“Hey, you, you wanted to work on that Firefly thing, right? They’ve got something on the work lines,” a fellow extra told me while he listened to job postings for the next day.
“Yeah. I don’t know what they need for women, but maybe check it out.”
I briefly toyed with calling the women’s work line to actually see what they needed for women since they often posted pretty specific requirements–i.e., blonde, early to mid 30s cyclops between 5’8″ and 5’9″–but I didn’t want to waste any time and risk losing out on a spot, if there was one. I started dialing and was shocked when the phone rang on my third or fourth try instead of being endlessly busy. I was even more shocked when the casting director reviewed my file and murmured that I’d be a great fit.
Donnell (A Wordsmith’s Brainworks) stumbled upon my blog a few days before I shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s pediatric cancer charity in March. Her comment on one of my posts led me to her blog, where I learned that she’s a writer, a poet and one heckuva woman and mother. Although her posts about her son’s battle with cancer are sometimes hard to read, they also fill me with hope that comes from seeing life not in terms of its inevitable end result but in the goodness of the loving actions we take before then.
Recommended post: Heroes
A Monday born October son,
I felt your unspoiled, neonate skin.
We were three and all complete,
and for it I was thankful.
I, protective as a lioness
sheltering her cherished cub,
watched you grow and thrive;
you flourished well.
And for that I was thankful.
Autumn came, and like the sun
descending at the end of day,
your hardiness and strength
dipped below that distant threshold.
We were assured it would ascend,
and for it I was thankful.
You were well with the new year,
if only for a brief interval that
seduced us with its false promise
of health, and we were all too thankful.
The Moirai spun their fated threads,
we merely did what mortals can,
and suffered their predestination.
A prognosis grim but the culprit found
and that we knew was encouraging
and a thing for which to be thankful.
The path is long and obstructed by
entanglements and uncertainty.
We are wearied but do not go alone,
the masses follow us into the night,
and for that I am thankful.
Progress is slow but obvious;
you’re more well now than weeks ago.
The scales do not hang in our favor, but
still you smile and press your lips.
Your will can match a hundred men,
and for this I am thankful.
I omit many details from my blog, carefully choosing words and phrases that will draw the most attention to what’s there and the least attention to what’s missing.
As I ran this morning, I thought about all the details I leave out here. I thought about the autobiographical book–memoir, even–I’m currently 12,500 words into writing, and how discomfiting it is to force myself to not only shoo away but embrace the details. I’ve become so comfortable navigating around them, it feels downright aggressive to be wrangling them up and commanding them.
Recently I imagined that “f*cks” are adorable, misunderstood critters we too willingly give away in anger and frustration (“In which I swear, quite a lot!“). I took the same approach to “details” this morning, imagining them as individuals with their own objectives and wants.
ME: You. Detail.
DETAIL#34: Wha? Me? No, you mean that other guy. The purple one over there? Read more…
When my siblings and I wrapped up our last Christmas in our childhood home, my sister Rachael voiced concern that I hadn’t really had a chance to say goodbye. Living as far away as I did, I hadn’t helped prepare the house for sale, nor spent any time just sitting within it and remembering bygone times good, bad and in-between. What little time I had spent there since our mom passed away was devoted to toddler-chasing.
I waved off Rachael’s concern. What greater merit was there in quiet time to say goodbye, compared to the good of being with those both alive and present?
Visiting my hometown for a few days, I’ve had a chance to revisit Rache’s words.
On Wednesday morning, Rache and I walked our hometown’s annual Butte to Butte race together with a couple of friends. I enjoyed the walk, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. It took me most of the nine miles Rache and I walked that morning to realize what it was: I walked not as Mom Deb, but just as Deb. Virtually my every moment of every return home since my son was born has been spent tending or preparing to tend to him. Without him beside me that morning, I felt I was only half a person. Understanding the feeling helped me shake it. Mostly. Read more…
Dawn (Enlightenment Ain’t for Sissies) is most familiar to me for the thought-provoking, inspiring posters she creates for her Facebook page. Her rarer blog writings reflect equal care, and an honesty so unflinching it feels both nerve-wracking and empowering. I am grateful for the openness of her writing, which creates the perfect setting for my open reflection and assessment of my own life, as it exists now . . . and as I might strive for it to be in the years to come.
Recommended post: When does life begin?
Set it free
There is an old adage that if you love something set it free and if it loves you, it will return, but if it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with. As I write this, I am that which is being set free. You see, two months ago, I asked my husband for a divorce.
My husband is a good man. He is kind. He is generous. He is a wonderful father. He is good husband. I am the stay-at-home mom of a bright, independent kindergartner. I want for nothing. We don’t fight. We communicate. So why do I want a divorce? I ask myself that every day and only come up with one answer.
I want a divorce because I don’t love my husband the way that he loves me and our sexual chemistry has disappeared. That simply isn’t fair to either of us. He loves me so big and so much it hurts me that I am unable to give that back to him. He deserves to find someone who will love him as much as he loves me. The final kick to him here is that he has helped me realize that I deserve to love someone that way too. I want to feel the electric joy of someone’s touch when we are way too old to care. That may seem selfish, but it is honest.
We’ve tried counseling. For those who may be thinking that this is all my fault – the counselor agreed with you. We’ve tried every permutation we can think of to get us back on track, and this is where we’ve ended up. This was not a rash decision, it was years in the making, and it is still not made.
I am on a precipice of my life. I could continue as it is, tepid and safe, living with my best friend. No sex life, risk cheating and most likely end up resenting the fact that I kept myself from my dream of a life with possibility. Or, I leave. Terrified. Alone. A single mom. Away from my best friend and the father of my child,finally having to be a grown up, doing everything on my own, realizing dreams I didn’t even know I had. Learning for the first time in my life how to be me. Succeeding or failing, but knowing that those successes and failures are mine.
I don’t have the answers yet, and for this I am thankful. I am thankful for my husband who is giving me the time and the room to make this very difficult decision. The man who is risking it all to give me my wings. The man who will move heaven and Earth to give me room to fly. The man who will support me no matter which choice I make. The man who could be making this ugly and full of hate but instead is making it about love and respect. I am thankful for him.
© Dawn Biggs 16 April 2012