Sometimes it feels as if the entire space he carved out in the world has simply closed over.
A coworker the other day noticed the faraway look in my eyes and asked what I was thinking about. "I'm trying to find something in my mind," I told her. I have this penchant for losing track of stuff and then becoming obsessed with finding whatever it is. Often this necessitates tearing the house or my desk apart.
A couple weeks ago the search was for a handwritten note from my dad; one he'd written years ago to accompany the return of some money I'd loaned him. It wasn't some thank-you note, mind you, but instead a sort of brief family history. The theme of that history was money, specifically loaned money, and detailed my father's firmly held belief that what goes around, in terms of generosity, comes around.
Anyway... the details of the note and our family's financial history are probably too personal to share here, but suffice it to say that I really wanted to find that note and feel the connection to my dad that it represents. I don't have much else tangible to remember him with. When I first came across the note a couple years ago, I'd probably put it aside for safekeeping and now it's lost forever.
The other day at work I somehow started thinking about the small gold cross my dad gave me as a little girl. I'd worn it exclusively for years, on a necklace that had been my mom's. I have even fewer tangible thngs to remember her with, save that necklace and a pair of earrings and her wedding band. I'd been obsessively hunting for that necklace and cross the last couple days and wasn't able to put my hands on it. I found every other piece of jewerly I own, mind you, but not that simple cross my dad had given me so many years ago.
This put me in a bit of a funk, you know? Granted, my foul mood wasn't only about that, but oftentimes some seemingly inconsequential thing is the trigger for major crankiness.
The people closest to me must be used to this part of me by now, the part that hangs the *do not disturb* sign on the door and disappears from them without any warning. Those with more open hearts don't often understand the need of some to draw inward, in self-preservation, when life gets to be too much.
I've learned how to take my space when it presses in too closely, even when I can't physically wander away. Plenty of people don't understand that about me, don't understand the secret hiding places I can curl myself into, that you can't win anything by force with me, that there is no prying me out of my muteness.
I recognize it straight-away when I meet with this trait in others. Often it's a child, but there's plenty of people who've grown to adulthood processing the world in the same instinctual way I do, people who live everything from a place very deep inside. We recognize each other, somehow, and meet somewhere in the open between backing off and standing by. That's a sweet spot, I think. A place of acceptance. A place where the things we hold onto and the lengths we hold on is understood and trusted.
(Oh and I finally found my necklace. All is right with the world again.)
a return Visit
1 year ago