Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the art of surrender

I have been thinking about relinquishing control. A favorite blog sparked my contemplation this morning, with a post exploring the natural ebbs and flows of life and the ways one can interrupt the organic progression of life by clutching and grasping at a place in time.

I have been struggling. Life fools us into believing we are settled by falling into distinct patterns but life is simply change incarnate. The departure of our lovely daughter dramatically altered my daily ebb and flow. I talk with her, I communicate with her in writing, and I see her somewhat frequently. I know if my heart aches at her absence, I can be at her side in under an hour. Mother and daughter relationships embody complexity; her physical and emotional absence is not my struggle. I miss the challenges she added to my daily existence, the very challenges I thought would be last on my list of cherished moments.

Family time has never been orchestrated. We have always preferred a spontaneous togetherness. I began searching for reasons to draw the entire family together, whether it is a weekend meal or some type of event. Before this school year, if I prepared a simple meal, set the table, and called to everyone in the evening, family fellowship happened instantaneously. Now I find myself purchasing tickets to see Bob Dylan at the Brady as much for the 90 minute drive as for the concert.

This morning my thoughts ambled along until they lit on Countee Cullen (pictured).

If You Should Go

Love, leave me like the light,
The gently passing day,
We would not know but for the night
When it has slipped away.
Go quietly; a dream
When done should leave no trace
That it has lived, except a gleam
Across the dreamer's face.

Learning to let go, to release that emotional grip, comes naturally through parenting, sometimes leaping, sometimes retreating, sometimes limping along. Slowly, oh so slowly, I am clutching less and yielding more, aiming to walk rather than crawl toward finding peace.


Beth said...

The new blog looks beautiful, Kim! Sorry to hear you've been struggling -- letting go is one of the hardest things in life, and it must be almost impossible for parents, yet it's the key to allowing children to grow into their own selves. Maybe if you can focus on it as what's best for them, rather than how hard it is for you, some of the pain will be less but it seems like an inevitable transition filled with struggle. But look - you're writing more! It's also an opportunity...

Mayberry Magpie said...

"The gently passing day,
We would not know but for the night"

Beautiful lyrics and the exact sentiment I was trying to express. Without grief, we cannot know joy, so why do we grasp?

Now all that being said, having a child leave home is ahead of me and I know I will struggle with it. I will look to you as a "trailblazer."

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sorry to hear you're struggling, Kim. I hope writing your blog is helping to release some of the pent up disappointment you seem to be holding within you. The relationship between mother and daughter is so strong, no matter what happens or where each other lives, it will never be broken.

I live 200 miles from my mum whereas my sister lives with her and my brother lives 2 minutes round the corner. But I bet I have a better relationship with her out of all of us. She loves us all the same of course, but she talks to me. Talks. And I listen. Vice Versa. I miss her but I know where she is.

Take care, CJ xx

Pamela said...

That poem lulls me -- and yet it is sad in a way.

laurie said...

you miss her.

Kim said...

Well sure, I miss her. Of course that's part of it. But what surprises me is that I miss her actual dependence on me. She's become dadgum self sufficient in some ways. I don't have to save her anymore, and it's weird. And it's surprises me that I miss THAT.