Sometimes I feel all drama: my ears ring and there’s a weird pressure in my head like everything’s imploding. What have I done? How can it be that I’ll be alone forever? But then my ears pop like I’m going down the other side of a mountain and I’m OK again. My eyes cry because it’s hot and I have allergies. This must not be underestimated. And maybe, you know, I miss the dream, but that’s all it was. We can go through the list again, one by one.


by Jacek Gutorow

The problem with boundaries: in the blink of an eye a dozen crows
lose their individuality and become a flock. Same as now:
frayed seconds disappear into quarters
that transfer their worth into the afternoon’s account.
Time flows but space isn’t any worse:
the flock of crows cuts the sky diagonally.
It’s as if a new continent were emerging
to greet halfway the nascent cartographers
and their dreams. Sooner or later the flock will break up
into birds. The sea will crumble into waves.
The waves into drops. A delicate afternoon will be calculable
like harvested grain. The room will resemble
a clock without hands.

9 responses to “Blurry

  1. A friend pointed out that I say “I’m going to be alone forever” pretty regularly. Neither of us are believers in “manifesting through thought” so that’s not a concern. But I’ve been considering why I say it. I certainly don’t think I can predict the future.

    Sometimes I say it because I’m sad and lonely and it’s a good shorthand for those complicated feelings. Sometimes I say it to practice feeling that as a reality, allowing in some acceptance of the present moment. Maybe in either case it’s about building callouses to make the lonely times easier to bear? I’m not sure.

    That first paragraph was beautiful writing.


    • Aww, thank you {{{serenebabe}}}

      Saying that I’ll be alone forever is part of my “drama times.” But I have been doing it a lot lately to the girls and Diane especially is getting sick of this topic — it’s like someone discussing a new diet ad nauseam. You do it partly because it’s a big change, a new habit — I really was spending a ton of time reading and responding to personal ads. Now I fill up that time doing other FUN things. But it was an addiction and like all of them, not that easy to break. I tried and failed before. So, it’s cementing in my mind that I’m on a new path because I keep saying it aloud, yes. And part of that process is accepting the fact that I am extremely unlikely to meet someone now… I don’t want to have a sliver of hope in the back of my mind that a “cute meet” is out there. No. I want to live my life without that possibility. I don’t want to not do things or put things off “just in case” I may start dating again, like I used to do. I’m going to do everything I want to do, join clubs that meet on weekends, take on a roommate, plan trips, whatever.

      It’s basically good, though of course there are sad times. The sadness is the loss of the dream, the “romance novel” dream I’ve had my whole life that I’d meet the right man. It’s over. It’s not going to happen. That’s the loss I’m experiencing. The loss is NOT any sort of regret that I didn’t go on another awful date via an online dating site. Those led nowhere but to the bottle of Valium.


      • serenebabe

        I’ve been thinking about the difference between resignation and acceptance. Again, we can’t know the future, but, there is comfort for me in the feeling of choice/control I get even if I’m not really controlling anything.

        It’s just a way (that is working for me) to remember that everything is and will be okay, just as it is and as it will be.


  2. I don’t think you can know whether or not you’ll meet someone just because you’ve rejected dating sites as a means of doing so. Or because you’ve rejected the idea of trying to do so at all. Or even if you reject the idea of allowing yourself to do so. Sometimes you have no control over these things. I’m just saying.


    • Although I support you fully in the rejection of online dating or trying very hard period. Concerted efforts to meet people never seem to work out. Just didn’t want to sound like I disagreed with that. I’m just saying, that doesn’t mean it’s over. I hate when people say, just relax and it will happen (usually to infertile couples, which is infuriating), but things become cliches for a reason. Sometimes if you just go on and live your life, as you’re doing now, embracing it without bogging yourself down, wonderful things can happen.


  3. Actually, you CAN be alone forever. But that’s a choice. Some people make it unwittingly when they choose to believe that being not-alone means being in a romantic relationship. Then they don’t see all the other ways of being not-alone.

    The dream of finding someone you can build a romantic love relationship with isn’t just a dream. People do it all the time, with varying degrees of success.

    What IS kind of goofy is the notion that if you find the one right person all the problems go away, as you point out. That’s the one that we get stuck in.

    I’m not convinced that dream was of a higher or better order, so I no longer mourn leaving it behind. But I’m post-menopausal. It took awhile to get it (mostly) behind me. I’m quite sure I could not be so sanguine about this if I were in the same life stage you are. We are in these powerful tides of time, culture, and biology, and few of us can swim against them.

    (I know Heather hates when I write something like that, but it’s not about me being wiser, it’s about acknowledging biology and that ,most of use have better understanding through experience of the stages behind us and almost none of those ahead of us, so there. It’s my groove, just as this lost romantic dream one is your groove. I’m not correcting, I’m observing. End footnote.)


    • Well, obviously when I say “alone” I mean without a sexual/romantic companion in the form of a boyfriend-guy… which I could have if I were willing to drastically compromise on what I want, which I’m not. So in that sense, yes, it’s a choice. And when I’m feeling lonely lately I do remind myself of this, that I chose it — it was not foisted upon me by a cruel world. I put myself here because the alternatives were intolerable. There WERE alternatives, there ARE alternatives. I reject them.

      The romance novel hero doesn’t cure all problems, but everything becomes bearable when you find this great love, and you can work together yada yada. That’s the fantasy, that you’re never alone with your burdens, that someone is always there to care and help and vice versa.

      But anyway. Moving on from that is freeing me up to consider many other options. The first one is getting a roommate after Diane leaves, which is not something I considered when I was focused on finding a man. This is such an obviously good idea however!


    • Oh, Christine, I don’t hate it that you have wisdom I can’t have because you are ahead of me in years! I love it! Remember how I’ve told you that I pretty much worshipped you in m.w?

      This will sound like a “duh, yeah” statement, but, I am totally convinced there are massive communication misfires happening all over the place when well-meaning people speak or write to each other. I thought of you as I worked through a series of Deborah Tannen lectures and how I wish that I hadn’t told you to fuck off and I also wish that you had returned to the conversations over there on my bloggidy.

      In any case, I’m just seeing your comment now (I don’t usually read comment threads anymore, even here on this site) and wanted to reply. HUG.


      • Ha! I didn’t finish my sentence… the totally convinced thing should’ve ended with something like this: “when people in the USofA come from different socio-economic backgrounds possibly even more than we have trouble communicating across ‘racial lines,’ whatever those are…”


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