Trying to Integrate the Past

Thursday, January 5

Feeling a little cranky, angry? unhappy?  No, I think there’s anger there.  The old anger “I have worked so hard for so long…”

I’m lost and confused.  I don’t understand what’s going on with me.  I’m not even sure who I am.

So I sat and paid attention to my breathing for a while.  But I just kept feeling more and more sleepy.  So then I thought maybe I should just lie down for a bit.  Then I thought what’s next is to make a second cup of tea and take the things I have to take on an empty stomach — which are the calcium supplements and the iron — and I just don’t want to do any of it.  Then I asked myself how do I know/decide what to do next?  Usually I just follow my routine without questioning.  Then I thought the next thing is to make a second cup of tea and write about all this.

I was thinking that I have lost myself, fallen out of the story of my life, and wouldn’t it be possible to meet the day as a new thing and start to explore what my life is now?  A fresh start.  But it doesn’t feel like a fresh start.  It feels like I’ve crashed and burned and am just lying here in the ruins — no, that’s not the right metaphor — flung from the vehicle as it crashes and burns.  Now, how do I pick up the threads of my life?  What do I want?  What I want is to have some sense of central flow, or a path or a direction.  What would that feel like?  I would feel like I was being carried by something bigger than myself, and that there would be clear guidance for what to do next.

Thinking about my sister reading the 4th July monologue, and going through old pictures with Christia and finding the one of all of us on the terrace for Dad’s 70th birthday, and showing her the Torah of Jenny — thinking of the things left out of the Torah — marriage, divorce, dad’s death…  I see an image of stuff being shaken up, shaken loose, stuff from the past, that’s been all packed together, being shaken up, shaken apart, so I can decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  It’s a time out to deal with the past.  There’s a way in which I never have dealt with it.  I have no positive memories of the past, no good places to revisit.  I’ve always pushed on ahead, trying to get away from the pain, trying to find a life that worked for me, trying to heal those early deep wounds.  I see that I want/need a container, a hospital or a nunnery, where there are other people around, where meals are prepared, so I can stop fighting the daily battle and turn my energy to integrating the past.  I see it as being like traumatized memory, undigested fragments and chunks, no coherent story.  So my job is to construct a meaningful & coherent & usable narrative of my life.

After breakfast.  I see that I took a break from my life by really losing myself in books, but on emerging I don’t feel rested and refreshed, I’m still tired and lost.

What do I want to do.  A question I ask only rarely.  Usually it’s what do I have to do, what’s next on the schedule.  If it could be any way at all?  I’d be part of a group of people, and I’d be OK.

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