The Helpmate and the Puzzle of Me

August 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

The idea of “helpmate” has been introduced to me, and I wonder if that isn’t what I’m looking for. It isn’t, but it’s probably what I’d settle for. It would be nice to have someone around to ease the practical burdens of everday life, but that person would be a maid and a cook. What is a helpmate beyond that? There are other burdens to be made less burdensome. Can a helpmate also be the ear to listen, the hand to hold, the mouth to kiss? Emotion is missing from the word “helpmate,” a resignation to the practical side of a relationship wherein passion is designated little to no room. I’m not equipped, after all, to settle for a helpmate–too stubborn, too hopeful to give up on a birthright. I have given up on a lot of things I once thought I’d be or do, but those were pieces that didn’t fit into the puzzle of me. To make “helpmate” fit would require nothing less than the redesigning of the puzle, and that’s an idea whose time I hope never comes.

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Half the Passion

July 16, 2012 § 3 Comments

For a mid-life crisis, mine could have been flashier and more worthy of the embarassment, but I hadn’t the money to spend on a sports car, and a girlfriend would not have been a mistress. It wasn’t, at least, the usual way of doing a mid-life crisis, so not many people could easily dismiss it as such. I’m grateful for that, anyway. That I even had one is disappointing, but any life with regret and less time to spend than spent finds an urgency in making amends and completing itself. How many of us know what what we’ve missed our whole lives? We might try to take up knitting or candlemaking, guitar or painting, but what lifelong hole do those fill? Are they not just distractions with which we hope to obscure our real needs? I went straight for what I really wanted and needed. Failing at that, I am resigned to the casting about for consuming hobbies. I’m not convinced any better that I’ll find those than that I’ll find what I really want, but, then, I won’t look for them with even half the passion.

It All Comes Out the Color of Her Hair

May 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Closer to the truth is that I’m not trying to get over Herself at all. I’m trying to savor the experience, distill it into a good thing. I’m trying to appreciate the meaning of her to me. I don’t like not feeling something when I think about her, so I conjure up a little tension. That’s what I miss. Which came first? the tension or the inspiration? Too close to call. Of the many moments and encounters with her, the fond ones are the far fewer than the tense ones. Sometimes they were the same. But I had only a few months to compile those before I drove the train off the track with, “You fascinate me.” I have spent much more time with the tension since then. Reminiscing on the fond moments–when the playfulness dancing in her eyes was an invitation to my grandest hopes–warms and softens my bitterness, but the proximity and quantity of the tension chills and hardens again. And here I am now, with a weary, uneasy truce, trying to reconcile and understand, trying to keep both the good and bad at bay, to keep passion’s colors from tinting the black-and-white of my comprehension. Then it all comes out the color of her hair.

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