Attached and detached
When I was a younger man I valued certain things. I liked art, certain forms of exercise, and thinking about meaningful things. Years later I was married and was close to my wife until it ended. Later, I was stripped of everything and had to survive. I lifted myself by living a Spartan's existence. Even later in my life, my ambition returned. My imagination again became fertile and reemerged as if for the first time. Again I appreciated the simple things such as the moon, and enjoyable socializing. I even reconciled with my ex-wife and we became friendly. And I began to appreciate my estranged parents and this also was satisfying.
This newfound reconnection and resolution with former key elements of my life lasted for some years and was of value. Then, slowly, and subtly, these relationships changed. Once more suspicion replaced full trust.
For instance, I was getting along pretty well with my parents, better than many previous years. At times it was great. But then I learned something that put some doubt in my mind and I could not fully be open with them. It wouldn’t go away, so my trust was partially withdrawn. Another example is the pressure I felt to do high level art. It can be too much for me. I had to lighten up and be happy to just get something done, and ease off of crippling expectations.
Even the reconciliation with my ex-wife became strained by too many crises that she was going through. Of course it wasn’t her fault, but it bothered me I couldn’t be there for her. The hard fought and still tentative balance of my life could only take on so much additional weight. Her mother died, her good friend passed away and another was seriously injured, plus her daughter and her work kept her very preoccupied. Personally I had no immediate crisis, but a lot of “stuff” had to be dealt with. So we had to ease back somewhat. The harsh reality was that we were separated by distance and limited by time and hence could only be so helpful to one another.
So everything was once again removed from my grasp, although still remaining in the picture, just not as close. Was this just life or is there a reason for this? When younger I hung onto everything intensely as if it was meant to save me. Then sadly there were years of distancing, of going in the opposite ways. Finally there was appreciation without demanding too much nor expecting too much. I was accepting on one level and on another level not fully trusting. I had to learn to be okay with or without anything or anybody. A younger person with bravura could say, sure, just suck it up. But an older person keenly feels the disappointment and loneliness that comes with such a realization.