CrazyAuntPurl has been running a monthly book club discussion on her blog (in between the knitting and other topics) for the past several months. I have skipped some of the selections, either because I had browsed the book in one of my bookstore ramblings and found it wanting, or because I knew the subject or the writing would not be edifying. The most recent selection was When We Were Strangers, by Pamela Schoenewaldt. Last Monday night we commented on CrazyAuntPurl’s blog. Yesterday she posted the author’s responses to some of our comments and questions. [Yes, I know I did not insert a link for the book per se. I think three links in one short paragraph is plenty, and research builds character. Right?]
Carlo is the hot-headed brother of the protagonist. He disappears from view fairly early in the book. Several questions were devoted to what might have happened to him. In one of her responses, the author includes this gem:
“Maybe that’s one difference between Carlo and Irma: he has ambitions larger than the work he is willing to devote to reach them.”
I responded: “I was married to somebody like that. Thank you for wrapping up twenty years in one elegantly crafted sentence.”
That is my marriage in a nutshell. He had wonderful dreams for our family, and apparently still does. I want to sit down with him after this earthly life is over, when our minds are not clouded by mortality and we are able to see all the subtexts and undercurrents and outside influences that were playing into the life we were trying to build together. I know that when I can see everything clearly, it will all make perfect sense.
Having things make sense is important to me. I like math, logic puzzles, Tetris, Bach, houndstooth, and cross-stitch. [I also like poetry, seashells, dancing, Beethoven, lace, and handspinning. And what I sometimes get is advertising, junk mail, Monopoly, hiphop, the currently popular fabrics which are crinkled before printing so that there are irregular vertical stripe-ish spots with no color, and mending. But I digress.]
The math-y portion of my brain just told me that all of those factoids would fit amusingly into an Excel spreadsheet. Which of course resembles a logic puzzle, only in this case without the logic.
I should probably eat some breakfast. The toast and jam and mug of milk appear to have worn off. Or it may be simply the natural consequence of contemplating my marriage to the children’s father. We have been divorced for more than half as many years as we were married. We started out with such high hopes. His apparently continue to fly high, up there with all his dreams of wealth and comfort. Mine, at least in terms of our union, were shot down one by one, like skeet. When I contrast what we wanted, with what we got, the disconnect is as jarring as twelve-tone jazz.
The good news is, I started out extremely naïve, and I have become what I hope is the best kind of realist. I try to see things as they are, and deal with them as they are, and not overthink them or take them too personally. I am still on good speaking terms with hope; we take nice little rambles together several times a week. I rent a minuscule duplex which fits my needs. I have enough to eat, and beautiful yarn to knit, and flowers drooping on my sofa table that really need to go out to the compost pile, and a large and lively family, and wonderful friends and the possibility of romantic love a little farther down this road.
My life is very sweet to me. I don’t need [or want] the big house, fancy cars, expensive jewelry, or elegant clothing which some people crave. I just want to live this quiet, simple, peaceful life which brings me so much happiness. I show up for work, I do what they ask, they give me money, I pay the bills, there is extra for books or yarn or music, and for meals out with friends. Sometimes I get to talk with people about the Savior and how God’s plan of happiness blesses my life.
Today I need to get Lorelai’s oil changed. [Did I mention it here yesterday? She’s paid off.] Laundry is nowhere near critical-mass, but if I do it now I might have one evening at home next week before the insanity starts. I have a dance tonight, and dinner before that with my BFFE from my childbearing days. Very much looking forward to both, and I want to touch base with another BFFE. I am blessed to have a best-friend from each of the major phases of my life, and to be in touch with nearly all of them, either via Facebook or in real life.
Last night was cool. Briefly attended the wedding reception of my young friend, long enough to hug the bride and hand over the loot :) before scooting on to the new guy’s for dinner [good simple nourishing fare] and the movie [sticker shock but worth every penny].
Rango was brilliant. You will not get it all in one viewing. And it is most emphatically not for little kids. My favorite character? Beans, if only because I spent much of my late, lamented marriage standing very very still while life swirled on madly about me.
Yay, Beans. [Yay, me.]
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!