For two people who really don’t have any complicated issues to address, this divorce is epically long. Unnecessarily sustained. As drawn out as a bottomless bath. I could have gotten a Master’s degree in the time it has taken to end my marriage.
Let’s invent one. Master’s of the Fine Art of Not Imploding After Discovering Infidelity and Patiently Slogging Through Divorce. Wordy, but accurate.
Except I’m out of patience. I feel like I’ve been on the eve of my divorce for eves after eves after eves. After waiting on the final this and the review of the final that and the tweaking of one last issue, I sat down and said,
What the fig is going on here. (At the time I was eating figs. Which I have been eating by the handful as if I just discovered I am a lemur and ought to make up for all those figless years of my life.) This protracted dissolution of what I thought was a marriage is not atom by atom breaking apart because lawyers are busy or The Genius is traveling or points aren’t being clearly communicated.
I’m creating this.
Haven’t I let go already? It’s not as if I’m ignoring the need to process this experience. If I were there would be no HGM. I’m beyond ready to be unattached.
(I’ve read that it’s dishonest to say ‘single’. That I am forever required by some Miss Manners to say ‘divorced’. Bull pucky, I say. Whatever that means. I am a single human being on this planet who happens to not be in a relationship. Were you ever married? Yes. And I am now not. That’s how that conversation will go down.)
I’ve pondered the reasons why for the better part of the last month as each day passed with no marital settlement agreement. (We go from settling down to settlement…) Until today I hadn’t nailed it, but the Universe has been breaking a sweat trying to get my attention. There are a thousand simple, little reasons for the delay. I could point in a variety of directions and say, It’s no big deal. These things take time. What’s the harm. Eventually it will end.
And it will.
But if I hadn’t zeroed in on this one cord still tethering me, the airship, to him, the tarmac, I feel that a signed agreement wouldn’t be the grand finale. Somehow I would still be attached to The Genius. Beyond co-parenting. Energetically attached. There would still be a charge.
I sat on the eastern tip of Mt. Tam on a day so clear I could see Napa to the North, Mt. Diablo to the East and Google to the south. And every sail boat, including catamarans posing as sail boats, in the bay. Alcatraz, ringed in white by waves whipped up by the stiff winds, anchored the center of the bay. The new single span Bay Bridge dripped silver as a delicate backdrop, its graceful arcs masking its sturdiness. A group of professional photographers clustered around a boulder, cameras on tripods, holding on to their hats as the gusts of air tried to dislodge them. I ate
my hair my apple.
After tossing the core I laid back on the rocks that managed to make a hardened hammock for me, perfectly aligned to accommodate the length of my body. Their warmth countered the cold air that came from the sea, up and over me, falling to Mill Valley below.
She’s alive, I reminded myself. Tam is breathing. Tap into her.
I became acutely aware of the buzz of life that ran through me and through her.
We’re sharing vibrations. Good vibrations.
The buzz in me increased. I bet she was feeling it, too. My thoughts turned to vibrational energy. And how every bit of matter has it. (So physicists have tried to explain to me. I buy whatever they are selling.) There’s a story unfolding that’s visible, tangible and a whole other story being written in pulses that throb just out of sight. Unknowingly, I can be contributing lines to a story I don’t wish to be writing.
A million, or at least several dozen, thoughts came to life…
I’m not obligated to please The Genius anymore. There is no one way to emerge from a divorce. I have a future as a writer – just because it’s totally in flux doesn’t mean it isn’t unfolding perfectly. People rush, the Universe doesn’t. You trust yourself. Trust yourself that a day with no action, with no progress is only that if you label it as such. There is magic in baking for the dudes, or spending hours on the beach watching them catch waves. It’s not, Do, Do, Do! It’s Be. Be. Be. Just be conscious of each and every choice.
I climbed off my rock feeling energized, as if the 9 mile climb was done with a different pair of legs. I made my way down the narrow, boulder strewn path, pausing to view Bon Tempe Lake to the north before turning and nearly plowing over a little lady being helped up the mountain by two other women. They had taken their first step on the wooden walkway that begins the half mile ascent to the peak from the parking lot as I began mine. I almost stopped to ask if they knew where they were going. It was uncharacteristic of me to continue on, but that is exactly what I did as she, cane in hand and a woman on either side holding her up, took two steps in the time it took me to take 10. As I moved out of sight I was happy that I held my tongue. I could feel that she was on a mission and I didn’t want to cause any doubts.
But I doubted she would make it very far.
Certainly not to twenty vertical feet below the summit.
I gasped when I saw them. And then laughed loudly.
I am SO excited to see you up here! You are amazing!
