Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sad Dipt

Remember that river that I think runs under everything and everybody all the time? Well, I took a bit of a bath in it yesterday and this morning. Auntie Anne's service was beautiful and very sad. We haven't seen Andy's grown cousins in years so it was a bit of a reunion, but such a sad occasion. Uncle Walt and the cousins and grandchildren were tired and sad and worn-looking. Andy's mom did okay. We stayed close to her the whole time. Andy and his brother aren't very huggy so I made sure to wrap her up in my arms when she needed it. She talked to a lot of people who she hasn't seen in some time - cousins and old friends. I also stayed close to Andy who didn't seem overcome, but you need someone close by whether your sadness is showing or not.

But that's not what made me sad, although I was sad, especially when I saw Anne's family. I was more focussed on helping and standing by.

So afterwards I went out to the Cafe for the Poetry Show and before the show started I found out that I haven't yet qualified for the semi-finals as I thought I had. Most years just coming in second place once is enough, but there are lots of good poets who came in first, and the best I have done is second-place. So fair and square, I'm not on the list. There are two qualifying slams left, so I'll have to do my best at both. There's a significant chance I just won't be in the semis this year, and that will be okay. But last night and this morning I felt mighty discouraged.

It's just a little thing really, but it's what made me dip into the river. And when I dip, I can't just take a tablespoon-ful of sad. Somehow I get a scoop that has bits of everything that's in there. Stuff I've been skimming over and now I have to take a big gulp and acknowledge it.

Nothing tragic or major - just the cargo of a pretty intense couple of weeks when I look back on them. Interpersonal stuff, work pressures, anxiety about kids and health. Each time I come across one I toss it into the river, but it doesn't really go away. It bobs along in the current until I dip, then gulp! I get it all.

So I emailed my friend Irene and spilled it. I also reassured her (and myself) that I was already getting over it. I even used the word, "BOING" to describe bouncing up again. She's a sympathetic listener. She also had a good suggestion:

Give yourself a chance to grieve a little over your disappointment then do
your usual rise to the surface. I used to know someone who gave herself about 10 minutes to really bewail and grieve about the circumstances before giving herself the good talking.

So I tried it. I put a sad song on the cd player in the car on the way to a meeting, thought about how sorry I felt for myself, and I cried. It feels great to cry. I actually do it a lot in the car. Good thing I don't ride transit to work. Now that would be inconvenient and embarrassing. Not that I cry every day, but when I need to, the car's a pretty good place. Got to my meeting, mopped up and felt a lot better.

That sad river is always there, but most of the time I fly high over it. When I have to, I go for a swim.

Thanks Irene, for your wise words.

Question: got a tissue?

mompoet - BOING (really!)

ps Mom and Dad, I am not hinting for another sushi lunch. My Spring Sad sushi lunch last week was lovely. I want you to come over for a happy supper at my house this weekend. I will phone you.

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