Wow, I am having a blast out here in Palm Springs getting to "know myself." For instance, my usual plaint, or one of them, is, Why can't people leave me alone? Why do people always have to be tugging at my sleeve? Out here, what with the solitude/silence/time away from home, I've segued into, Where is everybody? Nobody ever likes ME. There is just something wrong with me and there always has been, etc. etc.
Similar thoughts shoot off in every direction and though I've finagled a long phone "chat" with practically every friend, family member, and everyone I've ever met, I'm gonna come right out and admit I've started to be lonely for an actual face-to-face conversation. Don't get me wrong, I tracked down the alkies out here first day and have even socialized a bit, but they just want to talk about themselves, which is hard when all you want to do is talk about YOURself, plus are not available on demand, the way I like things, plus the wind has been blowing in a way that has set me ever so slightly on edge.
Thus--"Hi!" I waylaid a complete stranger with Missouri tags as he was getting into his car in the parking lot of Albertson's the other day. "How's it goin," he replied warily, turning on the ignition. "Glad you asked," I said, wedging myself inside his door, "because I'm out here visiting? I've lived in L.A. since 1990 but I'm out here watching my friend Christine's house, she comes from Zermatt, Switzerland, but she's letting me use her house which is really pretty amazing anyone would let me use anything considering I was a giant drunk for many years, sober now though!, and I've had a lot of time to think--you know, aging, death--and all kinds of stuff has come up and what's happening, a LOT, is I am really getting in touch with my narcissistic personality disorder."
The next day I had to take my car in. The guy at Kelley's was explaining the estimate, droning on about oil pans and timing belts when suddenly I leaned in and laid my hand on his arm. "Say," I asked, "did your mother breast-feed you? Because mine DOESN'T REMEMBER, which to me is really emblematic of the way she was my whole life! She barely noticed anything, good or bad! My God, I've been simply starved for love since before forever!"
On top of it, at first I thought I was having all these "revelations" but after three weeks I'm realizing I had the exact same ones twenty years ago, ten years ago, AND five years ago. The same stuff just cycles round again and again...which is not to say it's irrelevant or doesn't need working on, only that when I think NOW I've really gotten to the bottom of things; NOW I'm going to change EVERYTHING, now I'm finally going to GET WELL...probably not.
|OUR LADY OF SOLITUDE|
PALM SPRINGS, CA
And these two young gals (30 and 32) did my heart no end of good. They're based in St. Louis and have been in L.A. for a couple of weeks taking classes. "The Daughters of St. Paul are consecrated women who communicate Christ’s love to all people using all forms of media" and there were no flies on these two. Both of them had been web developers (they spoke lovingly of "code") in their former lives, and Cheryl was toting the one communal ipad (in a very smart red leather case purchased (I pried) at Big Lots).
They are postulants, i.e. undergoing a two-year initial discernment process, and we told each other our stories and I asked in particular how they had come to hear the call (neither of them had remotely thought of entering the convent before the call came), and over salmon and salad and basmati rice (thank you, Bill!), I saw all over again how alike we are, we humans. We all want to feel useful, we all want to make a difference, we all want to put our talents to work, we all want to know how to give and receive love, and we all feel we're falling short.
Such joy, such faith, such freshness, such energy, such youth--how good they were to make the trek on what I suspect was their one afternoon off. Theresa has a blog called Pursued by Truth--you might want to check it out. "We'll pray for you!," they said, taking their leave.
And let's pray for them, too.
|GONE-BY RUSSIAN KALE I COULD NOT BEAR TO THROW OUT|
SO PUT IN A VASE TO CONTEMPLATE FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS