Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lovelovelove: The knowing and the forgetting

I can't remember how it started.

Sometime after the divorce, the refrain that explained everything was lovelovelove. I loved my children and felt their pain and we consoled each other sometimes with simply the chant of lovelovelove. We said it aloud. Texted it. Emailed it. I lay down on the floor with my dogs and whispered lovelovelove into  their ears. They scooted closer, wagged their tails, and professed to know what I was talking about. We were all  then (yes, even the dogs who were traumatized by the loss of the the person who'd walked and fed them) split open, raw to elements, stripped down and so fully present in the center of our love for one another. The thing I wanted most then was not to hurt the people who loved me. That purpose kept me alive, quite literally, kept the wish to die pushing into the background, but still the wish to self-destruct bobbed up and down in the ocean of grief that surrounded me.

Yet I survived. Because of lovelovelove. Because lovelovelove is the life raft. Children are the life raft. Friends are the life raft. Parents are the life raft. Things that you read and write are the life raft. Your practices (yoga, T'ai Chi Chih, meditation, etc.) are the life raft. Trees are the life raft. The ocean is the life raft. Birds are the life raft. Maybe even gin was the life raft for a while. Pick one. Get in it. Paddle the life raft. Now paddle faster. Or maybe just drift. Drift and say the words lovelovelove.

My day here in Pillville has been a mess. (And  a portal.) My mom spilled her coffee liberally laced with half and half about 10 minutes before I left to teach a T'ai Chi Chih class. Nothing stinks like spoiled milk. (Somewhere in my memory banks is a car totaled by an insurance company because of spilled milk.) I had to mop and clean rapidly, but the amazing thing was that neither my mom nor I dropped into the negative. Oh, you fell asleep holding your coffee cup, I said. Yes, that's what happened, she said. She moved out of the way while I mopped. We were okay.

When I came back from teaching my T'ai Chi Chih class this morning I discovered that two half drunk bottles of champagne had leaked into the bottom drawer of the fridge. What to do but mop it up and drink the rest. (Champagne is the life raft.) Working at simple physical tasks that require little thinking always transport me. Scrub, mop, throw in a load of laundry. Soak up the spilled mess. Soak up the love. While actually sipping the champagne, I found that the guys who'd "professionally" cleaned my barbecue grill had dumped their mess into the recycling bin. I cleaned that mess up too.

I was a mess when Dan Paik found me. Date the bass player, a friend said. So I did. And for much of the five and a half years we had had together, I dragged the grief of my lost marriage behind me like a tail. I wept. I moaned. I cursed. I went crazy. He told me over and over again that I didn't scare him. He loved me beyond my wildest hopes, no matter the wreckage I carried.

I'm in love again and the man I love now told me THIS STORY, which he called You Never Know.--a story that Dan told me too. Dan called it Good Luck Bad Luck.

Luck is everything sometimes. And sometimes luck feels like more than luck. It feels like the luck of the universe, not just plain ordinary luck, but some kind of cosmic Knowing. But the thing about knowing is that the glimpse of it can easily slip from our grasp. We forget what we know. Today I'm remembering that I know lovelovelove.


37paddington said...


Mel said...

I lovelovelove this writing. Yes, to everything, and thank goodness for luck.

Andrea said...

I'm ever awed by the simple way you say so much. And I'm happy for you. And grateful, too. Thanks, Denise, as always. Thank you for writing your life here.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you. This is everything for me in this instant. Lovelovelove.

The Aging Female Baby Boomer said...

Many thanks for this. It warmed my heart.

S Kay Murphy said...

What Andrea said.

Suz said...

What Andrea said ditto. You are an amazing writer

Joanne said...

How provocative. This gives me a lot to think about. I'm sorry about the milk. One time my God daughter left her baby bottle in my car and it took coffee grounds (recommended by a cop from getting rid of the stench of dead bodies) to get that smell out. Ugh. I hope the dancing provided some relief.