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Category: Relationships

Welcome to Esther!

I'm a Mémé! Otherwise known as a grandmother 🙂 My baby girl had a baby girl on Sunday, September 11. Little Esther is absolutely beautiful, of course - she looks a lot like her mother did as an infant.

Both Momma and baby are healthy. I'm fortunate enough to be in Omaha with them for now, and I'm enjoying every minute of my time here. There's nothing else like the smell of a sweet, clean infant. It's definitely worth all the sleep loss.

We're getting lots of good singing and reading time together. I was very happy to be able to find Pamela Ballingham's Earth Mother Lullabies from Around the World series (volumes I, II, and III) on CD, as I nearly wore out the cassette versions playing them to Katie while carrying her and after she was born. They're a family tradition now!

One of the first books I bought for her? A is for Activist! She's also fond of Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey. We're going to have to find a new copy of Jennifer's Rabbit, as Katie's copy has disappeared, and we're very fond of the illustrated version of Tom Paxton's marvelous song.

Defining Love

Plinky asked, “If you even­tu­al­ly break up with some­one, was it ever true love?”

Divorce and Chil­dren

What sort of sil­ly ques­tion is that? If a per­son dies, was he tru­ly alive? 

Yes, rela­tion­ships based on true love some­times end. That doesn’t mean that they are fail­ures, any more than lives that end are fail­ures. The “hap­pi­ly ever after” thing is for fairy tales, and the idea of “one true love” should stay there as well. 

It’s clear that most peo­ple are only pay­ing lip ser­vice to monogamy now by prac­tic­ing seri­al monogamy, so I don’t see why the­se out­dat­ed ideas hang on to cause mis­ery for so many.

I have been in many rela­tion­ships. I have loved each of those peo­ple. I don’t con­sid­er any of those rela­tion­ships fail­ures, nor do I doubt that I loved those peo­ple sim­ply because we are no longer togeth­er and don’t feel the same way about each oth­er now. I feel some affec­tion, at the very least, towards most of them, and more for some of them. That doesn’t both­er me at all, as a polyamorous per­son. It doesn’t set up any sort of con­flict. I’m not going to act on those feel­ings, because there were valid rea­sons for the end of each rela­tion­ship — but where there was deep love, there’s always some­thing left.

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Promises to Yourself

The most impor­tant promis­es you’ll ever make in this life are the ones you make to your­self. I’ve lost sight of that fact, and bro­ken at least one of my promis­es to myself. I need to remind myself of a few of my promis­es to myself (the­se aren’t all of them, by any means). 

  • I won’t allow any­one to act abu­sive­ly towards me. The rule of thumb is that I shouldn’t accept treat­ment that I wouldn’t want for my child.
  • No part­ner is worth my self-esteem, so I won’t stay with a any­one who tears me down.
  • Any part­ner who tries to come between me and my child is his­to­ry.
  • I deserve a part­ner who is faith­ful to me and our agree­ments in every sense of the word, and I won’t low­er myself by stay­ing with some­one who breaks them. New adden­dum: For­give­ness for infi­deli­ty is (at most!) a one-time thing.
  • My life task right now is to get health­ier in every realm of my life, and I can’t afford to asso­ciate with any­one detri­men­tal to my over­all health.

What promis­es have you made to your­self? How well do you keep them?

Whether…

Such a word that is, indica­tive of choic­es big and small. I’ve faced more change than choice in the past 30 days or so, thanks to a major rela­tion­ship change.1 But there have been choic­es, and there will be yet more choic­es in the future — choic­es that I will be mak­ing alone, for the first time in many years.

Choice, reflect­ed in that word, is the NaBloPo­Mo the­me for March. And I’m mak­ing a change, by mak­ing a choice to return to blog­ging.

I’ve been jour­nal­ing pri­vate­ly the­se past weeks as a spir­i­tu­al prac­tice and have found it reward­ing. I’m not quite doing writer’s pages à la Julia Cameron, but per­haps I’ll return to that dis­ci­pline at some point. To be hon­est, my spir­i­tu­al life has suf­fered great­ly in the past six years, and my writ­ing has suf­fered along with it (as well as my music, needle­work, and every­thing else).

