I have let this blog lay fallow as I reflect upon what is appropriate to write, to share, to reflect upon in a public venue.
Life - as I have written for clients- is a complex tapestry of woven strands- some neatly laid against one another; colors carefully matched and others messily spliced together; still others are pulled apart to reflect the ruptures of untenable stressors.
Though October, our Indian summer's presence is still felt as the morning air is only now beginning to dampen and chill. I give the girl's a final kiss goodbye as they walk to school with their dad. Now homeless, he arrives,on a broken bicycle, grizzled in sleep tousled clothing several sizes too big. I almost don't recognize him; the man I married is lost.
The rupture in co-parenting was sudden and traumatic - and the girls and I are doing our best to traverse a personal form of climate change that presents as an emotional perfect storm that we will undoubtedly survive. I wait to see where the new horizon line will be and what shore we will stand upon. In the meantime- I juggle this new normal- work, 24/7-parenting, and the ever present financial stress of no paternal contributions; except critique.
I stand on the porch of the house I call home, wood smooth, from the decades of use, under my bare feet and feel the sorrow that pervades these circumstances. My quiet revelry is broken by the girls' dad.
The day before, kids at school had ridiculed the Commander for wearing her hair in the afro she adores and calls 'free hair'. Her feelings hurt she was particularly saddened that the kids who taunted her were white. Last night we stayed up late to ensure she sported a new hairstyle one she both liked and would evade schoolyard taunting.
I am not arrogant enough to assume that my privilege and entitlement will ever remit enough to render the deep cultural currents of racism, classism, able-body'ism impotent. And so I listen to his reactions to her hair, to my response, to the email I sent to him about approaching the school- and I think about the complexities of my life.
On the surface- life in a bohemian Berkeley bubble. Under the surface of those glittering spheres of kid outings, dinner parties, and an art-filled home lies so much - homeless and ill ex-husband, the solo parenting an interracial family, the traumas of the past year or so, the realities of single parenting sans any form of paternal support, running a business in the depths of a recession, attempting to stay fit, and the incessant worry about how my children will fair through it all.
And I realize- this is my life. I don't live a neat lanscape painted by O'Keefe... my life is a detail out of larger and more complex piece of work- like a section of the Guernica or lately, a piece by Bruegel- I am a part of something larger with a hand that reaches further than mine - layering and adding new forms; removing entire sections of what was to create what will be. And I wait for the final piece to emerge and reflect upon the richness that is my life.