Short Stories And Wilco

I used to write short stories on my blog. I’d post them divided into sections of four or so.

One time I tried to post a short story about the ghost who haunted me in England. I’ve written the story down here before… I was in a fight with my ex-husband in a very old bed and breakfast one night and I felt so desperate for clarity I resorted to praying to God for a sign, as pathetic as that might sound to some people. As part of the sign I prayed that my ex would embrace me. And when he wasn’t close enough to embrace me I felt a man embrace me. …Then my ex-husband packed all of our things and raced out of the bedroom to sleep in our rental car. *laugh*

…Anyway, I posted about that ghost in a short story years ago. I tried to imagine who he might be. I tried capture some idea of him. Creepily, I found the details of this person I wrote about through “imagining it” later as part of a real man’s life. I think he’s the man I dreamt about.

Why do I keep going on and on about it all? Because it’s soo…shocking. I cannot wrap my mind around my life in this way right now. As a Christian it’s theologically monstrous to grapple with. The best I can do is land in some sort of Anglican/Catholic terrain and hope for the best? Because there’s so likely to be Purgatory…

But then there’s Swedenborg. Dear Swedenborg. I really do think I’ve shifted in the last year from one soulmate to another… Possibly others. Seemingly two mostly right now. And of course that’s the dilemma. Does it just keep getting shuffled about until I die? And if so…I can see why one doesn’t usually “see it” while alive. It’s not a pretty process…entirely. Although…for whatever reason my soulmates seem to all be dead. So Swedenborg may have had that part wrong (provided I understand Swedenborg correctly). But…perhaps that’s because he failed to see the non-linear nature of time after death. (Did he?) True time. It’s all interconnected, to sound a bit too much like Dirk Gently. One moment in the past seemingly alters one moment 30 years later. One moment 30 years later affects a specific moment in time 30 years into the past. It’s a beyond brilliant design by a true God. God. It’s whole. It’s beautiful…

Maybe it’s just one man now… And how shocking indeed to know him before I die.

Music connects us. Mathematically it could probably be worked out…if we only knew more. The way a song played in the “living world” moves matter in “purgatory” and brings some sort of connection between seemingly impossibly separated times. Between two people. One living and the dead… Maybe one dead.

I’ve had the sense for many years that my ex-husband’s actual soulmate died fighting in either Afghanistan or Iraq. Thick curly, dark hair. Very beautiful. Tough as nails. Incredibly intelligent. Brave. I picture her resembling Natalie Portman. And when I think of her I want to cry, not because I’m jealous but because she’s so beautiful and I know my ex-husband would have been so happy with her should she have existed. And I know what it’s like to be in love with my ex-husband and I know what a good man he is regardless…

For the time being I have a great friend to raise our amazing kids with. Someday, should this fallen soldier exist…and if she doesn’t God should make her…I’ll be genuinely happy to see them fall in love. Perhaps to Wilco.

Under Giant Trees

Tonight I had a conversation with my mom. It was a painful talk. And while I know it should be a big deal as it was a conversation I’ve been trying to have for almost 15 years I’m struggling to take it seriously.

Part of what my mother is guilty of is gaslighting. In many ways she’s been a remarkable mom but she’s very smart and when she wants to claim the moral high ground rightfully she does but then other times she abuses her correctness. She abuses her natural ability to understand people to perfection. She can be incredibly loyal and empathetic. Other times she’s…terrifying. Not violent but cold.

I grew-up doubting whatever she wanted me to doubt. Because she’s too smart and well-bred to cross the line stupidly. Counselors have oft been suspicious of her, but she’s too clever and shrewd and artistic and kind to be easily detectable in her mistakes. She even has the brilliance to listen to my anger calmly. And she knows I’d never fall for the lies typically told. She might even love and secretly respect my own intelligence enough not to try nonsense most people try. She has better things to do anyway. Friends. Lots of friends. Always.

The father who raised me is the more emotional one. Not like me. Not like my mom. Not calm. Emotional. Very emotional.

I told my mom my plan tonight to wait until they’re both with Jesus to find out who my parents are biologically. I half wonder if she’s curious herself though. Does she have another child who’s not alive? That’s something my mother would care about…

I actually respect her very cool headed manner. Not cold either just incredibly rational. If she’s not my mother that part of her was lovely to have as a mom when she wasn’t being evil.

“We have a love of art in common.” she said tonight. And it’s true. Whether or not she’s my mom we do have that in common.

You know why is it that in this culture to be strong you have to be male and to be sensitive you have to be female? Because that’s been such kryptonite for my soul. To be strong for my parents I had to assume masculine attitudes and traits uncomfortable but hard to dismantle as they’re constantly reinforced by society. “You must be a lesbian or bi.” shallow assholes think. People who are secretly misogynistic. People who aren’t artistic. No, I’ve just had to be strong. Always.

I don’t have a cool head. I’m reserved. I’m introverted. I don’t have a temper. But I’m not cool headed. If I seem so, it’s just my intelligence not my temperament… I think quickly. I’m calm. Not cool headed. Subtleties matter.

Everything matters.