The holidays, winter, spring all swung by. I was aware of some things, mostly things with deadlines. It was, though, a season that will probably never replicate itself in the amount of work, focus, excitement, anxiety and thrill. And as always, humanity comes blundering along making a mess out of a carefully articulated, organized plan. To schluff off holidays and seasons is no mean feat; preparing a debut a New York's Carnegie Hall while teaching a full time schedule were my two focuses. There was no time to focus on how I was feeling in the Grief Process. And it felt right, to fully focus on what was upcoming, rather than suffer the past again and again, dulling the colors of life--the colors where I live in the winter and early spring are a) grey, the sky b) brown, the skeletons of trees c) black, the long nights.
In and out of the rehearsal process, my father would come to mind. Am I working hard enough? Am I giving enough time to my classes and my students? Don't twirl. That's a family saying for don't spin out of control. Surprisingly enough, I was so busy, that I kept things going forward, dividing my time between practicing and teaching and grading. I was able to set aside my grief because I had not choice, but it was a good--no, it was a great feeling. Life was blossoming. I splurged on a bespoke gown and met a friend in designer Garo Sparo. Mind you, Trio Lorca usually performs in black... with all that's happened and ALLLLLLLLL the black I've been wearing, I wasn't going to wear black. Garo chose a hematite, a steel grey fabric, liquid in the way it falls. He wanted to know how I got the gig at Carnegie which ended up including my recovering the deaths of my parents so recently. We made a connection.
After a few quick trips to NY for fittings, all was well in that department. I became okay about the price of the gown and the symbolism behind it. The actual trip and concert itself was a breeze. It was a thrill, and I felt part of myself open up again, like a flower finally getting watered. I stepped into my old personality, the one before my job stomped it out of me. Floating on stage at Carnegie, singing my ass off, and then meeting our audience and friends at a club across the street. I had invited a lot of people to try and take the place of my parents. My father's closest friends were there and made me cry with gratitude; friends from high school, those who were inseparable from me during the dying and death of my father. My husband, a tower of love and strength then...was beaming in the audience and radiating afterward at the after party. My beloved aunt and uncle, along with cousins were also there.
Of all the people that travelled to celebrate and be with Trio Lorca, there were a number of people noticeably absent--absent in the entire process, from beginning concerts to supportive elements, to even a casual Facebook message to attending the Pre-Carnegie concert. These were the people formally our tight circle of friends, our urban family. Its spiral to nothingness began slowly but honestly. When I decided to stop drinking alcohol, these friends responded as if they hadn't heard, and kept on with their usual practices and hangouts, topics of discussion and by the end of the night, mind-numbing talk about nothing. I got the impression they thought my change didn't affect them, except "please don't use our nice wine glasses for the coke you brought." Karl and I continued for a while to gather with our friends, sit and listen to talk about all things wine and spirits, until the time came for me to let Karl know I wasn't gong to go anymore, but he certainly could. He went for a while. They seemed to accept his presence but never asked about me. And then my father was dying. These people backed away so fast they knocked their chairs over. No messages of hope, thinking of you, how's your sobriety with so much stress? My childhood friends were there to help me stand up, to function, with words of support, funny cards, group breakfasts. Just what I needed when going through two major life changes at once. While Karl occasionally posted info to our former circle, no cards were sent, nor messages or even phone calls on the lonely nights I was in the hospital with my dying dad. What a devastating time. To fight staying sober, to lose a ten year old circle of friends, and to be with my father as he dies. When he died, no flowers or cards came to the service. No phone calls to Karl. I cut my ties to those people at that moment, when I had needed them the most they played dumb. I lost my parents, I lost my friends. And there I was, trying to figure it all out. I give my childhood friends the credit for saving my life--they offered their homes for me to stay, let me be a quiet extra family member in some cases.
Now these former friends have celebrated the birth of two babies. And the weird thing is, I see pictures on social media. I recognized the homes, the smiles, the people... All so happy without me and Karl there. Not invited to baby showers, but seeing the pictures. I ran into one of these folks and with a big smile on her face, said, "We should really get together for dinner sometime!" A friend, a close friend I though, was at the most recent baby shower, and she never told me she was even in town. Do they ever wonder if they should invite us? What would that whole thing sound like?
Am I whining? I don't know. I'm trying to figure out why they were incredibly insensitive at these major turning points in my life. And why, when I tried to explain where I was coming from, inviting them over to dinner to talk about it....everyone declined my invitation. That was the moment for me when I had to let them go. I thought I'd come to terms with this loss until this weekend when the new baby was born. Do I want to go and attempt some sort of reconciliation, to try to recapture an earlier time? I think not. I too have grown; away from boozy parties, now exclusive. Grovelling to be let us back into the group that excluded me ? mmmm. No. I have found a newer set of friends, while a very different make up and a distinct lack of babies, i can be exactly who I am, and not be treated like a naughty child (don't use the nice glasses for your coke). In addition to my childhood friends back east the friends here don't see me as a victim but as a strong woman who's overcome a lot of difficulty, and who's triumphed by making my debut at Carnegie Hall and am contracted to write a book. Maybe I'll never know why, but I sure do need to let it go. Easier said than done.
- In this blog I have created a haven, a place I allow my deepest emotions to go and sit. I can write easily about what I’ve accomplished. This biography I can recite in my sleep. But I’ve always written poetry and in diaries since I was a teenager. I continued to write poetry in my journals, and not until 2006 did I show them to anyone. I generally write every day, at the present in memoir form. I haven’t written poetry since my mother died in January, 2007. I didn’t write at all between her death and the death of my father three years later in January, 2010. On my father’s birthday in March, 2010, I began this blog, to honor my father and to help me grieve. But I also desperately needed to write, and this stream of conscious style emerged. I needed to find my organic voice.