one year ago…

my grandmother died.  it seems impossible to me now…  that last year, I woke up to a phone call that my grandmother had died.  then there was frantic scrambling about getting a flight to virginia, where she bought a funeral plot in the 1970’s…  I flew out new year’s day.

then my brother not speaking to me at the reception, the wake.  and him crutching around pathetically, making small talk with cousins we don’t really know.

this year has been one of the hardest yet.  I don’t really like to compare – which years have been hard, which easy, because they all seem hard in their own way – and then, I don’t want to be negative all the time.  I want to remember the good.

I want to remember it all.

I want to be happy, and healthy, and joyful.  and when I remember myself I am.  I think, though, the outside I present to others isn’t as reflective of the inside – who I am, really, under all the layers.  I thought, when I started therapy about ten years ago, that an authenticity – insides and outsides showing the same thing – was what I wanted.

more than ever, I find myself able to handle other people’s difficult stories with compassion.
more than ever, I find myself genuinely enjoying the company of joyful people –
more than ever, I want to help others, and be a guidepost to an authentic life.

still.  sometimes, I feel like a fake.  sometimes, I harbor resentment (at my friend, or my brother).  sometimes, I swear and cuss and throw temper tantrums.

I’m convinced this is a part of the human condition:  loving, joy-filled compassion and temper-tantrum throwing.

I guess the luminaries – Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Alice Walker, Thich Nhat Hanh – I guess they throw their temper tantrums in private…

I do have delusions of grandeur – sometimes I think the scale of my life needs to be adjusted from Panavision to a hand-held camera – but I’m trying.  desirous.  plodding.

in other news, I went to the pool hall to see about the cute bartender (which I posted about on fb, not here…) he wasn’t there.  but Yvonne, the bartender who was working, promised me she’d get the skinny and report back.

see?  it’s a push-pull.