It’s 3:30 in the morning, and I am awake. I am awake because Greg got up at 3, kissed me softly, and then slipped out of bed. I am awake because it was cold in the wee hours. We heat with wood and the fire had gone out. I am awake because I have been through menopause and solid sleep in the wee hours is elusive. I am awake because I had a drink last night as Greg and I reviewed our separate days, and the rebound effect of alcohol disrupts my sleep. I am awake because 3:30 in the am is the time that Jim would always check in from the other side. I am awake and listening, but he has run out of advice for me. I am awake because I have an overactive mind, our world is a troubled place right now, and I feel powerless in what I, as a lone person, can do to fix it. And, finally, I am awake because, rather than fight it, I drank a glass of water, poured a cup of coffee, and just accepted the fact that I am awake.
Greg and I come from very different backgrounds. He was raised in a patriarchal religion and was told from a very young age that he would grow up to be head of the household. I come from a strong line of matriarchs, and head of the household is just an IRS category that I was allowed to use when I was no longer a qualified widow, but I still could list Jasper as an exemption. Greg and I do not have a shared history, we both desperately want a “settled relationship”, yet to have that requires being able to take certain aspects for granted. This is hard to do when you are still learning who the other person is, what they believe, what their hot buttons and brick walls are. I have learned that I cannot tell Greg what to do with his time and energy. He is learning that I will snap at anything that reeks of patriarchy. We are both fiercely independent people, yet we have chosen and committed to an interdependence on each other for as long as we both shall live.
Yesterday, I participated in the Women’s March on the Palouse. I started a few weeks ago knitting hats for friends that were participating. I was ambivalent about marching myself. I did not want to stand against something. I did that in the voting booth last November, and that was not effective. I wanted to be able to march for something. So, I decided to march for women’s health care and reproductive rights. I marched for wage equality. I marched for the human rights that seem so elusive to the marginalized sectors of our society. I marched as an alternative to violence and fear. I marched because I believe that love is more powerful than hate. I marched because the opposite of love is not hate, it is simply not caring. And I care. Deeply. It is who I am. And yesterday, I needed to know that I am not alone in that caring. I am so not alone. I was part of a vast sea of caring.
I have much more to say. I could write full posts generated from each sentence above. I have time. I am awake.