There’s been a lot of stuff going on with me.
An episode of kidney stones, a visit to the ER, moving in with Mark, moving out of Mark’s, moving back in, and moving back out.
Mom got DNA test results and discovered a half sister in Massachusetts. That half sister asked us all to join in a family reunion, and I went. Somehow, I found an airline ticket that only cost $275, so I did it. I freaked out and almost didn’t do it. Then, I did do it. I’m glad.
I arrived in Massachusetts on February 8th around 2pm EST. My brother suggested I take the train to meet him at his job. I was excited about the prospect of seeing his work place (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) but then I didn’t arrive until he was getting off work. By the time I arrived I was exhausted and didn’t want the tour, anyway. Mike and I took the train back to Franklin and then drove to Club 99 to meet Suzy and her new love, Matt, for dinner. It was delightful. I spent the evening on Suzy’s futon, very comfortably. Seeing Suzanne again always makes me happy. She’s a delightful human being who looks out for the best interests of many.
In the morning, Suzy had to run errands. We got coffee and had lunch at Whole Foods together and then she took me to her mom’s place (my Aunt Cheryl) where I got to meet one of my cousin Nina’s kids and spend some time visiting with Cheryl and her husband, David. I fell in love with little Selina who is absolutely adorable. She is someone who makes me want to stay in Massachusetts. She really stole my heart with her amazing energy and incredible fearlessness. She’s as wild as any female I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with, and even as I write this, I want to see her again. If I lived in Massachusetts I would ask Nina for special once a month visiting privileges, at least. I want to watch Selina grow up and share with her any wisdom I’ve gained just by being there, around her. What girl can have too many benefactors looking out for her? I wish I’d had more.
Suzanne drove me out to Northhampton to meet up with my dear friend, Kelli Gould. We met up at a restaurant called Paul & Elizabeth’s and had a wonderful time eating and visiting, the three of us. Kelli and Suzanne used to hang together with me when we were kids, I guess. I don’t remember that but I was delighted at how well the two were able to enjoy each other’s company.
Kelli had come to visit me in Denver back in November, but at the time, I was so heart broken and hurt that I couldn’t fully enjoy her presence. I was in ‘save me’ mode during that visit – trying to attune myself to what and where I needed to do and be. I’m still attuning. I remember telling Kelli last October before she flew out that if Denver wasn’t right for me, I’d love to come to Massachusetts and be near her so we could spend the last half of our lives being close and having the sisterhood/friendship we dreamed of as children. Her home is near Kripalu, the Omega Institute, and a number of other spiritual growth centers that I would love to involve myself in. So, during this visit, I got to see her neighborhood. I got to see her home. I got to see her mother again, for the first time since I was about 12. It was surreal. I stepped into an alternate universe, it felt like. And I felt total and complete peace there in that house – the kind I’d felt when I was 10 years old and Kelli’s mom would make cinnamon pancakes for us after a sleep over. We sat for what seemed like hours in Katie’s sitting room, overlooking a lilac bush where many birds gathered to sup from the plenteous bird feeders that had been provided for them. Here, I watched blue jays, cardinals, tuft-headed tit mouses, and acrobatic squirrels compete for food. Kelli and I trekked through the yard to the brook and saw fresh deer pellets and looked for evidence of other wild critters’ presence but found none. The ground was snow-laden but moist and the air was as pure and fresh as it can possibly be at sea level. I noticed my body felt good. My lungs, head, and heart all felt so clear. I did not want to leave. Kelli told me about a lady who lives nearby whose husband had suffered a stroke. She wasn’t doing so great living alone after having a husband who’d looked after her needs for so many years. Kelli and I discussed the possibility of me being a live-in helper for this woman. The opportunity seemed almost as if I was meant to step into it, to me. I asked her to let me meet the woman, but it didn’t happen. Instead, she took me to Kripalu and we walked through the facility together and made purchases in the gift shop. I asked about gaining employment and was directed to the website (note: I’ve applied to many positions at Kripalu over the years. I assumed I never heard from anyone because I was always out of state when I’d tried – so I had a feeling that being there in person would make a difference. It didn’t.)
Kelli got me to my next meeting destination in Sturbridge after we had a really awful dining experience in Lee. The cheese in my grilled cheese sandwich hadn’t melted. My latte was more like something you buy at Circle K from a machine. I bought a jar of Cabernet jelly there to bring back to Mark but ended up losing it along the way. Leaving Kelli was disturbing in more than one way, and meeting up with my mother and sister proved to be not joyous, but somewhat nerve wracking. Jenny and Mom were both stressed from the travel and from Tommy being sick. The air between us all was heavy and strained and it seemed somehow physically manifested in the weather – there was fog and light drizzle and despite the discomfort of the moist chill, there was much beauty and wonder in our experience at old Sturbridge Village where my brother treated us to a mystery tour followed by dinner. I was really happy that the vegetarian stew and biscuits were so tasty and that we all had a good time despite the rain and exhaustion. My nephew Tommy, age 5, provided entertainment for us all as he offered to help every museum demonstrator with their demonstrations while we made our way around the village trying to solve the mystery presented to us. If you’re ever in Sturbridge, I recommend checking this venue out. It was educational, well done, and creatively stimulating in helping you find extreme gratitude for modern society.
