Saturday, July 14, 2018

How to Say Goodbye

Summer is sure a lot of work!
I’m a bit overwhelmed by the demands of this place. Summer is a lot of work. I live in a forest that sheds like mad and I’m obsessively tidy.
I’ve always been this way: I have to have my house all tidy—with everything in its place—before I can concentrate on work. When I lived in a two-room condo, tidying up before working was easy but here—man oh man—I have a lot to do before I can settle into my “work.”
Make my bed, vacuum the mountains of forest detritus that Sheba brings in every day, feed Sheba, the cats and birds, sort the garbage, clean the litter box, take Sheba for a walk and exhaust her by playing fetch, pick up dog poop in the yard, do all the dishes and water the gardens. I also sweep the deck free of all the pinecones, branches and crap that falls in the night.
Watering the gardens takes forever; I’ve ten containers, four hanging baskets and sseven small gardens and a dozen trees and shrubs to water. I do it knowing that in two more years this place is going to be an ideal floral oasis.
I asked for this. And it’s true that without all these things to do I’d be bored.
Yesterday I tried something new: I did all my chores last night so that this morning I can dive right into the cat palace. Getting underway with the raffle work helps keep anxiety at bay. The Arts Council wants to raise six grand from my work.
I love working in my studio with the French doors and all the windows open, Sheba coming and going, great music playing and sunshine pouring in the window. Glue, scissors, paper—yea! I’m trying to make this palace plusher than the first one I made I want it to show well because it, and all the raffle prizes, will be on display at the festival. 
I’m responsible for six big raffle prizes. The cat palace and a large candy box are the two I’m building. I bought a doghouse and I’m hoping to get a large basket and wheelbarrow donated. I’ll fill the pet ones with pet supplies and treats, the candy box with chocolate things, the basket with packaged gourmet food, the wheelbarrow with plants and gardening supplies and the sixth prize is a whack of books I’ll display somehow.
Yin to all the yang of working was “re-discovering” my hammock for my nap. I see it every day but I’ve never used it. Yesterday, however, I had a Eureka moment. I grabbed a pillow and a blanket (it’s in the shade) and had the most glorious outdoor snooze I’ve ever had. I’ll be doing that a lot more.
Today is market day and then there’s a super low tide at 1:00 o’clock so Sheba and I will go there for a break. The rest of the day—more castle making and letter writing. 
I met L. in 1974 and we became fast friends. We were very close for decades but a few years ago it was evident that she did not want to be friends. If I emailed, I got a pleasant reply; we’ve never had any difficulties between us, either—at least not that I’m aware of.
I can talk too much and I can offend with my twisted sense of humour but I’ve never set out to hurt anyone. I’ve made mistakes but I’m not an asshole. When friends have told me I’ve erred, and I’ve always been remorseful, apologetic and grateful for the chance to redeem myself. L.’s never complained, she just palpably pulled back. 
I never hear from her so I recently let a lot of time pass with out “reaching out.” I think about her all the time. But today is her birthday, so I wrote to her and she replied right away. It’s clear she’s done with me; it hurts and I’m sad about it.
I tell myself: People change. It’s okay. 
I hate this. I hate that it seems I have to “let go.” It seems right to say “thank you for all the good times” and “goodbye” in a letter. Maybe that’ll help me feel better.
She had an important place in my will. Now I want to change that. Pooey.
When I “broke” with the Tyrells, I fled to a cousin who’d always been nice to me. She listened and helped me return to better circumstances and so I felt committed to her for life but she “dumped” me over a decade ago and it hurt for many years!
I wrote, I called and left messages and I asked friends to represent me before I accepted the obvious. I stewed for years and then tracked down her son in California. We’d never spoken and when he answered the phone he said: “It’s not your fault”
I thought I had a wrong number. He must have had call display, known it was me and deduced why I was calling because she “dumped” him too—her eldest child.
When Steve left me he excused me from fault. He took responsibility, I guess you could say; he said he’d changed and his needs were changing and he wanted out. It started us down a very healthy path of separation and we are close friends still. 
The court has told us how to end sexual relationships but we don’t have a social protocol for ending friendships. We’re left, as I have been with L., to deduce we are no longer wanted and that’s shitty for people like me with shitty self-esteem.
I feel guilty—that I’ve done something wrong. Then I think that feeling guilty is a form of egotism—I’m putting myself in the centre of the problem. Maybe she’s changed.
We should say goodbye and thank you to the friends we want to leave. There should be Hallmark cards for this with pictures of people letting doves fly free—and joke restraining orders. 

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