Could I Be Alone in This?

May. 21, 2016

I created this picture intending some kind of a description of myself, or to get out how I see myself at this point in my life.

From the third grade, I have been aware of how much I have desired to have a good man to be my partner.  I have attached “good” to my sense of my partner and laughed about it because the third grade boy, who as far as I know never became aware two classmates had their eyes on his fair face and black hair, had Good as his last name.

I thought it interesting that when I saw the picture of the groom kissing the bride in the street/on the street, their apparel was so traditional.  I was never the girl to even think about the perfect gown or upswept hair.  I cared not a whit the flavor or appearance of the cake, and I barely managed to come up with a color scheme and why I chose the one I did, I may never know.  I had no desire to consider the entourage of best men and maidens.  But I did care about the affection, a man who wanted to kiss me more than to make the best sense of a moment.

When I described to my sister, over the phone, the picture I had made and asked her to remark on what she had picked up on from what I told her, she named off three things:  color and sectioned and the third doesn’t come to mind right now.  I picked up on her saying color because of course she didn’t see it.  I had described the Jerusalem soil extending three times the height of the bottom picture and that was what made here think of color in the picture.

What my eye was drawn to as I looked about for color was the family picture where the family was white cutout against deepening brown.

I saved the middle point of the picture to tell her about last and so had brought up the desert soil in the backdrop to the shepherd and the sheep and lambs he watched primarily from above.  My father had been a sheepherder nearly all of his teenage years.

As I write about this, I find I am reflecting on my father and what I consider to be elements of loneliness throughout his life.  Those reflections would be stories I make up.  My father would have been one of my great multitude of what I have come to view as “silent men”.  From my perspective, I could never gain satisfaction in discourse from the type of silent man I found my father to be.  It’s only recently that my pondering has allowed me to see there are many varieties of such men.

The family in the upper right corner are truly awhirl with meaning to me.  I AM immensely thankful for my families;  I speak of my family of origin, and I speak of the family wherein I had my two boys.  My having children has to have been along the lines (though I don’t understand it the way many people do) of “God’s grace”.  My best friend grew up in a family of eight children and her hot spot was always wanting children.  While I thought of the man I wanted, she thought of the children she wanted.  I never could have admitted it in the religion I was raised in, but I wasn’t totally sure I wanted children — until I had them.

When I found (in my perspective) my relationship (after nineteen years) was beyond my ability to tolerate longer, and managed to get myself to do the unthinkable and divorce, I managed to sever my ties to the individual I had always seen myself as being.  (I had seen myself being an individual who married and never divorced.)  In secret, of course.  I am meaning  I had managed to keep a powerful secret from myself for a lot of years about something very important.

I wonder if you would take a minute and reflect back through your life.  Can you think of ever having done that?

Well, . . ., or maybe I should say -- so, . . . How well did you fare?  Have you ever seen yourself as a white paper cut out in stark relief on a brown, brown life?  Part of my secret was that I had destroyed a perfectly good family.  Women, most certainly, should not ever do that.  Or so, I managed to berate myself over, despite any evidence to the contrary.

Now, for the middle picture, which represents to me -- woman in midlife and later life, who are more than content without a man.  I’m well aware there are many women in our world today who are happy and fit and brilliant and contributing, based on a life from which they’ve drawn lessons and strength and love.  Kudos, kudos, kudos, from the bottom of my heart.

I believe I truly strive to be amongst such women.  The one dimensional closed-eyed untethered floating (or suspended in bleak dark emptiness) female paper doll seems more representational -- of how I view myself.

And no, I don't have to have, nor do I even need, to have a man.  I am fully aware of my preference, yes.

I’m truly curious to know if I am alone in feeling this way.


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