She was taken by my enthusiasm, and surprised I took note of her way down there.
Petite in body but fierce in spirit, she told me that she had a knee replacement last year. She was determined to make it to the top of Tam. Her daughters, who would have had every right to pour her a gimlet and strap her in a Barcalounger, held each arm providing support along with her cane. One daughter held the leash of a dog. They sat on a rock with the hills of Marin and Sonoma rolling north in the background as I took a dozen pictures when they asked for only one.
The moment warranted a paparazzi like frenzy.
She was 80.
I was filled with relief that my polite inquiry was shelved, and I didn’t alter her brave game plan. I have no idea if she made it to the summit. It wouldn’t have mattered. She made it far enough to be proud. Far enough to blow my mind. Each step a conscious effort.
I was aware of how our energies sparkled in the presence of each other. We made each other feel really good, without words, in short time. She told me I was sweet and asked for my name. I did the same. I wanted to carry her to the top and back down and take her home with me. After parting ways I almost ran back up to assist the ascent, but it didn’t feel right. I turned back around.
Before I got off the peak I realized that I was finally consciously competent at checking in and knowing the right move to make. It was happening without effort. I could trust my own feelings. I may not see the whole picture, but knowing the move to make in the present moment was becoming an exercise I could pull off regularly.
Consciously competent! Finally! I know what it feels like to pinpoint the next move! To not have anxiety that I am making a bad choice.
I bounded off the mountain after 18 miles and leaned against the car to stretch. My mom always appreciates a call after a big hike so she can sleep without wondering if my body parts are being coughed up with furballs. I took my phone out. Typical Stinson – no signal.
I tossed it up on the top of the car to finish stretching and now it sits somewhere along the Bolinas Lagoon on a steep hillside obscured by poison oak.
I’m not as consciously competent as I think I am.
While the dudes played Minecraft on iPads in
Nirvana the Apple store, I waited in line posing as an early adopter when I’m really just careless and spent money I didn’t plan on spending on a new phone.
We wound our way north on Highway 1, slowing down to wave to my still hiding phone. The sun was sliding fast. Dinner still needed to be determined. And homework, much of it online now, loomed. I combined the tasks by setting the little dude up at the table while I prepared our meal. In between washing and peeling I cheered on a word spelled correctly and comforted frustration. He asked for a glass of ice water. I poured it. The tall dude came barreling in to tell me about a spike covered starfish that eats coral reefs. His arm flew around and knocked the water glass over. I watched two drops fly to my keyboard. One hit the P, the other the M.
And that was all she wrote.
I’ve pelted the keys of that laptop with excessive crying, but those two drops of water flung from four feet away totaled her.
24 hours later, in
Hell the Apple store, I dropped $1200 dollars I didn’t plan on spending.
Instead of coming unglued, I celebrated the fact that I could (barely, but so what!) pull off both those purchases. I expressed gratitude, not anger, at being given the opportunity to have a new phone and computer. Both of mine were considered antiques by Apple standards. It was only a matter of time. I honored the change as good change, not bad events leading to change. I laughed at how conscious I thought I was and then how unconscious I proved I could still be.
And then I acknowledged the fact that my phone and computer had been witness to so much pain. Fear. Determination. Heartache. So many transitions. And so much excavation. They had a right to be exhausted.
Snap. Snap. With each loss a cord tethering my air ship was cut. I will retrieve the phone and, together with the laptop, I will retire them to a corner in my closet. I can’t dispose of them. We’ve been through too much together. But energetically we cannot be connected anymore.
I need to continue to raise my vibrations and they need to rest.
As I recounted my techno-tales of woe to my Mom, I realized that they aren’t isolated little occurrences with big cost consequences, but meaningful events marking a major shift.
Shouldn’t that major shift be the finalizing of the divorce?
This morning I finally figured out something that’s been bothering me.
I don’t like typing the words The Genius anymore.
I can’t stand it, actually.
Not because I can’t stand him. The opposite. I’m neither hot nor cold as far as he’s concerned. And the term suggests otherwise.
Before I sat down to write I made the decision that The Genius is now the man formerly known as The Genius. For short, my former spouse. And from now on I will refer to him here at HGM as my former spouse.
The hum of connected wires fizzled and went silent as if doused with water.
I booted up my new MacBook Air to begin to write. My email binged.
Hi Cleo, Please review the attached carefully. I will review over the weekend and you can sign this final marital settlement agreement on Monday.
So that’s all it took. I hear you, Universe. I officially get it.
“be. be. be.”
thanks. i really really really needed that today. i love the universe for stuff like that. always on time.
