Thursday, June 29, 2006

I promise you are going to see poetry and short story writing and jewelry soon! Right now, I'm glamoured by the visual world of painted creativity. Robin Janning sent me a link to a painting she said was inspired by me reviewing her work here on DWJ. I'm humbled! It's called, A Touch Of Kindness. Do you see the heart of it?

Aren't all our interactions with one friend to another acts of kindness? I'm not talking about the mean way we may respond to someone who cuts us off in traffic, or the way that we respond to a sales clerk who acts as if we aren't there at their counter with them doing a huge favor to acknowledge our free will to buy there, or to say fuck you. I mean that we treasure our friends because we chose them and they reciprocated and chose us back. You deal with a birth family because that's your karma. Your birth family usually introduces you to the big lesson you're supposed to matriculate in here in this life. Like with mine.

I get that my life lesson has a lot to do with abandonment and dealing with it. Like the fear of being left at the Fun Lan Drive-In when was a kid searching for my family's car in all the othersafter going to the bathroom at the snack stand and just having this gnawing in the pit of my stomach that they have driven off and left me because I was so very different from the rest of them and not finding the car until just about every one else has left. Like Matilda. Okay. Psychoanalyze the shit out of this if you will, but consider. I am the only living survivor of my family of four.

Two died of terrible disease and one of murder most foul. This is the ultimate abandonment. You cannot hunt up the perpetrators like you do a bad boyfriend and give him what for after leaving and not giving a reason other than he's got a need to find himself and needs some space. There's no checker on the square to mark passive-aggressive behaviour. You cannot write a letter notifying him of your discontent and indignation. Not a whit of piety can call back any of the things that they said/you said. There is no asking questions about this part of family story that could be answered, no calling to task for past or future transgressions. No future good times.

Whatever your birth family teaches you as major lesson will come foaming forth in all of your other relationships. Mine is with husbands and lovers who leave me by death, to be with another woman that is more than or younger than me, a child who feels I have outlived my purpose. Yes. This is all whiney pooh drivel. But I make a point here.

What is your big life lesson? Does your sanguine family mirror that which happens in your other relationships? Do you choose friends who do the opposite of what your birth family showed you? Are you nourished by their acknowledgement and friendship in some way? Now. Here's the good side of the coin.

We get to choose. We select our friends. We get to pick out those we want as our spirit family and we get to treat them how we want reciprocated to us. I still have my first friend. Our relationship is 52 years old and I can pick up the phone to call D.J. and not have to explain my history. My 'newer' friends are like this, too. I have durations of 39, 20, 18 years in my friendships because of what I've learned about abandonment. I've learned to treasure the sustainable family. I choose them carefully. You have to nourish and cultivate friends the same way you do a garden. There are flowers and plants that seem rare and exotic but just don't play nice with the others in your plot. So you prune them out. Ah. But the ones who are left are delightful! They deserve all your attention and energy when they need it.

On these you heap praise, love, and acts of kindness - just like Robin's painting. I think that we are lucky to be able to choose and nurture our friends in whatever stage our relationships. This is honorable. Whether new and green or old and venerable, dependable as the sun.

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