I slept in this morning slothfully reveling in the indulgent pleasure of staying horizontal, abed, as the birds sang their chorus and quietened, as the chill of the morning air through the delicate light evolved into warmth and strong rays of the Eastern sun. The only glitch: a dog in need of his morning outing. But, happily, I can descend three stairwells, open a door and climb back up and still find a way to return to slumber. After the second descent (in response to sharp and insistent barks at three minute intervals) I acknowledged a need for verticality, or at the very least, a gentle move towards awakening.
A call from Erick confirmed this. Clients lost on the Place Voltaire, and a morning's class to add my two bits to.
But here I am, an hour and a half later, quietly soaking in the light, the tweets and twirts of a family of swallows over my head, nesting beneath the roof tiles, the hum of the swimming pool motor, a dog, now quiet, resting at my feet. My cup of tea has been drunk, my cup of mocha -- a treat for this Saturday morn -- but a third gone.
I couldn't resist going to my strawberry patch -- unbelievably generous this year! and Jonas's favorite task of the day -- to pick this morning's bounty (the kids being with Erick). I weeded as I plucked the strawberries, admiring the abundance and somewhat chaotic state of my little garden. It's time to pluck out some of that garlic, I wonder if the potatoes are ready? Or should I wait? The peas are few, but giving as they might. The mint is yearning to take over (as are the strawberries). The squash and melon plants are multiplying and growing. The tomato plants are doing their thing.
Hands covered in dirt, (no time to put on gloves) slippers a bit damp, I rinsed off the berries and added them to my morning's repast.
New rhythms are coming into my life, over and beyond a quiet Saturday morning in my home in Provence. Lovely O came for the fourth Friday in a row to share our afternoon exchange of English conversation for practicing her newly acquired skills of Thai massage. Her new friendship is one of the gifts I am cherishing in this period of my life. She is living a new couple, and pondering its impact upon herself and her son, whether they should move in, what attracts her to him, frustrates her about him, etc., They've been together exactly a year, and yet... it is not yet clear. Is it ever?
She is my opposite, and yet very much like me. We are both highly sensitive, porous, quick to be hurt by criticism (not the fighting types), artistic, deeply connected to our bodies (she is a dancer by training), attentive if relaxed parents. And we're both on the path of moving through this life either accompanied or not, but certainly not from an early age the wife of one man.
She is very beautiful. My age, fluid, radiant, very much the wanderer and the dancer. She is the free spirit, frightened of restraints, of caging, of being held back, very much in need of space, time, trust. Her man is what is described here as "fusionel". He believes when in love, you do everything together, and when she emits a desire for a day at the beach, accompanied only by her small son and no one else, or the need to sleep alone at her home to gather her wits/ se resourcer, he is hurt, offended, and at times, suspicious, méfiant.
What a way to put things in perspective for me, and to reflect upon what I've learned these past few months. I offer her the guidance I might. That being opposites, perhaps they can each help the other find a middle ground, make tentative steps in the other's direction, be kind, offer understanding, gently work through their respective histories and issues. And yet I hear her and I see that though he is good, generous, kind, interesting, tender... she is frustrated by what we'd say in English, his clinging, and what I find even more powerful, his lack of trust in her.
In my past relationship I wanted more, and he wanted less. Though I was far more tolerant of space needs, silence, separate outings, separate lives than this man. I had wanted a partner to grow with, to create with, to share my life and his. O is ready for this, and eager to participate in his business, to help him with her skills and person. She is also ready for the stability he represents. But they quite clearly have their hurdles to leap.
We'll see where they end up. As she speaks of his reactions, I remember my readings and suggest that rather than close up, be frustrated, etc., when he reacts strongly to her desire to have time alone, quietly suggest to him that he look again at himself and why this button is so tender, why he bursts into distrust and fear when she expresses a very banal and simple need to have time in her own head, by herself. Gently, with understanding, will he hear her? Or will the personal filtering mechanism impede any absorption of her reason?
