Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Did you know dust collected in the cracks and niches in your mind? I knew about the cobwebs, but not the dust. Like furniture, if there is a thick layer of dust on everything, you can't see the beauty of the wood or the craftsmanship--not that there is beauty or craftsmanship in my mind, but you never know. At any rate, since last week I have been clearing out the cobwebs and dust and finding me underneath.

I didn't start out to dust my mind, but my nephew's incredible good fortune with a trip to Europe for twenty days next year began the process and I'm still clearing things up. Music has helped (or hindered) a lot. I'm with Shakespeare in wondering how sheep's guts and instruments made of metal and wood and cork can hale men's souls from their bodies--and stir the memories.

I wrote my mother, who should receive my letter today, asking some pointed questions. Just the act of writing the letter and asking the questions blew off a huge layer of dust that has accumulated over many decades, dust I didn't know was there. Last night I blew off another layer of dust, not a lot of dust because it hasn't been there for very long, but more difficult to remove. Tears help a lot.

I wrote Don. He may never read the letter, but I needed to write it all down and send it to him. He's still so angry and hurt and it's my fault. I know that. I was a coward and turned my back on him when he needed me the most. It took me two years to realize that and admit it. I am a coward. Faced with a lifetime of happiness and love, I ran away because I thought I was helping him, saving him from pain and grief. What a martyr I am . . . not. I made a pre-emptive strike because I thought he was losing interest and I didn't want to see that deadness in his eyes when he looked at me, the deadness all the men in my life have had right before it ended. So, before he could hurt me I hurt him. The real kicker is that he probably had no intention of hurting me, but was intent on his own problems and I couldn't wait to help him figure them out. Aah, the things you see when you look back with your eyes wide open and get rid of all the dust and fears.

So what have I learned from all this dusting? That I have been my own worst enemy. That I have been a coward. That I don't have to be that way any more.

I know love like I shared with Don will never come my way again, but having known that kind of love I know I will never settle for anything less. I have actually known love--the real thing, not the infatuation and lust that passes for love--and anything else is a pale, anemic shadow by comparison.

Some internal changes are going on. I can feel myself shifting, clearing, shaking off all the dust and cobwebs. Where I will end up and what I'll find beneath the dust is anybody's guess, but I am sure it will be a purer and more resolute and productive me. That will be an improvement.

I'll shut up now.

That is all. Disperse.

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