Everything in the house is a mess. I’ve packed all the pictures, have boxes half filled in all rooms of the house, and have tubs ready to pack in the living room. We can’t find some of the things we need because I’ve already packed them, even though I tried hard not to pack anything still in use. Hanging around here 24/7 is enough to make anyone crazy.
Yet I can’t afford to go crazy. It will make me sick, I still have two months to go, and there are so many things to do that I can’t neglect. So what do I do?
Well, there are distractions. Like getting married. We got married today. It was a quick decision and process, and we’ve looked at each other all day and said what a perfect day it’s been — we couldn’t have planned it better. The whole thing at the courthouse was fast and everyone was very friendly and smiley. I kept expecting looks, those kind that we gay folks know so well, the ones that mean, “What do you think YOU’RE doing?” But all we got was sweetness, friendly jokes, and sincere congratulations. We took our neighbor, Annie, a good friend and supporter. She was our witness, and then took us to lunch afterwards. Salads and burgers and onion rings and milkshakes. Perfect.
I recently found a nearby community acupuncture place with very reasonable costs, where I can go enough to actually make a dent in the horrible pain of my sciatica. I went there this afternoon, had a wonderful nap during my treatment, and began writing my next song in my head.
The temperature went into the nineties today, unbelievably beautiful, and our living room (although messy) is light and pleasant, so I lay on the couch and read a book, while Sarita cheerfully worked on a presentation for the staff at her school. I finished the words to the song, called “Love is Love,” written (of course) about our marriage. The dogs were calm, we checked our facebook now and then, we enjoyed the feeling of a lazy summer day. We have enough leftover lunch for dinner, and get to visit with one of the daughters this evening, who is bringing a present from the grandson.
My distractions from the craziness of all we have to do involve the usual, walking, reading, knitting and watching netflix or TV, cooking and eating, and writing songs. I’ve written 4 in the last two months, about everything from bull riding to one specifically about my CA house to one involving doubts about my parenting, and one about sisters. Some of my new songs are only for a few people to see, and for a lot of people NOT to see. That’s new. But it’s what is coming out of me, so it must be the right. Now I get to add to my list the acupuncture, which takes me out of the house and forces me to relax.
In about two and a half months it will all be over, we’ll be moved, our house will be sold, we’ll be ready to settle in to our new home and new routines. Sarita will be officially retired (from CA anyway), our cat will be traumatized from moving away from the only home she’s known, we’ll probably start looking for a pickup truck, and I’ll be actually doing the work instead of just dreaming of creating our guest apartment/art studio space. I can hardly wait for this transitioning time to be over. On the other hand, I am now looking at everything here in CA with new eyes, the last time I’ll eat at this restaurant, the last time I’ll drive through Oakland’s Chinatown, the last few times I’ll go to the Senior Center, the last time I’ll get together with my two oldest friends for dinner at one of our old hangouts. I need to be present while I am here, throughout this whole process, no matter how excruciating, no matter how bittersweet, no matter what.
So I expect to do a lot more of whatever calming tactics work while I continue to be excited about the next phase of my life. As long as things keep moving along, I can keep letting go of this and that, and I can check a few things off my list every day, it will all be okay. That’s what I tell myself.
Here is my song about staying present, called “Bull Ride”.
Well it’s a bull ride, full ride is 8 seconds long
Just like the daring cowboy, we’re trying to stay on
Just get your mind set, find a place to stow away the pain
A ride in life’s arena is a cowboy game.
Life can be a bull ride, with belly rolls and turns
You concentrate when riding and grimace at the burn
The main thing that you know is when you fall into the dirt
You’ve got to get back up again and brush it off your shirt.
A rider gets old quickly in this brutal, bucking sport
Though the drama is exciting, it can cut your lifetime short
And while you’re staying present and your future is unknown
Your mind and heart are with the bull, you’re in that cowboy zone.
Sometimes you stay on the whole ride
And cheering from the crowd makes you smile
Ain’t that bad to ride one out of five
You can even take your boots off, for a little while…