Wednesday, July 23, 2008

how life changes

I was just thinking today about the slow but dramatic way life changes. It can sometimes be so subtle -- for example, I was talking today about SK (SK -- I was talking to the boss-lady, discussing your upcoming return to the states), and I had to stop and try to remember why I haven't been chatting with her on Skype anymore. I thought and thought and then realized that my work schedule changed back in March and suddenly we weren't online at the same time anymore. She's in London and the time zones are all weird, etc, etc, -- and I realized it's been *months* now since we've talked, and we used to talk every day!

In property law we learned about accretion and avulsion: the two ways that rivers change course. This matters in property law only when a property's boundaries are described in the deed in terms of the river. If the river creates one of the boundary lines on your property, what do you if the river changes course? Does your boundary line change with the river? That's where accretion and avulsion come in: if the river changes course slowly over a very long period of time, in other words, by accrection, then your property line changes with the river. However, if the river changes course suddenly and dramatically, like through an earthquake or flood (avulsion) then your property line remains in roughly the same place as the river used to be.

Not that property law matters, but life changes course in a similar fashion. Some changes occur slowly over time and some occur rapidly, almost violently.

I talked to my grandmother yesterday and it depressed me. I love her very much, I have been very close to her in my life, and she's quite old now. She just turned 90 this month. She didn't sound so good yesterday, she sounded all croaky and tired. My uncle, her son, who lives across the street from her and drives her to doctor's appointments and helps when things break or when the lawn needs mowed, is suddenly dying of lung cancer. She doesn't really know he's dying because nobody has told her the truth of how bad it is, but somewhere inside her she knows. She buried a husband, a grandson, two sisters, all her brothers, her parents, countless aunts, uncles, cousins, and now she looks forward to burying a son?

I imagine she's depressed. Talking to her depresses me. She tells me my dad is waiting to hear from me and I end up having dreams all night last night about my family. Strange dreams, not the kind I usually have about them. I dreamed I was at my own wedding, but I wasn't actually marrying anyone. My family was "throwing" me a wedding, in some big old Baptist church in the south, full of straight, white people all groomed appropriately, standing in this church watching some esoteric ceremony that was supposed to be for me. I was in the back, wearing my usual scrappy clothes, sporting my new tattoo, with my short hair. People were ignoring me, or criticizing my clothes. Everyone was judging me. And it was supposed to be *my* wedding! I felt naked and unwelcome.

I was telling Mahavira about this dream and then started telling her about some realities and realized the dream isn't that much worse than reality. It's so complicated. Families are complicated, being queer is complicated, being a *human* is complicated. Complicated and painful but also precious and amazing too. I guess I'm just having a lot of feelings about things right now. I go through long phases of keeping my head down and moving forward, then suddenly I'm stopped in my tracks and forced to look back at how far I've come and how much I've failed to notice along the way. Then I have to go through the process of having all the feelings I forgot to have, then I put my head back down and off I go again.

I guess that's the way life works. Maybe when we die it will all make more sense.


Blogger not drowning waving said...

funny that, i had dreams about my family last night then on my ride to work this morning thought about your family and how tough i could be at times about things and how sad i felt about that -
- yes to life, and to death also.... sorry for Mrg's loosing a son.... celebrations for her 90th and hugs to you

2:02 AM  
Blogger heather said...

family feels like the lens we see the whole world through, and we can go a long time without cleaning our glasses. then when something in life forces us to refocus, it can be a rather startling process--at least, in its scope. the power of family never ceases to amaze me, really.

8:58 AM  
Blogger south carolina girl said...

yes. it will be easier to understand when we are all on "the other side" looking back at this shit. heaven is made out of fun times where that high never goes away. no i can't prove it.

but that STILL doesn't stop us from hurting on this side, which sucks...

7:40 PM  
Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

I used to sign on to AIM every weekday morning. Then, one day, I stopped. The galpal I talked to the most was no longer able to access to the program at work and so I halted all use. Now I talk to her less and some people never. And yes, it wasn't until months after the fact that I realized this.

1:05 PM  

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