Tuesday, March 11, 2008
It used to be that my whole life was about this attachment thing. I used to joke that anything or anyone I ever let go of had scratch marks all over it. I would think it was a sign of love, a sign of well-to-do-ness. I loved my Mustang, my one and only, champagne coloured, I went out and bought a whole outfit, including shoes, to match the Mustang. I thought I was made in my Mustang. That feeling lasted about a week.
Is it a youthful thing, then, this attachment? I would yearn for the country of my birth so badly, I was rarely happy where I actually placed my feet. I dreamed of living somewhere else, being anywhere else but here and now.
I was scared to let go of a sad marriage or a sorry relationship, what would be at the other side of it? Fear of the unknown was huge to me. It was better to be in something I knew than to face the stark horror of the yawning chasm.
But now I have found the unknown is the best place to be. The very edge of my comfort zone is the happiest place.
I got to mulling all of this over today, someone asked me how it was to live in the place where I am at the moment when absolutely none of the stuff in this house is mine. It is pretty stuff, expensive stuff, but all that I own here are my laptop and my books and my clothes.
"Immensely freeing," I responded, "I'm not attached to anything here".
I thought I was attached to my house in Toronto, the one I sold last May. I had invested time and money and love in that house. But really what it all boiled down to was that I couldn't love a house. I could love the various events that took place there, the dinner parties and the brunches and the lovers. I am surprised by how much I don't miss the house itself. No attachment.
I'm attached to my daughters, I would venture, and to my granddaughter. But I find it hard to get attached to any potential partner, no matter how attractive or interesting. And friends have come and gone over the years, some have died, others have moved on or I have moved from them. I cherish the long term friends but attachment? I don't think so. Not really.
I'm even less attached to outcomes, I don't chase possibility or being somewhere and being seen. I live inside my own head more. It's becoming a better place. I took away the alcohol and the nicotine to clear out more space. I filled it with books and pictures and short stories and poems and some crafty things and some of the old songs and stories of my grandparents. And some pictures too, mainly of the ocean. We're all comfy in there. I could divest myself of the cream buns and the sausages perhaps. I can dream of running again sometimes, another half-marathon. Or about the play I've been asked to write. Or the next novel.
That's one of the hidden pleasures of getting older. This freedom. This non-attachment. Just letting life drift around one's ankles. Less fighting, less importance placed on what can't be changed.
It is truly a feeling of getting to know oneself all over again and not giving a damn what anyone else thinks. I like it. I really do.
Picture is of St. Vincent's, Newfoundland where the whales come in to play.