Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Physics of Love

Tonight I'm doing the scariest thing ever - I'm AirBnB-ing - in my own home.
(I'm not an inhospitable person, and my place is relatively snuggly, but this is a big leap for me after the break-in this past April).
There is something quite liberating about having nothing really left to steal, or having had all the goodies stolen, so the rest seems more inconsequential. I know the yogis and the Buddhists sing the sweet praises of unattachment (with a fondness that borders on sticky sweet), but this may be the first time I've allowed myself to truly linger in the idea of letting go.
Last week I visited my parents, I went down into the basement where the tide of Things seems to grow higher every year as the preciousness of this comic or that Original Packing Material settles into it's (final?) resting place. I maintain that I am an anthropologist first because of the childhood archeological digs I participated in within the walls of my own home on the way to retrieve a can of soup, or a box of Christmas ornaments. Everything is neatly, precariously stacked awaiting carbon dating, as though that's where it landed after the eruption.
My dad describes the importance of having vs. using or experiencing, and it struck me again, a harmonic of this melancholy chord, that the Things always hurt. Either the having (and the drowning) or the losing (and the mourning). I always used to pout (and approach DEATH INSIDE) when I lost something. "I always loved that sweater," or "They don't MAKE Crystal Pepsi anymore, so I must TREASURE and HOLD and HOARD."
(For the record, I did try Crystal Pepsi 15 years after it was acquired and it had - um - lost it's luster).
I have reacted by clinging, and I've reacted by detaching. I know what it's like to grasp last year's Easter candy just as well as I know how to guard my feelings - hold my cards - and keep my distance.
And neither extreme seems to suit me.
I like favorite sweaters and Christmas ornaments. I can't seem to part with old love letters, even though I left the author ten years ago, and he subsequently died four years later. I miss the smell of my grandmother's house, and even if it doesn't linger in her jewelry box any longer, it's memory does. I still worry the finger of my left hand, where the stolen ring made it's home for nine years. I would like to think that I could easily live the rest of this sorry life without another attachment, and that my life would be better for it.
But I know better. 
Gravity is the charge between people (and things). The universe - physics - can't even manage to get away from attraction and attachment. A strong pull despite the ongoing and ever-expanding move towards chaos. 
How can we expect ourselves to operate in a void?
We sling-shot around the sun every year, moving incrementally closer to self-immolation, hapless victims of this cosmic law. And yet, it isn't torture - the day is not here to rub our faces in the absence of the night, just as the seasons have no commentary about one another.
Just as the toy train near the bottom of the pile does not begrudge the tax records or Christmas ornaments atop it.
We are the ones that do the begrudging.
And I think this is what I am recognizing as 2015 shuts it's eyes, as strangers move into my bedroom, as my ex-husband purges me from his Netflix account. That I am orbiting with people and things. I miss my old life and appreciate the new. I've traded my bank account for adventure, my stable life for spontaneity, and it's ok to feel a little sad sometimes as I remember what was, what never will be. To hold the sweater close, to imagine what the jewelry box used to smell like, to look back fondly, through tears.
And look forward to the sunrise - with detached anticipation.
(if that's a thing).

No comments:

Post a Comment