What I AM!

Just needs a little shift.

Martin H. said...

When we lose someone, close to us, it throws up a heap of questions, centred around who we really are and what life is all about. Most people will tell you that it takes time to adjust (you mentioned your paradigm shift) and they're right. Grieving comes in many forms and there is no set time for dealing with the emotional imbalance, following the death of a parent. We're all made of layers and, you've recently acquired one more.

Best wishes, Chris.

Karen said...

Chris - You are a new person today, a new creation. Your life will never be as it was, but there is a purpose for your being here. Sometimes it's hidden beneath the enormous pressures of the sea, and like that weight, it may be unrecognized and unknown for now, but it will hold you steady, keep you from drifting.

You will find yourself again. Never, never underestimate your worth to others.

xoxoxo

the walking man said...

You are what you define yourself to yourself as. Nothing more, nothing less.

izzy said...

We go around many corners, in life & recovery- that's OK! My Moms death helped me focus and surrender to this disease- You just never know how the onion is going to unpeel !
Trust that you are exactly where you need to be today! -Believe that I believe
if you like...
"Who are you ?" (remember that song?) a speck flying through the eye of the universe- How's that? Cheers!

Dianne said...

You are a balance between the weights of my life,
love you,
di

Scott said...

Chris, there's the 64 million dollar question we're all trying to answer. When we lose people we love, it somehow shakes us to our marrow. My guess is that's what's up with you Chris. I love that you know what you have to do. Have faith that everything happens because its supposed to :-)

be well!

G-Man said...

Hi Chris...
Just thinking about you and your terrible Lost Summer.
Maybe a trip to 55's-ville, is just what the Dr. ordered.
I'll be waiting for your inspiration to return....Galen

marie said...

Thank you for your honesty. I can relate. For me, the answer seems to always come back to: to be of service. Without the actions, my soul rests idle in my body and will eventually die. Without action my soul can't express who I am. Maybe we aren't defined by our actions and roles, but rather our actions and roles are defined by who we are. I don't know anything, but I like to play a philosopher on TV. As a great lady said to me more than I can count, "Tie a knot in the rope and hang on" and another fav of mine: "Once I realize that I don't know, then I know." (that's heavy, man.)(grins)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

God is the Great I AM so I guess we are his little we are's

My first sponsor said, God wants creations to reflect him in whatever creative role he assigns, in essence to worship and to reflect him in all his many facets. We are his masterpiece. (Mr. Hollands Opus x infinity) So, I just figure I'm here to be his Kid, to love him unconditionally and to pretty up the world a bit with whatever talents I'm given.

What more would I want?

Of course I tend to get mired down in the worldly crap, so I get a bit whirling dervishy at times trying to "fit in" but when I get back to offering up, I am reconnected and moving in the rhythm again.

DEEP!

Birdie said...

Chris, sorry for the speedy reply :-) I don't ask anymore why I'm here because somehow I feel there must be a reason to it. But I do ask how to lessen my sufferings at times ... but maybe that's the reason why I'm - so that I can learn how to do that ... ha! I hope you are well Chris!! happy day :-)

Teresa said...

I am so sorry to hear about the heavy summer weights you are carrying. I know it's hard to get up and keep going when you question what it's all for. It's all a learning and growing experience to reach a higher state, and we can't do that when we have smooth sailing. It's those tough times that give us the impetus to improve. Blessings to you.

Albert Einstein Quotes