We are all at such different stages of personal development. Our issues and fears are powerful and hold dearly to their existence. The ego is firmly in place and though glimmers of light and hope are there, freeing the soul, regaining clarity, openness, trust, strength... it is all so tricky. Sometimes we take baby steps, sometimes we fall back into the trenches, sometimes we leap forward, sometimes we shore up the cracks in our walls, no matter the potential light they offer.
And yet I do appreciate the idea that we are attracted to precisely the person that can help us see and work through these fears and extremes. However, only if we are willing to see the conflicts they bring to our lives as means of learning and evolving, rather than annoyances and reasons for departing.
This week also brought me the joy of more friends, and more confirmations of finally being on a sane and healthy path for me. The question has come up, for myself and for other women friends in similar points in their lives. What is my personal path? When do you cease to live for yourself, putting your husband/man and children ahead of you, and when can you, must you, will you, regain your footing and find the sense and justice of your own presence on this earth?
Up to this point, I've easily adopted a place beside others, adapting my pace to the ambition of another, be it Erick or JP. With Erick, it made sense, and we built, evolved and created. But with JP it was a dead end. Oh, I came away from this coupledom with far increased knowledge of the wine world, with tango steps in my feet, with experiences exploring the Gard and the Cévennes, not to mention Venice. But, sharing a life truly with him was not my path. And little by little, it became drastically clear that being with him impeded me from finding my own path.
And so, what is it? What is my very own path? That is the question.
I have lived forty four years as a woman without an absolute notion or ambition for a precise field of study or course; i.e. I never dreamed of being a veterinarian, or of having a family of 5 kids and living in the suburbs, or of exploring the Amazon.
When you are open to many possibilities, and take pleasure in equal numbers, when you enjoy people, but also revel in time on your own, when you find basic jobs in offices not to your liking, and thankfully have the skills and education to scrounge about pretty well, when you want to raise your kids well but not fall into dire poverty... when you've chosen to live abroad and are surrounded by amazing friends, when you've a house you love and whose tending enriches your soul... what is the path to take? Am I carving one? clearing away the brush? or following bunny trails that lead to dead ends?
I'm meditating on this, and receiving -- ever so gently -- nudges from the universe, nuggets of ideas coming together, a rightness for a future direction.
Monica came this week and read my cards. As always, she gave me strength and joy simply by being here. Her powers as a medium/seer are potent. I hear what she communicates, wondering which portions will play out (in every instance, there have been true sightings that were proved in the months that followed, but just as much, sightings of possible paths that I didn't end up following). But just as marvelous is the energy she transfers to me when I am in her presence. She has seen me through my divorce, through the purchase of the house, through my anxiety for the boys, through the turmoil of my times with JP. She saw the complete and total confusion of last summer when truly I had no idea where I would end up, still attached emotionally to JP but knowing it wasn't right, looking to find someone in the part of the US I love most, Northern Michigan.
This time, the cards were particularly wonderful, except where JP was concerned. She said you're done with him, he limited you, his life is not yours. It was good luck that brought him into your life at a time you needed urging and momentum to divorce, and now it is good luck that is removing him from your life. Let go, and find yourself. You are the butterfly emerging from your chrysalis. You have projects ahead of you. You are surrounded by supportive and wonderful women friends, and present and attentive sons. Pursue your project(s), they can work, find the accountant/legal adviser to help you put it together. The B&B should sell this summer, and thus you'll have the necessary funds to advance. Enjoy being where you are, there are men in your future, perhaps even a choice of two. Not to worry, you attract them easily enough. Beware of anyone who is radin (stingy), or too old. What you seek is what you deserve: true sharing, support, encouragement, being more as a couple then you are alone, someone who can accept all that you are and not simply permit but enrich the full expression of your essence.
The part of the deck came up again and again in the most positive way: the two most beautiful cards. I'll put it here. Champagne flutes of celebration, and the spider who reaches to the energy of the sun, brings it down through her spun threads and enriches life here on Earth.
So now, it's up to me to realize this potential, n'est-ce pas?