Mike, Mom and I went to Mike’s hotel and spent hours chilling out together. I really enjoyed this down time with Mom and Mike, and then we brought ourselves over to the hotel where mom’s new sister was staying with her husband, daughter, and grand kids. It was the La Quinta Inn. We visited with Bettie and family until it was time for bed. This part was difficult for me. Being locked in a little hotel room with a whole bunch of people talking simultaneously has an anxiety-producing effect on me. Never mind that they were all drinking alcohol, that half of them were total strangers, and that I was not at all sure of how to conduct myself regarding the manner of describing my relationship with Bettie’s father, my grandpa. She wanted to know about him. I did not have a relationship with him. He showed general kindness towards me, but I never cultivated a personal relationship with the man and had no fondness for him. I had lousy connections with my mom’s parents growing up. I had lousy associations with family, period, after the divorce happened when I was age 12. I spoke my truth about this when the time came. I let Bettie hear my lack of interest regarding my grand parents and later felt really bad that I couldn’t come up with nicer things to say. Bettie thanked me for sharing my truth, as unadorned and raw as it is. Touching the rawness of these roots again was something I did with a sense of the observer in meditation. I breathed through it, just being and speaking as little as possible. I didn’t want to color anything with my opinion and views. I preferred to voyeuristic-ally take it all in. I slept well on the day bed in Mike’s hotel suite. I got a real kick out of my brother using the giant hot tub that was situated in the living area. He put shampoo into the bath water and created a mountain of bubbles that he soaked in while I fell asleep.
Next morning, I woke early (as I always do) and went for a walk to The Sunburst where I had a tasty omelette, a full-bodied coffee, communication with my old friend Pete, and some interesting talk with a local. The local told me he’d living in the bay area of San Francisco and all up and down the west coast but came back to Massachusetts a number of years back (I forget why). He explained to me that living in Massachusetts in a great deal more difficult than living out West. He said that he spends all his time taking care of his home in Mass and working constantly just to survive, where as on the West Coast he could hop on his motorcycle and cruise for the weekend and not have any problems. I thought this was an interesting perception. I asked what prevented him from doing the same here as he did in the West and he blamed the weather, the cost of living, and his mother. I did not try to enlighten him with any words of wisdom, I just took the telling of his experience and rested with what I thought of as the nonsense we all tell ourselves. We create our stories. Limit ourselves with our tales. Or create all kinds of possibilities and reach beyond the stories to create something greater. In this thought process, I walked to La Quinta and found my sisters, mother, and new aunt and cousins all chatting amicably together over breakfast in the cafeteria of the hotel. We started making a family tree on roll-paper that Tina brought.
Pete showed up and visited for a while. Then, we took off and shopped at Walmart together. It was really cool getting to hang with Pete for just a little while. He seemed well, and generally cheery. I didn’t want to let him go. He didn’t want to join in the big family reunion at the brewery. He hugged me goodbye and said, “I leave you to your family.”
The reunion went well. Lots of yummy food and fun conversation. I got to play with Selina again and see cousins I hadn’t seen in ages. It was lovely. Truly.
That evening, my brother drove me to the Publick House where he’d rented a room for the evening. I also rented a room and had some alone time in it. During this time, I got back on Facebook so I could see all the photos from the reunion. In re-starting my FB account, one of my ex’s reached out to me. This one lives in Austin, TX. He asked if he could come to Denver and ski with me and offered to have me visit him in Austin for the South by South West festival. This particular ex travels a lot and had offered to come to Hawaii with me back in 2016. It didn’t happen and we haven’t seen each other since 2012 when we both were at ASU. I considered his offer. Held it close. Thought about how I could make it happen and asked him to give it a few days so I could consider it more fully. My on-again, off-again feelings for Mark stood in the way. I considered that my Austin ex would be a healthier match for me. Then, I considered living in Massachusetts. Then, I thought about moving back to Arizona so I could be close to Zac again and then…
…. before I knew it, I was back at the airport reading The Autobiography of a Yogi and feeling very much like I need to stay in Denver, right where I am at. I petitioned the universe for a sign if change is what is needed. Was happy to return to work. Happy to reunite with Mark. Happy to shop at Goodwill the day after I returned home so I could buy more warm clothes that fit. Not so happy to write my Austin ex and tell him I can’t swing the visits.
As winter progresses, my body enlarges. I’m not getting the exercise I need. I am still not getting the yoga. I still do not have a guru I can turn to for spiritual growth and direction. I still don’t think my situation here is permanent, but until the universe hits me with a directive that tells me change is inevitable, I’m going to stay put and continue reading books that inspire me while looking for ways to incorporate more yoga asana, philosophy, and teaching into my life. I am also staying at Mark’s. For now. I have a renter in my apartment. He’s not sure if he’s coming or going, either so my fate depends on his. I could potentially try to rent the apartment out to someone else. Or, I could just learn to live alone there and steep myself yet more completely in stoicism and spiritual study. All things are possible with the right inspiration.