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.