Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Turning Towards

Konnichiwa! It's been a while. I must thank those of you who have contacted me wondering when the next post would be's nice to be missed. I really don't have much of an excuse except to say that I just didn't feel like writing for the last month. And I love writing. For some reason, for the last few weeks, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

I miss home...not just the home in the states and its insane conveniences (underwear in my size, a vast array of non-fugly shoes, decent pizza) but also the home in my heart. I miss my family and friends in the U.S. But most of all, I miss my husband immensely.

Many of you know that he has been deployed to the Middle East for many months and has quite a few to go. In typical nancyb fashion, I was super organized the first few months of single parenthood. I planned out meals in advance, laundered clothes regularly, and filled the wipe-off activity board on the back of the front door with oodles of Best Laid Plans.

Five months teenager is reminding me to go to the grocery store in the same fashion I nag her to do her homework. I can barely open the door to my laundry room, it's so overstuffed with piles of dirty laundry. The blank activity board constantly reminds me that Entropy, the natural turning of order towards disorder, is not just a scientific theory.

Even though this may be a "natural" process, it still bothers me. This "turning towards" a new state of being can be adventuresome when it means shrugging off the expectations of a former way of life and discovering the pleasures of a new culture, a new way of living. I like getting lost from order because I am generally at ease with chaos. Afterall, this is one of the main reasons I love living in Japan.

Ah, but turning towards something invariably means you are turning away from something else. When chaos means a turning away from an ordered heart...that is a different story. My husband's love is like a well organized shelf in my heart. I know where his unending patience goes, his goofy humour, his amazing intellect, his undying commitment to me and the girls. Every day, I reach in there for more provisions and they are always in the same place--I can find them without even looking.

Some people may get caught up with creating immaculately stocked pantries or closets with rows and rows of designer handbags and shoes all displayed in picture perfect symmetry. Whatever. I know what true luxury is.

Recently, I have found that distance does nothing to diminish or rearrange the space this type of extravagance creates in the human heart. But distance does seem to change how to access it...I get so caught up in keeping up with the girls and dinner and work and volunteer projects, that I sometimes forget to go there. Without hugs and face to face contact, I am not as easily reminded to enter that space and take what I need. I start to rely on my own stores of strength, in my own private rooms. That feels empowering--for a little while.

Then suddenly, life just seems chaotic and out of control. Nothing makes much sense.

So now I am faced with making sense of it...turning away from the chaos and towards the inherent order within it. Military life can be hard but the personal hardships it creates force me to seek what is rock solid in my real life. The laundry might take over, the dinner might not be home cooked, but at least I know that I can depend on my husband no matter what. He is always there even when he is not. I cherish that dependence and I literally ache for its return...

And, hopefully, when it does return, it will want to throw a load in and whip up a gourmet meal.