Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making the Vague Bearable

I got up on that little stage and expressed my motherhood and then sat down and listened while other women expressed theirs, and then I and a few of my friends who had come went out for a drink and chatter and laughter. I had an elderflower gimlet and a few calamari and some french fries and lots of laughs. It was a good night.

I had some really good news today about a job -- a really good job that will help to -- well, not help, but rather -- sustain me. Negotiating is still in the works, so I'm not going to say much more, but it's a flexible job that will enable me to be here for my kids and particularly Sophie. I am beyond grateful, sort of hushed by the whole possibility. I guess I'll slip in here that I'm going through a big transition right now, a divorce, to be blunt. Is a blog really the place to say this? Perhaps not. Despite what you think you know of me, you must know that it's not all, and there are certain things about my life that I'm just not going to write about -- ever.

I will include a poem, though, because poetry makes the vague bearable.

Failing and Flying

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven


  1. I am glad the event went well. I knew you would. I will refrain from asking about its airing again as you'll tell us and my questions come out all wrong. The poem is brilliant and I am sorry as you know. I will support you in any way that is helpful to you. Congratulations on this new job!! I can't wait to hear more when you're ready. Love.

    1. Thanks, Joanne, for all your kind words and support. The event is still available for viewing at this link:

  2. You continue to name the world like an inhabitant of the first garden, one of two, a frontiers woman against a beginning world , forging a path by naming . Thank you

    1. Wow. That is one of the best "comments" I've ever received. Thank you, Minton!

  3. I was afraid I would miss watching your presentation because it was the dead of night in these parts during the livestreaming. Fortunately, I caught the recording of it just now. You were, as I anticipated, just superb, conveying, right down to the seamy side, what it's like to raise a severely disabled adult child. And adding just the right touch of humor to temper the tragedy of it.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your divorce. I had a hunch that was in the works from your subtle hints over the past few months.

    Wishing you the strength to cope with the challenges it will bring and certain you will do so admirably.

    1. Thank you! I know you can totally relate to all things wild and seamy!

  4. I watched you last night, live, as you spoke on the stage. You were beautiful and calm and funny and sharp. In other words- you were you.
    No one on this earth like you. You deserve all good things and you are not anywhere near the end of your triumph, although certain things may be ending, as certain things sometimes do. You are at the beginning of other triumphs and I think of your soaring, knowing now just exactly how far to stay away from that sun so that your wings do not ever melt.

  5. I watched it online and thought you were wonderful!

  6. I just watched you "soar" onstage and I remembered when this actually happened. I marveled then, as now, as to how you do it. I think it is probably the "why" you do it that explains the "how". I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a divorce and wish the best for all of you.


  7. Reading other people's comments I see that I could have watched this live. I so wish I'd gotten here earlier so I could do that! Is it on YouTube?

    Wonderful news about the job. I'm so happy for you.

    I was going to type that I was sorry to hear about the divorce, but honestly, I can't say that. Sometimes divorce is the best thing, even if painful and awful in the short term. In any case I support you all the way. I guess I kind of knew, without really knowing, that something like that was going on.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support, Steve! I believe the Expressing Motherhood show is still up and available to watch. Here's the link:

    2. Divorce is tough, but can be a very good thing in the end. It was for me. Hope the same for you. Hang in.

  8. So much love your way.

    My divorce saved me. It was hard as hell but--you are remarkable and I watched this morning and you are such a light. On stage and off.

    1. Thank you, Ramona Quimby. Your words mean so much to me --

  9. I couldn't figure out how to watch it. Shit. I'll keep trying though. Did I mention I'm not so good with computer stuff. I know, I'm sure it comes as a shock:)

    I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. It's just hard but it does get better. When you're going through hell, keep going.

    Sending hugs Elizabeth. Even though we've never met, I consider you a friend. Take care.

    1. Maybe there's a problem with watching in Canada? No worries, though, lily cedar. Thank you for your kind words. I know you as friend for many, many years.

  10. Your talk was wonderful, but the best part of it was just hearing your voice. It's lovely and it makes you seem so much more real.

    Your marriage ending? I've been thinking for a long time that it was approaching. It will be hard, like ending and beginning - death and birth and birth and death.
    I think a blog is a fine place to share such things. Well, your blog is because you are surrounded with so many people here who care for you deeply. I do. I agree that some things are not appropriate for a blog, but thank you for trusting us with this one, it was brave of you. I'll be thinking of you and all of your family, with love.

    1. Thank you, liv. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful words.

  11. Elizabeth, I can't get to your show online at the website, but maybe it will show up somewhere else soon.

    And the new job, wow, congratulations! You will rock that, I know it! And here's to work that sustains, yes and yes!

    I knew you were going through some kind of big transition and I suspected maybe divorce from some things you've said. All I can say besides how very brave you are's one foot in front of the other, keep moving. Much love to you. You're in my thoughts and my heart. If you need a high desert getaway, I'm here for you.

  12. I haven't seen the show but know you were wonderful, and I'm beyond thrilled at the job news and can't wait to hear more. As for the divorce news, slipped in among the good, well, maybe it too is for the good, as it certainly seems everything is flowing forward, as things do when freed. My love to you.

  13. Sorry I missed your performance on Babble. I gather it was only good for 24 hrs. The link took me to "the strip club tour." Booties were shaking ;oD I believe Ms Moon, that "You were beautiful and calm and funny and sharp," there as you are here.

    Sorry to have the divorce situation confirmed. As with others, I suspected something was up. We will be thinking of you all and holding you in our hearts, wishing for the best outcome for you all.

    Looking forward to good news re: the new job opportunity. Sending hugs from here. x0x0 N2

  14. I couldn't watch your show (yes, I checked on the right date, my Sunday morning, but my internet is too slow or something). I'm very happy for the job possibility, and very sorry about the difficulties in your personal life. I believe a blog is a good place to share stories that only belong to us. Hugs.



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