Of course the end of a year brings about the desire to assess. My dreams are filled with a re-hashing of events past. Reading an article on aging, I remembered how I used to cry when t.v. commercials came on. Especially: Cotton. The fabric of our lives.
I would weep with the profound sadness of the collective unconscious. I was grief personified.
In my twenties, depression got the best of me. Literally. Stole years. My thirties were full of raising my daughter, feeling mentally stronger, stepping out of the closet, divorce, dating, working hard at the university, learning I had diabetes and all that entails. Diabetes and menopause did their destructive dance and humbled me. I became reliant upon the western medical model. In the Winter of Love, my girlfriend and I were married across from the Mayor's office in San Francisco, the grand rotunda, witness by hundreds of other couples. To be dissolved later, first by the California Supreme Court, and years later, by myself in Family Court.
Menopause is now 8 years behind me, leaving the university 6 years. Moving from my home of 33 years now 4.5 years behind me. The grand experiment of moving north proved to be one of the best decisions of my life. Heartbroken and exhausted, the urban environment breathed life into me. I fell in with a group of lovely people and we still have breakfast together on Sundays. I took classes at Sacramento State College, and in my second semester met my future husband in a photography class. I was done with relationships, happy in my independence, with that "I don't give a fuck" attitude of one's fifties. The rest is history.
It occurred to me recently that, if all systems remain in-tact, I may have another 20 - 25 of good life ahead of me. Anything is possible, I have come to understand. I may be discovered for the great photographic artist that I am (right). I may learn another language, or a new musical instrument. And I would love, above all else, to travel and see new places, break bread with people whose lives are vastly different from my own. Learn all that I can. Revel in this existence. Ride the waves of inevitable grief.
And in between, savor the little moments that make life so rich: playing with the grandchildren, cooking up a hearty dinner for friends, raking the leaves, kissing my darling. Loving. Kindness. Peace on Earth. I choose to conclude this year on a positive note.
Happy New Year to you, dear readers!