Away from Her, But Not So Far Away

I read that Frank Sinatra was a person who liked to be alone, but assured that people were not so far away. He liked privacy, but with the murmurs of loved ones just beyond the closed door.

I think I have always preferred to inhabit this realm, with room to be alone with my thoughts but not so distanced from my loveys that I cannot bounce those thoughts off of one of them when they those thoughts teeter on the ridiculous.

I spend most mornings doing a little impatient jig around Loverpants, annoyed that he is spreading his peanut butter on bread right in front of the trash can that I need to access, wondering why he hasn’t left for work yet. And then I miss him getting in my way for the rest of the day.

I think that motherhood has changed me to a certain degree. I no longer expect to have time alone with my thoughts and the expectation has morphed into the lack of a need for it. The times when I have visited my in-laws or my mother’s house without Loverpants, I feel relaxed because I don’t have to listen to his constant newsfeed of articles he read from Slate, and because he is a nasal mumbler, I have to ask him to repeat the summary at least a couple of times. It exhausts. But eventually the bed feels too cold and spacious and I sometimes think that even God is getting a little bored with my prayers because they are so clearheaded and pleasant, and, well, unexciting. I think sometimes that God gets a kick out of my prayers for focus and Hang on, God, I just need to pick this wedgie of mine that has been bothering me all afternoon. But maybe God would like for me to strive for a little more solitude, too, so that my supplications are a little less distracted. All the time.

I finally watched “Away from Her” last night. As wrenching as the scenes are when Grant thinks that Fiona is getting him back for all of his dalliances in their marriage (she has Alzheimer’s and takes up a romance with another patient in her living facility), there is a certain tenderness in what they both realize Being Away From One Another means. One can go away for a month, but one’s mind can go away from one’s self and one’s partner for permanent. And in the latter case, all you get are flashes, glimmers of remembrance, and you savor those moments.

I haven’t fully worked through my thoughts on this, but given the choice between being away from my family or being outright cramped by them and with the presence of mind to experience the crampedness in all of its sardine packed claustrophobia, I’m going to choose the latter, for as long as I have my wits about me to choose.

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Can’t stay away from this one for too long.


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