How do we live in the great meanwhile, in which all our lives take place? — Jane Hirschfield
This kind of question is on my mind very often as I shuffle through these days in the childhood abode, tending to my mother, berating myself, wondering wondering wondering wondering. Man, hindsight is tough. That youthful feeling that opportunities are not over is difficult to shake. There are many times when I do think along the lines of "Just do it,"; however, when I recall in the more recent past when I tried that, I come up with rejection, frustration, humiliation, and worse.
So, the Salon went well. There was an adequate amount of food, but not an embarrassment. All the salonières got along fine and had things to talk about. Everyone oohed and ahhed over the black cat who has joined our household. And, at the end, we had a political discussion with people expressing diverging views without anyone getting huffy nor calling anyone else an ignorant slut or worse.
Something seems to have clicked in my little head since my last set-to with Janet. Something has sunk in or become more real. Or I have started to accept the reality of her situation. Janet has been so lively for so long, it is not easy to see her less vital and alive. Now, I know for those of you who have been through this, this is not a revelation. But, on an individual level, it is still hard.
Given my pigheaded Romanticism, I think somewhere inside I thought I could cajole or manipulate Janet into not being old. That I could rally and inspire and harangue her into activity. I challenged her with sarcasm when she made a slip, because she has been known to be purposefully obtuse.
Now, a new knee-jerk response seems to be settling in. Instead of that defensive, "how is she playing me," response, a softer, more reserved me thinks "maybe she doesn't know/doesn't get it." And I am more helpful more often. More patient.
The great meanwhile.