What an odd summer it's been. Because of the husband's broken foot we didn't do anything especially summery or vacationy, so it feels like nothing happened. But as I think about it, a lot was going on beneath the boring every-day surface of our lives.
In theory the biggest thing that happened was the teens "coming out." But really it was just a confirmation of what I've long suspected. I've got pretty hi-def gaydar, but even if I had been totally clueless, my lesbian friends (who, ever since the girls were in kindergarden, were saying 'You know, you might have some dykes on your hands there...') would have clued me in. So it's been less of an "event" and more a simple and welcome clarification.
The husband made full professor and an advance copy of his second book (more on that in another post) is in our hands, but that's what I've always known he could and would do. In a way, the biggest deal about it for me is that he lived to accomplish these things.
Which brings me to what, for me, the summer was really about - mortality. My mother is starting to fade - her memory is dimming and this woman who spent her life traveling the globe gets flustered now in new environments. My teens are growing into young women - they're falling in love, having girlfriends, and starting to think about college. They're almost fully cooked and ready to come out of the oven and make their own mistakes without me to cosset and guide them. And my husband, of course, still has his freaky incurable blood disease. So I see these fixed stars of my life - my mother, my husband, my children - as suddenly shifting, orbiting away from me. It makes me metaphysically dizzy. I went to talk to a therapist about it all and his advice was "You have to trick yourself into believing in the illusion of immortality again." Which I understand. You can't live each moment of your life in paralyzing fear that it will end. But Buddhism looks at the same set of circumstances and advises us to realize that impermanence is the true state of all things and that we should try to embrace it and find peace in the acceptance of that truth.
Honestly, I'm not doing very well at either approach. And since I am, as my husband tells me, "completely incapable of compartmentalizing," I've been grappling like Hell with all this. Which is why I've been less than normally communicative these past months. (Which is also a long-way about of apologizing for not commenting on your blogs as much lately!)
So what do you think? Does one try to dive back into the lulling youthful illusion of immortality, or does one look steely eyed at the passing away of all things and follow the stony path of non-attachment? Any advice or experience would be appreciated!