Goodbyes & Things I Do Not Want to Know...
I almost missed my flight today, not from Ketchikan, but Seattle. I didn’t even know until we landed, I was grateful that my race against the clock a sprint rather than a marathon, I was grateful to not know...until I absolutely needed to know.
Seems there are a lot of things in this life that I would rather not know. Things that I believe are just none of my business. I made the flight because that was what was supposed to happen...if I was not supposed to be on this flight, I wouldn’t have been.
Life seems to run best when I release my will and way, allow whatever happens to be the thing that is just ok. I don’t mind what happens...I am more like this today than ever, but still so far off from being able to claim not really ever being bothered.
I guess life lately feels like a lot of near misses that actually land. I am not sure I can describe it better. I am moving at the speed of life and then there is this internal world that lags behind. Like I have two processors, one quick, taking information and actions that need to be summarily handled so that I can move forward. But internally behind the rapid processor, behind that, there is this other one that feels slightly buzzy and loud that sputters and starts and feels lost a great deal of the time.
The space between the two is gaining. And I am finding that I care less and less about the front running processor. I am tired from being owned by the clock, other people’s timetables that cause me to miss the most important moments of my life. Hurrying through the days, forgetting the minutes and hours. The motor that lags, is winning the battle right now.
I realized this today as I boarded the ferry to the airport. I was wholly unconcerned as to whether or not I made my plane. I wanted to come home. I wanted to move forward but for the time that I waited on the ferry and then as I boarded it, time felt like it stood still. I thought of my son, the one that I was leaving behind. I felt his presence near to me, and a hollowness took over. And I stood there on the inside passage of Alaska, learning more about my own interior than I knew before. The hollowness carving out my rush, my hurry, my obedience to the clock and creating a vacancy that could not be filled.
The wind whipped the water into white capped waves that farewelled me homeward. I stood there watching and knowing that it was my time to go. I left feeling sad, a little despondent, although I am pretty sure one cannot ever be just a little despondent. I stood on the deck and let the tears flow. I mean what else could I really do? My ability to steel myself against my own interior was something that was shed upon the icy waters and greened land. I had no more resolve to gird myself, instead preferring to just allow myself to unfurl all the pain, the heartbreak, the worry, the fear, just allow it to go wherever it might need. Most importantly out of me...
And as I stood there, I leaned into the things that I didn’t want to know: my own failings as a mother, my inability to lead with love, resentment winning that particular war far too often. I saw my own lagging spirit and daunted ability to lead a family torn apart by my own actions. My act of leaving, a reason for all of our present state. I stared dumbly at what I didn’t want to know and didn’t pretend to feel something different. I allowed all the thoughts, the fears, the heartache to reach up inside me and uncoil the spring. I never wanted to know how to leave my child behind on a distant, remote and wild island in the Alaskan frontier. This was something no mother ever wants to know. And yet, there I was, leaning into that. An inescapable truth that will forever change me.
As the ferry crossed the passage, I faced the Prince of Wales island way off in the distance, three hour distance by boat, and I requested his assistance in the reclamation of my son. I waved in that direction, saying fare thee well my child. I am not leaving forever, just for now. I am giving you solace and reprieve from the grip my love has had on us both. I leave you here to find yourself, to walk in the icy waters, across glacial land. I leave you here for now. Mistake not my departure for being an abandonment of you. I did this hard work so that we can rebuild what we both have gotten wrong, and right and wrong again.
I felt love soaring in my heart and soul as the wind capped waves undulated a silent goodbye. I stood on the deck facing all that I didn't want to know.