Friday, December 29, 2017

The Year That Was

A year of big changes yet the mooring remained intact. In which I try to make a difficult peace with my mother and get a year closer to my own empty nest. Strangers becomes friends and family yet reviving old ties prove impossible. There were cousins, aunts, nieces and nephews around the world that I felt I should try to restore connections with. The passage of time erodes the things we have in common with others. We forget the familiar phrasing and conversations of the past.

Two decades could be summed up in a couple of minutes - got married, had kids, love or hate the job, enjoy the vacations and time with family and volunteering in the community. Or there would be change that is impossible to describe - gave up everything I knew and decided to start over in a new country. Just the dog and I. There is much that goes into a decision like that and yet after a long hiatus in communication it is easier to skip the minutiae and go to the end. That way we are all caught up and can begin from the fresh.

It is almost easier when people have undergone dramatic change over a couple of decades to the point they bear no resemblance to who I once knew. There is the name and the face, maybe some shared history and memories but everything else is brand new. It is like walking into a fully remodeled kitchen into a home you knew since childhood. There is a lot to hold on to and yet there is no way to deny what is new. There is a lot of positive in such change which make the acceptance easy. Those of us who arrived slower and more traditionally to the dreaded mid-life are like a home that has seen wear and tear alongside upgrades. Nothing is quite what it used to be  but change is not so stark as to reset your relationship and spark a fresh start.

In the early months of the year I decided time had come for closure with my mother so I could take full responsibility for my life and not be so quick to pin blame. That process took most of the year and there is restive peace now. I do not have the closure I sought, I don't have the friend I once had in her. But there is no anger anymore. I am able to see her as a person with many flaws but to whom I owe a lot too. Once the flaws were fully visible I seemed to appreciate her much better as a mother and feel genuine gratitude.

There is no magic cure for writer's block. From being able to write every day and almost effortlessly to struggling to write once a year. From having much to say even if trite, inconsequential, opinionated without reason to experiencing the bottomless pit of emptiness where nothing worth saying exists.

No comments: