Wednesday

 

A day like any other: got up, made coffee; my wife went rowing in Sausalito; walked the dog. Oh yes, not like any other: I finished packing all my belongings being loaded into the moving/storage Pod. This is my last Wednesday in the house—the midpoint of the week of leaving. The ordinariness of it is surreal.

Last night I experienced the worst pain and discomfort in my hand and arm since the surgery on July 24th, now a month ago. My left thumb and pointer finger ached in pain—I would call it 7 on the 0-10 scale. My hand and arm were numb. I couldn’t bend my fingers. There was something about lying in bed that triggered the numbness and pain. Every half hour or so I was up walking around to find relief. I hope not to repeat this experience tonight.

I wonder if this is it. Nothing but being ordinary. Maybe it’s better this way. No authentic conversation; no authentic emotions.

I wonder if my wife knows what I’m going through. She’s a trained professional to know. She must know. She reads what I write. But does she really know? I realize she doesn’t care, nor should she care. If she cared she would behave differently. If she truly cared she would have sought a way to resolve her issues without dissolving our marriage. She would have talked to me about her issues in the first place in a way that was direct and workable. There was no workability in our marriage. It’s just what was—no one to blame. We both wish it had been otherwise.

I wonder if my wife will say more than goodbye. To say more than that, now, after not saying very much, would be pointless.

She has her life to return to, much as it was before she knew me. She has new projects to attend to, new goals to reach, without me. The irony, for me, is that she always had these things in her life, without me. She doesn’t believe a life is to be shared in any conventional way. Her life, my life: different. No trudging that happy road of destiny together.

I wonder if she’ll find another man to live with, or marry. I know she thinks she invested five years on me, and it was a loss, and that’s the sadness she’s experiencing. She’s not sad to not be with me. She’s sad that I took these years of opportunity away from her.

I wonder if my wife will find happiness. I wonder if I will find happiness. As Jordan Peterson says, happiness is a small boat on a very rough ocean. There’s no reason happiness should be our life’s mission.

What I do know is that rupture also spells opportunity, possibilities. It gives me the possibility to create something for myself that hadn’t existed before; the possibility of a new world opening up.

Had I stayed married to my wife, by and large, the future would have been an extension of the past, more of the same. We add bricks to our wall that fit with the pattern of the existing bricks. Shakespeare noted, life “creeps at this petty pace.”

But this divorce intervened, and my future became discontinuous. It’s not going to be an extension of the past. My job, now, is to be free—really free to be and free to act.

For this, with all the sadness, the dislocation, the rejection, the loss, I must be grateful.

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