Perfect, perfect, perfect. Timing. She always knows just what needs to be said for us all. Thank you for being here. I’m grateful the words helped.
Rock on, m’lady.
Final. Is it so easy to end a marriage? I don’t think so because I think that if you have been married to someone for more than 10 years they are now part of your being. Out of the two of you came two more. How do you cut that off, out of you? I know you have to… like a cancer it requires surgery because it has been sucking your life energy for years but then it will take time to heal and you will always be left with the scars. You move to another chapter but the ending hasn’t been written yet.
We will be fine … it is the children we always worry about ( and we means mothers) Someone said “the measure of a man is how he treats his children” and the most important thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. Otherwise, your a little bit less than a good dad no matter what they tell themselves. You can settle your affairs but how do you negotiate someone to respect you, treat you kindly?
I feel yukky today… a cold is coming on ( yep, its the end of September) and what I would really like is a companion to get me some tea but that won’t be happening… well maybe not now but another time… I’ll wait for the Universe.
Thank you once again for your great blog… It has become my fix I need to read about you, the dudes, the Giant Mistake( a perfect name) and the HDC..
Keep writing and changing and being now!
In the past year I have come to know the stories of so many who have divorced. Some, a very few, have been beautiful partings. Filled with respect and love. A relationship that has morphed and both accept and appreciate its new form. Had my former spouse not betrayed me we could have been one of those couples. But betrayal, infidelity, it’s a whole different animal. On one hand so ugly. On the other it makes it a lot easier to walk away. To justify walking away.
Those of us who have been betrayed need to be careful that in walking away we are not also still holding on. To anger, hatred, disgust, bitterness. Those are quiet but destructive emotions. And they will keep us from attracting those who we need to celebrate the balance of our life with here on Earth.
My Observer Self keeps me on track there. I have walked away from my former spouse. And I just might have cut each tether…I’ll need a little time to tell. Without that charge present, energetically he’s subdued. Should he not respect me I walk even further away. But his choices in how he treats me will not affect me. They will however effect his relationship with the dudes. As you point out, the measure of a man is how he treats his family.
Thank you for being here, C, and for taking the time to comment.
Michael Anderson says
This was the one for which I have been waiting.
I am so happy for you, retiring “The Genius.” It was time. You have come such a long way. And now, the snark and the sarcasm of that name is the final little death that started with the huge death of your love and trust for him when the Pocket Call announced his betrayal. And wow, the papers follow on Monday. No, the Universe does not act in mysterious ways. The only thing that is mysterious is our fear of shame, our turning against vulnerability, our numbing of what it is to be human.
Divorce is the live wire after an ice storm: walk carefully or get electrocuted, or so we think. But it’s not really electrocution. The power has been cut off at the substation. Walk. Walk. Please walk over that wire. Trust that you will come to no harm.
So many signs. Computer and phone, both goodbye. Our boys play Minecraft too, and my wife and I struggle with the proper dosage of that opiate. My computer died the day I left for Burning Man this year, and it made me so happy. When I returned, I started over. Yes, I had current backups to that day, but I still have not restored most of the data. My Calendar, email, and static business files are in the cloud, and the Bookmarks and other extraneous nonsense just don’t matter right now. I am on to something different with my new hardware and some new software. Not looking back.
Always in the future, the past just a way to frame tomorrow, but not control it. Climb your mountains, Cleo. Then when you have achieved that magnificent goal, fly into our airport and tell us all about it. We are patiently waiting to hear.
You’ve been so patient with me! Thank you for your kind words and the video of Burning Man – beautiful. You’ve reignited a desire that I had released. Really, what business does a redhead have being in the desert? But it’s so alluring. I will go to the floor, or Playa, to celebrate the ascent.
In the mean time I simplify. Stay clear. Be vulnerable. Look closely at my choices to be sure they are pure, without unnecessary charges to keep alive things that have long since asked to die.
You rock, M.
Your imagery is always very powerful, but today’s reference to the cords tethering your airship to the tarmac were perfect. You painted a masterpiece today!
I couldn’t be happier for you!
It’s time to soar, C.
Thank you, N! I feel that, too. Time to power up!
Cock robin says
MF!!….oh wait I forgot Spouse !
I love it – the phone &.computer were left behind in the darkness of the past as should be, as of Monday you are stepping out of that cave and into the clearing……it’s beautiful, it’s your future……
Love you always
One day I’ll write a post in all acronyms so you can create its meaning! How fun would that be?! I’ll keep it to 500 words to preserve your sanity.
