2 a.m. again

Full on stroke, leukemia, and a host of other issues. It’s becoming less likely that she’ll be going home again, although there is still more to talk about. The schnauzers are worried, Steve and I are just starting to rally the family, and Laurie is at home looking after everything else.  

I’ve been thinking about how we become (and continue to become) who we are, about choices and chance. About certain people, ideas, books and experiences that have shaped this life.  Floating thoughts: integrity – consistency between thought, action and belief; choice points – moments when  conscious awareness and response helps guide our path; the importance of witnessing the joys and sorrows of self and others; the need to dream and rest, to sing and dance, to worry and grieve. I am reminded of my jungian analysts in Assimilate/Appropriate, who took emotional possession of their new country through full engagement with the physical aspects of it. Which reminds me of an actual jungian analyst I worked with in California many years ago, who taught me how to watch and feel my dreams, and how one day in therapy I screamed like an animal while reliving the pain and anger of being a child with cancer. And how hard it is to die, and how much self-reflection means to me and how confusing it is (to me) that it can’t possibly mean much to someone who avoids it. And about time and how it alternates between linear and circular.

My mother was very insistent yesterday that Steve and I go home and watch Groundhog Day, which is a movie she’s watched many many times, and it gave me a crazy infinity mirror meta-feeling about repetition and how it helps create a feeling of safety in the world. Poor mom.

In graduate school my mentor was a very bright man who’d done a master’s thesis on locus of control and how it informs the perception and choices of the individual. Internal locus being a psychological style in which the individual believes strongly in self-determination; external being a stronger belief in authority and a need for known rules. Of course all of us shuttling along a continuum even within the context of our own lives.

Which brings me to a precarious balance, here filtered through the imagery of the tarot (sorry, I truly am not a linear thinker) and an emotional trinity: internal forces (the empress – I make these choices because I have the knowledge and power to make them); external forces (the heirophant – my choices are determined through the guidance of the powerful other); and chance (the fool – the unknown is just that, and I step out over the cliff into whatever will come next) that we all live with.

And now it is 4 a.m. and time to say goodnight, at least for an hour or two.


5 Responses to “2 a.m. again”

  1. Oh dear. Really, I wish I could say something to help, but I’m at a loss. Its so diffifult when our parents become our charges, to be cared for and watched over as they physically decline. Painful for everyone.

    But I love your second to last paragraph – I’m dealing with some issues at the moment and was thinking last night about the same trinity: control vs obediance vs blithe expectation that it will work out, somehow…

  2. It is difficult – I have some friends who’ve been going through this process with one parent after the other for over ten years – I’m amazed they are still standing. I’m on my way home today, back to work and my own life for the moment. My own bed, my own pillow – may I will get some sleep, finally!

  3. Poignant that she wanted you to go home and watch Groundhog Day. Have a laugh, a movie she enjoys. And the symbolism, of returning again and again. Our subconscious minds astound me.

  4. I really don’t know what to say, except I’m so sorry for what you’re going through.

  5. Thanks, Brian. I’m fine, actually. Tired, stressed, sad – but dealing (once I got some sleep). I feel for my mom, though – she just wants to go back to her schnauzers and her comfortable life. I hope we can make that happen for her, at least for a little while. It could happen, maybe. Light a candle for her, ok?

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