A part of me wants to hang on to the house and all the belongings, all the stuff we accumulated over thirty years. This is a big house, and it afforded us the luxury of not sorting and jettisoning unneeded things as we went along. Everything I touch as I go through the attic, all the accumulated detritus of a lifetime abruptly ended, brings back memories of happier days, and sadness that they are gone.
The other day a friend posted a link to a blog entry titled Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea about the Hindu goddess Akhilandeshvari, always broken, never not broken, yet very powerful. Some of the language in it reminded me of what I wrote about Barbara in her eulogy. She was a strong woman, not despite all the loss and brokenness in her life, but because of it. Today I’m also thinking about it in relation to my own situation.
My life has been in a free fall for well over a year now. The big crash has already happened. Barbara is gone. But a few pieces of the old life have yet to hit the ground. Really all that’s left is the house and all the stuff.
Among her many talents, she was at one point a competitive roller skater. Pairs. Throw jumps, the whole bit. The first thing you need to learn before you try that level of skating is how to fall.
At some point, you simply have to recognize that some times, no matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to land that jump, and no matter what you do, you are going to fall. When you have one of those on your hands you need to recognize that and just fall out clean. If you try to save the jump, all you are going to do is hurt yourself, and maybe even break something.
That’s where I am now, stuck in mid-fall. Hanging onto the house, clinging to the past that is irrevocably gone isn’t going to save me. I have to let it go, let all the pieces finish falling.
Once all the pieces have settled into that pile on the floor, after the bits have stopped falling, and the crashing noise has died down, only then can I get serious about pulling the pieces together in some new form, and see what I can do.
But right now, all I can do is try to fall clean.