Sunday, August 05, 2007

May I not hide from my shenpa

So I was looking at the calendar at work the other day, trying to figure out when these books will publish and if we're going to make the class date and yadda yadda, and it suddenly hit me that if things had gone differently a few months ago, I'd be getting married in two weeks.

Wow. That feels so incredibly strange. It's like there's a ghost-life walking beside me with a finger hooked through a piece of my spirit. The ghost of "What Might Have Been." I think I've subconsciously been avoiding thinking about this. I mean, I knew it was coming--how could I not?--but it's always been in the Distant Future, you know? The ever-future and never-present. And now the present is looming and I feel caught off guard.

I was talking about this to a friend of mine and he said, "I know just what you mean. So many significant dates: anniversaries and birthdays that should have been celebrations." These days are so bittersweet--it's so hard to know whether to celebrate or mourn them. And in our culture of polar opposites, there
really isn't a precedent for doing both.

The Engineer and I have talked about wanting to do something on the day to kind of...commemorate it. Not celebrate it, exactly. But more...acknowledge it.
Our Once-Wedding Day. Of course, my instinct is to curl up in my darkened room with my back to the world and close my eyes until it's all over. But I have a feeling there's probably something more healing and connecting that could also happen. Some curling up might still be in order.

That Other Emma feels so close. She's just in the next room, she's within shouting distance. I can reach out and almost touch her. She has no idea I'm here. I watch her and I envy her. I know how sad she really is, how unsure and brave, but her future is clear. Even more important than that is that she believes it. She believes in that future. And though this new life I'm living is honest and real and joyful, it's also terrifying and almost unbearably painful.
Her dreams were my dreams for too long not to envy her.

1 comment:

Angelina said...

So you are still friends with the engineer? That seems like it would just keep all the pain constantly fresh. I know it's modern to stay friends with one's ex, but I could never do it. It almost always seems like a way to hang on just a little longer to something that didn't work, for whatever reasons.

I think you should do whatever feels right to you to get through the date. If a little celebration mixed with a little curl up time hits the spot, then that's what you should do to take care of yourself.