I suppose today I needed to be in control of something. And that’s why my closet is suddenly pin straight and I scheduled arthroscopic surgery for my knee on April 18.
Because God knows I’m not in control over the big stuff. You know, death. My Aunt Laura died yesterday. My mother lost a sister. My cousins lost a mother and their children a grandmother. Why she was chosen for an agonizing death is not mine to figure out, but it hasn’t stopped my mind from spinning about it nonetheless.
Readers of this space know that losing another dear aunt in February and then a soulful friend in March has put me in a different head space than they’re used to reading. I spend a lot of time thinking about loss. I’ve also been incredibly clear and decisive about things during this time, probably because of what I said earlier — control.
What can we control? Little. And plenty. I’ll take what I can on the latter and run with it.
My sister asked me on Sunday if I would take on the care of my niece — a beautiful special needs child — in the event something happened to her and my brother-in-law. She said I had until Tuesday to decide because they’d be meeting with a lawyer. What rolled off my tongue was this, “Of course. I don’t need until fucking Tuesday. ” Harsh, I know. But I’m being real here. Life is very real right now. And my sister knows me well enough to realize that line was oozing with love.
What else can I control? Well, I can walk, write, watch enlightening TV. I can give myself a quick hit of joy by buying a fantastically gorgeous bright blue handbag so I can partake in the “color blocking” trend this spring/summer. I can rail about our lack of humanity in a column in a way I never would have even two months ago. I can talk to the “awake” people in my life. I can make anything taste good with garlic and olive oil. I can watch TED talks. I can do my physical therapy exercises regularly. I can reach out. I can withdraw.
Easter is coming. Rebirth? Really?
In fact, yes. Somehow.
Right now, in this moment, it’s not so much about seizing life because it’s short. I would have thought that would be my feeling. But no. It’s about taking my time. What’s the rush? There are goals, but an extra conversation with someone who needs me or a meditative walk by the river — those are essential. They’re not luxuries. They’re not things to squeeze in. They’re the living.
I’m sort of in a blur and sort of more clear than ever. There is no control and there is an illusion of control. It’s like I’m sitting in the middle of a see-saw between the two. And surrendering to the movement.