Thursday, April 05, 2007

Love & Myth, Part One

I shouldn’t have left therapy. I know I shouldn’t have. I mean, initially I had it right that I should be in therapy because I was having trouble coping with the Total End Of The Love. Qualify that, I was having trouble comprehending it. Actually processing it. We had sessions about how I was going through grief and how grief challenges intellectually inclined people. I found reading Joan Didion’s book life changing but then I totally went into self-loathing mode because how dare I think that I relate? However bold I may be in my melodramatic tendencies, nobody died. In fact, I see him everyday. However bold I may in my revisionism of our history, I never had a marriage like that and when I say that I don’t mean time-wise. This has been interesting for me, the useless nature of proportion and relativity when it comes to feeling heartbroken. Heartbroken too is such a stupid phrase. It suggest you feel one specific thing, in one specific way and one specific place. Nothing could be furthest from the truth. Like today, as I write and I know I should not write because I am not coherent, I feel a combination of quiet desperation, massively widespread confusion and exhaustion. Whatever I was feeling back then when I said I needed the therapy, it was bad enough to drag me back there. But not bad enough to overwhelm my constant need for control. I sat in that room and freaked out too much, contemplated too much fear and disaster and out the other way I ran. There is evidence on this very pages of the day I pretended to be all set and ready to stop going to therapy. In my defense, I was not lying. In my defense there were things conspiring against my being in therapy. Foremost among them was said need for control—I went into therapy because I felt out of control. Failing to regain in 4 weeks, I just preferred to stop going. I missed the whole point about how I was supposed to go to therapy to work through and ultimately relinquish my need for control. I feel like I miss so many points. Today I feel very honest and able to admit on the record that a lot of this is an avoidance of conclusions. I say to myself:

--if I don’t go to therapy I will not conclude that this Ending is the best thing that could happen to me.

--if I don’t talk to anybody about this, or stop talking before it gets conclusive, I can avoid that this Ending is the best thing that could happen to me.

Ultimately I say to myself that if I keep dragging this out, seeing as he is not dead like Joan Didion’s husband, then this Ending—which is likely the best thing that can happen to me—won’t come to pass.

Today I mostly feel like this is what I have been doing. It’s taken about a week to marinate this moment of supposed clarity. The time before this week I was telling myself that I was holding on because I knew what I wanted and I wanted for this Ending to not happen because I knew it was NOT in fact, the best thing that could happen to me. It was the worse. It is the worse. See what I mean? I really don’t know what the hell the truth is. I know I want to be happy but that’s as conclusive as saying you want the sun to come up in the morning.

Meanwhile, my friend gave me this great poem—mostly because we love the last line, in my case I LOVE the last three lines and I am thinking about them a lot. Especially about “sharpen love in the service of myth”. Love and myth--masquerades too come to mind. The misperception of things like fear and pride and stubborness as being nobler things like love and courage and insight. I'm not sure I'm misperceiving or misrepresenting to myself but I am pretty steadily worried that I am. ..

I would hate to find myself just swimming in lies for fear of drowning in a little bit of truth. Now about the poem:

by Rita Dove
for Michael S. Harper

Billie Holiday's burned voice

had as many shadows as lights,

a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano,

the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.

(Now you're cooking, drummer to bass,

magic spoon, magic needle.

Take all day if you have to

with your mirror and your bracelet of song.)

Fact is, the invention of women under siege

has been to sharpen love in the service of myth.

If you can't be free, be a mystery