Susan's Blog

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Complicated Air

These are the days of miracle and wonder.
–Paul Simon

Is happiness the absence of pain, or is it something more pure and grand? I think it’s both. I love the pleasure that is felt right after a release from pain. Something as simple as no more illness, nausea gone at last. Or a worry that turns out to be nothing. Or the resolution of a problem in a relationship. A child becoming less of a mystery. Turning a corner.

We saw B’s therapist today and it was a really fruitful session. We came up with some really good ideas and strategies for helping B deal with his complex feelings about Nat. I told her how B and I have a real bond over the LOLcats. She said, “Why don’t you visit animal shelters together?!” I got all excited; what a great idea! We would take pictures of cats and make our own captions. I loved going to the MSPCA before I had kids. But I knew if I went there I would want to get a pet. And then it rose up in me, like hunger: I wanted a cat. I was going to get a cat. And I stayed in a dreamy kitten-induced haze all day because of it.

I also realized tonight that Nat has broken through the sac that encased him all summer, where he couldn’t see anything but the need to control everything. Tonight, as Ned bugged him to brush his teeth, and not wait so passively for us to tell him, I pointed out how we have moved up one level of worry from the summer’s pit of despair. No longer worried much about aggression and tantrums around other people’s routines, we now focus (blissfully) on getting Nat to be less passive about his own routines. Ned smiled at me when he realized it was true; we have been breathing easier since the fall set in with its routines and its “complicated air,” as my poet friend Melinda said.

But sometimes happiness is just a huge bubble of joyful stuff in concordance; a constellation of good events shining forth at once, and you happen to be aware of it. Sometimes it hits me, while I’m sitting on the porch, Precious is open and brimming with wit; I am warm and drowsy. A fresh cup of coffee waits on the end table. Maybe a boy is sitting out there with me, or nearby; some beautiful person that actually came from that great love, from Ned and me. The air is complicated, but my heart is easy. And I think, “yes, that’s it.” Sometimes I even remember to thank God.


I have found visits to shelters really depressing and I think my 9-year old daughter would have a hard time leaving empty-handed. Perhaps if you and Ben could do something to help the cats get adopted out of there? Like do your photos with captions and let the shelter use them for ads or publicity or flyers? — Cathy in CT again

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 8:19 am

Sometimes I remember too. -Tina G.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 9:37 am

Your words speak so beautifully on my behalf…

The last paragraph sums it up for me. Thank you for sharing it.

— added by Judith on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 5:11 pm

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