May your pole be bent by a weighty tuna,
Beautifully profound post. I need some of your detachment. I had a little melt down this weekend due to some pretty crappy shenanigans pulled by my ex. To make myself feel better, I changed his name in my iphone to “slutfucker”. I decided that wasn’t appropriate so I changed it to “Sperm Donor” then again to “Nobody”. I was sharing this with a new friend at my son’s baseball game yesterday and she very sweetly told me that my pain is legitimate, but that I needed to change it back to his name because my kids would be crushed to see it. They never look at my phone, but in the off chance they do, she is right. I changed it back to his first and last name because when we were married it was his first name only and it feels wrong to have it the same way. First and last name seems formal and non intimate and that is what I want and need with him. I wish his cruelty would bounce right off me, but I absorb it like a sponge and then spiral into sadness, overeating, and anger.
Your blog is such a safe and sweet harbor. It is teaching me how to let go a little bit and move forward. I’m so glad to have found you!
Oh, M – I didn’t know you had it in you! Of course, I don’t actually know you… I left your colorful language in your comment (sorry, Mom) because I love the progress! You sat on the pendulum and said, I want to go THERE! Then you felt it. You chose to swing back. You made a slight adjustment to reflect where you are with the help of wisdom from a friend and POOF! Perfection. You are moments away from what you wish. Today I am going to write about vibrational energy – once I figure it out ! You and I will both benefit from – and love – being conscious about our energy and engaging with the energy of others.
You don’t have to let it bounce off. It doesn’t ever have to touch you. It’s not yours. It’s his. Make the choice to make choices that feel good for you. He gets a surge when you allow his energy to grow from impacting you. Laugh it back, M. Laugh it back. And blow a kiss behind it to speed its journey. So very grateful you are here, m’lady.
Cock robin says
My mind is bent! I’ve stretched the pic & my head – what is the picture of for this post?? Give a girl in her fifties a break with a caption under the picture would ya?
It’s a wire nearly singed apart. You are lying about your age. Haven’t I told you that honesty is the best policy?
I’ve been away from your blog for far too long. So happy to be back! I’ve kept your lessons and experiences with me this summer as I dealt with the end of my 5-year relationship, that seemed to be building up to a marriage proposal. I was nervous as I typed in HGM into the google search bar, anxious if you had given up this blog or that maybe you were back with your former spouse or that… Who knows.
My point being: thank you for continuing to document your progress. This was a great post. I think my favourite entries are ones in which you struggle, because it is incredible to see how you manage to reflect, problem solve, and eventually, succeed.
Wishing you the very best. Please don’t stop writing.
I’m so happy to have you back! I will never, ever stop writing. Well, when my body finally ceases, a the ripe old age of 97 – that’s my feeling – I will stop writing on a keyboard. But I’ll still write in the clouds.
I pondered your words about the favorite posts and realized that I still struggle, or wrestle, with issues, experiences, but for a much shorter time these days. Only long enough to learn what they’ve come to teach me. I’m grateful being a student is now a natural and continuous state of existence for me.
There’s much to experience and absorb as a relationship comes to a close. I trust you’ve found the lessons you intended to learn and that you are filled with excitement and optimism for each next day of your journey. Stay close, A. You don’t have to be here daily but please don’t stray far…I want to know what happens next.
Funny how words and phrases can reflect our feelings of a period of time. And then, just as easily, be not the ones we need to move on or start a new phase of our lives. I expect that “his giant mistake” may be next on the chopping block, and that would be okay for me and the multitudes of readers who tune in to hear how you and your boys are doing each week.
It is fascinating. Those words became challenging to type. I’d make mistakes time and again. I’m paying close attention to how the littlest things make me feel so that I can adjust, fine tune, preserve every opportunity to make magic.
Hmmm…HGM…I’ve pondered this many times. But I think of the people who find the blog after just discovering infidelity. To them they are with me when I was there. And I am with them. And it’s then, not now. Does that make sense? Keeping HGM feels right because I want to be back there with each and every person who discovers they are being betrayed. There isn’t the same charge with HGM that existed with you now what. But all feelings are subject to change. We’ll see how the pendulum swings.
Thanks you for coming back – I love knowing you are here.
Anne Stohrer says
Rough week here, same feelings about the glacial aspects of this divorce process. Somehow a need is being met by not moving forward – whose? I cannot believe the parallels in our journeys, and it gives me hope in the wee hours to read your blog. Rock on, Cleo!
Cleo Everest says
A, Thank you for being here and for taking the time to comment. As I read your words, after rereading this post (which was absolutely by design!), I saw you cutting cords. What tethers you to this process still? I see it is not a need being met by staying put, but needs that aren’t being met which are preventing you from moving forward. Curious as to how that resonates with you. Grateful you are here, A. Love yourself, Cleo