photography | carl johnson
the tant mieux project, ed. sadi ranson-polizzotti



a word | Amen


2016 has been the worst year for me in very many years. To sit and regurgitate why or ponder is really not worth it. I don't need to think about it - I know why. I saw friends fall, friends beat up, myself drinking, losing a great job, still stupidly in love with the same man as forever and forever but after seventeen or so years of nothing at last sleeping with another man only to find that it left me feeling shamed and dirty and like a traitor to my love for the other.  Not, mind you, that he felt much of anything. At least not that i could tell. It seems to me that different people recover differently from love - assuming that I am right and that it was the case that he and i were ever in love. And i think i've done just about everything i can think of to get over him: including long ago saying, Enough this is it and we are just friends. But that didn't work either. And that was met with a "No but ...." and then we begin again.  

I am tired of thinking of him now. And I am also tired of being in love always but always with someone else - by which i mean someone other than myself.  It occurs to me this Boxing Day that perhaps this has been the obstacle for too long - that all of the fervor and passion and care and love that i have has been misdirected and for most of my life. It has been a true love - and don't tell me that it couldn't be real if i didn't love myself first because i loved myself enough. And the very many things that I have done for the people I love are quite real, I assure you.  But the lack of love i have and do feel for myself is also just as real - or perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that by now, years later, I am furious with myself for having so little faith in myself and so much faith in what another person does or says.  That my energy has gone fully into them.  

I spent the day before Christmas Eve drinking (something I have never really been into - and don't plan to stay into, thank goodness) and shouting out my apartment window my woes of the world. My truths. My ideas. My disgust. My love. My sorrow. My compassion. And later, my fury, which of course, as usual, went silently spoken and in ways that really, are better saved for a much more thoughtful piece than this quick and cheap end of year Word.

Some of us - people like me or just me - are believers. I have believed in things that do not make sense for most of my life because in my  life, the signs that i took as signs always were really and truly signs - at least to me they were. When i fell in love with my second husband years ago, i found blue jay feathers for months and months. I heard blue jays all around my apartment building. And i had never seen blue jay feathers before. But there it was. That is likely just coincidence - the feathers, the love, the marriage.  But perhaps not.  The trouble with signs is that they can be manipulated. Any sign. Feathers can be placed. Markers can be made. The world can be casually and easily rearranged in an hour or a day. And knowing this, knowing what i know now and after an incredibly sad breakup, I can say that i really no longer believe in signs at all. That signs - all the portents that I used to believe had something - anything - to do with G-d - really have very little to do with anything at all.  And that today, in my darkest hour, I am honestly wondering where G-d is. I never thought I'd say that either - that I would doubt G-d again. It's not that I doubt the existence of a greater diety - i do not. I just want to know why it is that said G-d has forgotten me when really, I did not ever ask for very much.

There is no answer to the last statement. Time works things out, perhaps. Or perhaps not. But it moves forward, we move with it. If there was something to be learned from this last year (or the last seventeen), I am honestly not sure what it was or is. 

But when I do know, I will no doubt take note of it. Write about it. And hope that it makes some difference to someone.