So, per­haps I’ll write about choic­es this mon­th. Or about changes. Or about any­thing else that strikes my fan­cy. I’m just mak­ing a com­mit­ment to post­ing a bit each day, for now.


1 One not yet reflect­ed every­where on my web sites, because it takes a lot of time to track down all men­tions of a 14-year part­ner­ship

Maybe It Isn’t the Flu

Katie seems to be feel­ing a bit bet­ter. She slept through most of the day, and just got up a few min­utes ago (right at the end of my and Sam’s date) feel­ing like she could eat some­thing. Solid food, even! That’s pro­gress. Since she didn’t have any antivi­rals, I don’t think this was real­ly the flu. She should still be much sick­er if it was. I’m not at all unhap­py about that. Read more

What was her name?

While I was read­ing friends’ updates at Face­book today, some­thing remind­ed me of a girl I knew back in high school. She went to my high school, and as far as I know she was in my grad­u­at­ing class. I didn’t meet her at school, though, and I don’t think our paths crossed there. I knew her from church. She intro­duced me to the guy who became my first hus­band (who she had dat­ed in the recent past).

Now I’m dri­ving myself nuts, because I absolute­ly can­not remem­ber her name! I can see her face, plain as day. I remem­ber that she had a some­what uncom­mon last name. I think she had an old­er broth­er who had been a big deal on the foot­ball team a year or three ahead of us. Why can’t I remem­ber her name?

I’m real­ly bad with names, hon­est­ly. A Face­book appli­ca­tion was ask­ing me to ver­i­fy 130+ peo­ple as high school class­mates, and tru­ly, I didn’t rec­og­nize many of them at all. I didn’t remem­ber most of the peo­ple I saw at our five year reunion. After 25 years? I’m hope­less.

May­be I should get my old year­books out and look at Face­book and the year­books at the same time. I don’t know that I’d be any bet­ter that way, either. I need con­text for most peo­ple — not just a face and a name, but also some­thing like “that guy from home­room who was always draw­ing cars in his note­books” or “that sopra­no who bathed in Emer­aude” or “the cute geeky drum­mer who sel­dom made eye con­tact with any­body” (okay, him I’d rec­og­nize, and I do remem­ber his name).

Our year­books aren’t the sort that list­ed people’s activ­i­ties with their pho­tos. You would have to search through all the activ­i­ty list­ings to find out who did what, which is much more annoy­ing.

TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.

Anarchism and Other EssaysEmma Goldman, "Marriage and Love," Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)

TotD: Carter Heyward on Love

Carter Hey­ward:

Love, like truth and beau­ty, is con­crete. Love is not fun­da­men­tal­ly a sweet feel­ing; not, at heart, a mat­ter of sen­ti­ment, attach­ment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effec­tive, a mat­ter of mak­ing rec­i­p­ro­cal and mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion with one’s friends and ene­mies. Love cre­ates right­eous­ness, or jus­tice, here on earth. To make love is to make jus­tice. As advo­cates and activists for jus­tice know, lov­ing involves strug­gle, resis­tance, risk. Peo­ple work­ing today on behalf of wom­en, blacks, les­bians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this coun­try and else­where know that mak­ing jus­tice is not a warm, fuzzy expe­ri­ence. I think also that sex­u­al lovers and good friends know that the most com­pelling rela­tion­ships demand hard work, patience, and a will­ing­ness to endure ten­sions and anx­i­ety in cre­at­ing mutu­al­ly empow­er­ing bonds.

For this rea­son lov­ing involves com­mit­ment. We are not auto­mat­ic lovers of self, oth­ers, world, or God. Love does not just hap­pen. We are not love machi­nes, pup­pets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice – not sim­ply, or nec­es­sar­i­ly, a ratio­nal choice, but rather a will­ing­ness to be present to oth­ers with­out pre­tense or guile. Love is a con­ver­sion to human­i­ty – a will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate with oth­ers in the heal­ing of a bro­ken world and bro­ken lives. Love is the choice to expe­ri­ence life as a mem­ber of the human fam­i­ly, a part­ner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.