Diapers and Dragons

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Waiting Land

(with apologies to T.S. Eliot)

November is the cruelest month, stripping
Gnarled limbs of autumn's final glory, blending
Festivities and failure, haunting
Memories with what was and is no more.
Autumn brought new delights, shimmering
Forth in blazing array, feeding
Souls with harvest plenty.
Summer surprised us, soothing wounds
Thought too deep to mend; we learned
Life does not stop when one phase ends
And friendship may blossom best in times of pain.
November slices scars half-healed.
I slog through mud and frozen mire under
Sullen skies, and mourn the loss
Of what I thought I had: peace, security--
They fled and in their place are new
And frightening vistas of change.
I clutch my children's hands and face
Days of risk, uncertainty, fear; nights
Of loneliness, sleeplessness, worry.
I shiver in the damp cold of another
Sunless day, and bend my mind
Toward distant possibilities.


I know quite a few people who have months that are their bete noirs, the space of time in which they hunker down and try to pretend the world doesn't actually exist for a space of thirty days. DraftQueen's is October. Joe's is May. A few other people have told me theirs, but I've forgotten them for the moment. These are months in which, for these people, Bad Things Happen and/or Bad Memories Haunt. Thus far in my life, I can't really point to a specific month. Years, yes, (I'm so glad 2008 is over--2009 is a mixed bag, let me tell you) but not so much a generic month.

I'm nervous about November this year. It may decide to turn on me.

November, in Michigan, is a grey month when the leaves have left the trees and the Indian Summer days are very rare and the sky tends toward slate rather than robin's egg blue. Cold rain falls leaving cold mud that occasionally frosts over at night, creating treacherous footing. Leaves lie soggy and forlorn upon the grass, demanding that SOMETHING be done for appearance's sake, but no longer offering ease of raking or mowing.

Yet somehow November has been fairly good to me in the past. November was full of events, good ones, fun ones, brightening the gloomy days. Unfortunately, it is these selfsame events that weigh heavy with me now.

November 4th and 7th were, respectively, my Dating and Legal Marriage anniversaries. Since I'm about to file for divorce, these anniversaries become...problematic. I'm planning on ducking my head and plowing through those days and cuddling my boys at night.

November 25th is DramaBoy's 4th birthday. While I'm excited for him, the birthday now gets mixed in with the whole How Are We Celebrating This? thing that comes along with divorce. One saving grace is that We are getting along quite well and should probably be able to do a birthday party all together as a family. Probably on Sunday...

November 26th is Thanksgiving. This is where things get dicey. I don't know where I will be, who I will see, and how We are going to divide this holiday in terms of the boys. Are We going to try to split the day? One take Thursday and the other Friday? Set up an every-other-year arrangement? I'm just grateful it doesn't fall on DramaBoy's birthday itself this year.

That day is also a certain Special Someone's 40th birthday, and I WON'T be able to see or spend it it with him. Considering this will come at the end of a month where things are looking like I won't get to see him much at all, I find this especially depressing. He's also rather gloomy about turning Forty, and despite my reassurances that he is Not Old, keeps calling himself an Old Man. Sigh. And I won't be around much to shake him out of it. Double sigh.

Oh, and let's not forget the whole end-of-marking-period and Parent Teacher Conferences thing, which is taking up the space between those two groups of dates. I'm already getting Attitude.

I'm trying to buck up and keep a smile on my face, but it's tough going.

Maybe I should take up hibernation. I hear it's quite good for the figure.

7 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

Like you, I have no specific terrible month; however, there are those where you just want to say, "Next, please!" I hope you're able to work all the details out. Hugs and prayers!

Lauren said...

I love Christine Dente's song "Dreaming of April" which is about enduring March (and metaphorically) depression, I guess. Highly recommended.

Stone Fox said...

i agree with you - so so so glad 08 is long gone, 09 has been kind of a crapshoot.

hopefully things will work out a bit better for you and you'll get to see your "Special Old Man" a bit more than you anticipate.

hibernation: eat, eat, eat until you feel like you're going to burst, then go to sleep and when you wake up, you're skinny again... SIGN ME UP!!

Todd said...

My mom is a firm believer in hibernation. She says we're more closely related to bears than we care to admit. According to her, our race is supposed to just sleep until the berries are ready. :)

Heidi said...

I'm pretty fond of November myself but I don't have the potentially negative associations that you do...sending love and hoping it goes more smoothly than expected!!

mom said...

As hard as it is to think about Thanksgiving, don't let the angst spoil the real heart of the day: remembering to be thankful. (I know, I'm preaching to the choir -- the one who often blogs Grace in Small Things and talks about being thankful. Just thought I'd bring it up front for you again!) It's a hard holiday for me, being so far away from the family that are linked in my mind with the feast. But I know you all still love us, and our hearts are linked across the distance. And I'm Thankful for that. Du courage!

GingerB said...

I spent years hating November, finally realizing that my father having died that month, while I was an infant, likely left my mother more depressed that usual that month. Then I thought, hey, I don't have to hate November, but I still sorta did, and then, it lost its sting. Now February, that is a month that deserves to be even shorter.

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