Saturday, June 25, 2005

Irridescent Butterfly

Irridescent Butterfly at Cranbrook, photo by Mary Stebbins.

The butterfly has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years as a symbol of transformation. They were painted on the walls of the Nazi prison camps and in caves where people hid from the soldiers. I offer this image as a ray of light and hope that somehow I (and you) can continue to work through our issues and become transformed. Let our souls be full of shining light and love, and let that love transform us and our relationships.

Ironically, this butterfly is dead.

And--did you notice its number? Lucky or unlucky, depending on who you are and what you believe. A witch's coven has 13 members, very lucky, if you happen to be a witch. And why not?Posted by Hello


Whenever I write something like "ATTACK" (the previous post), I then feel terribly self-indulgent. I think of all the "real" and terrible suffering in the world, and my little suffering seems so insignificant and absurd. I think of Barbara Kingsolver saying in High Tide in Tucson, I think, that needs, real needs are so small that they rattle around in a buck. That really stuck with me. My suffering seems just that small. It would certainly be forgotten if my leg was blown off by a land mine or I was raped or my child was killed or maimed. In the face of war, disease, and famine, I shouldn't be wasting time wallowing in little pains. OK, I'm ready to move on now.


Keith and I love each other. We have a great warm comforting affection for each other. We enjoy each other company and have fun together. And we fight. The last few times we fought, Keith accused me of having started it, and I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that he started it.

So I decided to pay attention when it happens again. To watch the dynamics, to study how it evolves. Today, Saturday, he left me to stay home all day while he went to work. The man was coming to fix the air conditioner. It’s going to cost $3000. Not fix it, replace it. Basically. It’s going to take all day.

I’m leaving Tuesday to go back to NY. Keith said, “Well, since we can’t do anything, I may as well go to work.”

Meanwhile, I’d been picturing us having a leisurely breakfast together, working on my study, maybe working on Graham’s room. Spending time together, since I’m leaving. On the other hand, since I’m unemployed, he’s helping pay my bills, and lots of them, though I am still paying some, like the mortgage etc. And that’s a big expense, the air conditioner. So if he works, he gets, what, time and a half or something, since it’s Saturday. I complain, but I agree he can go. I’m not happy about it. I feel a little rejected and unloved.

He goes off to work and forgets his cell phone, so if there are any issues with the installation of the new air conditioner, I can’t call him. He calls me at ten, and there are no problems. “I love you sweetie,” I say, a little sad, but not angry. I ask him to call at 11 and 12. I imagine there could be a problem any time. Meanwhile, it is horribly uncomfortably hot. I can’t go anywhere or do anything. I work on my poetry. I work on tomorrow’s submission for I make a submission of 5 poems for Avocet. I sweat and get water on things and my feet swell and hurt and I wait and listen for a call at 11 and a call at 12 and none come. I imagine something has come up and he can’t get to the phone and worry if there’s a problem. But the air conditioner man doesn’t speak to me. Except to say, “where is the outdoor outlet” and “I’m going to take a little lunch break.”

At 2:00, the phone rings and Keith says, “Oh, you’re there, I didn’t think you’d be there.” Suddenly, I am absolutely furious. I wasn’t angry when he hadn’t called, because I gave him the benefit of the doubt. That he was busy. But now, I feel I am being attacked. He says he has called every hour on the hour. I was LISTENING for the phone and never heard it ring. I tell him, “The phone never rang.” Maybe it did. I sure didn’t hear it, but I heard it at 2:00, so why not before? Why does he think I would be anywhere else when the man is here and was supposed to be here ALL DAY? I am flying into a rage. I feel as if I am being attacked.

When he comes back, he touches me, and I draw away and I say, “I don’t love you any more.” I am still very angry. I do not understand why he would think I wasn’t here when a man was repairing the air conditioner and I had to sit here all day. He is amazed and says he wasn’t attacking me. I say, “where did you think I was?”

And he says, “sitting right there.” Then why did he SAY, very clearly, “Oh, you’re there. I didn’t think you’d be there?” DUH?

There was some failure of the phone or my hearing or something. It could lead to divorce, except we aren’t married.

I need to carry a tape recorder to catch these moments. He never sees how the things he says set me off. He accuses me of attacking him. And I feel attacked by his thoughtless remarks.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Sigh. It’s the small stuff that gets us every time. If I wait a little while, I’ll forget what happened. My mind is too crammed and my memory too short. I might remember I was annoyed, but I won’t remember why.

And then hopefully, I’ll forget the whole thing. Right now, I am still feeling overly hot, swollen, and cranky. I start looking forward to leaving for NY instead of treasuring the time we have together. I don’t even want to be near him when he says things like that. To me, it felt as if he was saying that I wasn’t doing my assigned job, that I wasn’t here, on task. A false accusation. I was here. I was doing my job. I was being a good girl. I was NOT a bad girl. I wasn’t Daddy, I wasn’t.

I want to cry. I feel like a little girl. I want to curl up in a ball. I want to shut out the bad bad world.

I am cast into the darkness, the unbearable darkness of being. All that darkness rising like a black cobra from the basket of a single thoughtless sentence. Or two.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t make mountains of molehills.” But you know, that cobra mountain rose up fierce and toxic in a millisecond, before those words had completely left Keith’s mouth, the great spitting cobra was throwing poison. I can see how “small stuff” can start wars. End marriages. Start family feuds. Because behind the small stuff are mountain ranges of unresolved issues. Guilt. Buckets of pain.

Usually when I feel like this, I go out alone for a long long walk, and sit somewhere by myself until my desire for Keith, for his company and his touch, outweighs my anger. But it is too hot today to walk. Sometimes, when I feel like this, I want to commit suicide. It’s the only time I do. I feel as if the Black Cobra of toxic pain and rage is too big and too poisonous and too powerful and I will never be able to stuff it back down and live a normal happy loving life. That I might as well be dead, that everyone would be better off without me.

It sounds ridiculous and melodramatic, but that’s how I really feel. Hope I don’t actually ever do something bad when I feel like that. Mostly, I am too cowardly, anyway, and then after a while, I feel better. Usually, what I really need is for him to hold me for a long time until I recover. But first, I have to get over the hump of hurt.

I feel as if I am the only one in the world who is so ridiculous. But I know that’s not true, because I have observed other people have fights over some totally ridiculous things. I just don’t know what’s REALLY going on with them. What really hurts, and why.

Meanwhile, Keith is joking with the air conditioner man and I feel totally left out. Isolated. Abandoned. Unloved. Rejected. And rejecting. Because if he comes over here, I still want to push him away. AK!

I want desperately to push him away and pull him to me. Help, I’m being ripped in half! Right down the middle of my heart. And all because the phone didn’t ring or I didn’t hear it and he thought I wasn’t home. Hello? Land mines? Grenades? Folly?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I hate to wallow in my own pain when so many other people have deep and terrible problems, when there is so much real suffering in the world.

I must be feeling better. I only start feeling guilty about my own suffering when it subsides somewhat!


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