There’s a branch of a pine out in the yard that won’t make it another winter. The snow will burden it too much and eventually it will snap and fall. Sawing it down is damage control, pre-emptive.
I like being outside, being near the woods. I grew up near the state forest before this area became so built up. There were always the sounds of the night animals as you slept to keep you soothed on the mainland, the sound of waves and wind on the barrier islands or both if on the mainland of the peninsula. Claustrophobia actually engulfs me if I leave the area. If the ocean isn’t near me, the smothering starts. At least if there is some water, trees or woods, it’s better, less hemmed in feeling. So I like to watch the trees outside or, when it’s not miserable, sit outside at 5am with a cup of coffee, think and watch the world. Sometimes it’s as if the trees are rocking you, hugging you, swaying and whispering. Drawing in the woods was one of my favorite past times as teen; quietly alone with just the earth as my private friend, willing me on, loving me.
There’s only one problem with being outside here, in my little suburban cul de sac, is that there are people. That sounds more curmudgeonly than it’s meant to or would sound verbally. I like people, I’m afraid of people. I don’t do shallow very well unexpectedly. I can do it for parties, I can do it on buses, in waiting rooms, on the job, but please, don’t ask me to do it from my front porch or while I’m in my pj’s getting the mail. This is my haven, my cave. Well, yes, there are people and it’s cold. I don’t do well with cold since I’m skinny again. Throw me under a few layers of ugly coats and I’m with my trees and moon again.
The need for calm, low stimuli, with the few I love in my life is huge. When I choose to be around a lot of noise, color, people I’m able to handle it then, my battery is at full charge then. I often wonder if my neurology isn’t actually autism spectrum but at fifty-two, it’s a little late for all that to be figured out. Just live with what is known.
I signed the divorce papers yesterday in front of the notary. I received them on my birthday. It’s actually funny in a dry way. Sincerely. Most people don’t know I’m even married. Actually, I’m married almost twenty years. We lived together as man and wife for seven years and have been separated for thirteen.
So why did this ache?
Because this has been a really tough two years. There’s been a lot of endings in the past ten, but the past two have been the ending of me, of who I was or who I thought myself to be. There have been terrible things to walk through and this last month of 2016 has blown ugly, fainting goats. Four major life changing events in one month. Four, motherfuckers. Four. The divorce papers, in me, represented the Universe, God, sending me papers saying “Ok, this is official, you’ve been a huge fucked up pile of horrible your whole life and that person is now dead and everything that went with her. Sign here. And here. And here. Fill this in. and here…”
Tomorrow is Christmas, Chanukkah started this afternoon and I have never felt bereft on this holiday. It is not for the lack of people, that’s not the point. It’s a lack of me. People leave, but I left myself, too. I don’t know who I am or where I’m going. I don’t know if I even want to come back.
I’m that branch on the cedar tree.