Certain things happen over and over again, even if you don’t want them to. Or even if you want them to, they happen very often at the most surprising time– or at least sooner than you would like. Or later. Like weather does.
- Last Spring and This Winter
What you see in the large image is what the shop looked like about 10 weeks after we moved to this remote cabin about 800 feet up in the Olympic National Forest foothills. A perfect spot for making art and carving bowls. The boxes you see in there are unpacked items that had not yet found a good place to land, and the mess in the carport was stuff left from the previous tenant(s) who have enjoyed this property over its forty some years of existence. The picnic table is sitting at that odd angle with its nearest side missing its bench board, because of the many times the driveway there has been badly flooded with run-off from the high mountains over to the left. In rainy seasons, endless water comes from those hillsides, and in spring snow melt makes it even more dramatic. The picnic table just kept sinking and sinking, and its big bolts rusted out and the wood expanded and contracted and then split, leaving the bench on the ground and rusty bolts sticking up at people contemplating finding a seat. I find this table indispensable for outdoor carving and other messy projects. I am indebted to the landlord for refusing to move that table (as if anyone could move it without simply sawing it up and burning it in the fire pit.) He knew how handy it always had been.
As you see, July turned into January of the following year, and the records will show that we had a record breaking winter storm during the first part of January which dumped well over a foot of snow all over the place.. over our trees (some of the well over 100 feet and with limbs stretching well over fifteen feet laterally, with lots of good surface footage to collect heavy loads of snow), and piled up an extra-huge layer of white on the picnic table. Attatched to the building there are tarps to direct the wet or frozen material from the eaves to somewhere outside the unsealed base of the building. The floors are not graded, and water likes to run inside. It is a garage, after all, most people think!
I have been maintaining two moats that go abreast of the building– the one of the left is currently a swiftly running river which, by human design, skirts the underpinnings of the building and sends the rushing water off into the woods as it slopes down behind. On the right side is a smaller moat leading from the flood-prone graveled area to a groove dug around the periphery of the carport, which also (if debris is kept clear) moves toward the back of the building and then down the gorge to the right. I have no idea where it goes from there, but am just happy to see it not staying near my shop for any length of time.
The cycle of seasons is clearly a life-principle that reminds us mortals that there are systems that we don’t control. And the same sorts of things happen in all realms of life, for better or worse.
The repeat of relationship dysfunctions insists on reappearing time and time again. Even through generations, things happen a certain way because they ALWAYS happened that way in a given family. Opening one’s eyes to see the patterns is very difficult. And while it is difficult to understand the pattern as regards other people in an “off” relationship, it is nearly impossible to get any objectivity as to one’s own patterns within the cycle.
Dance of Anger is a helpful book. Case studies on close relationships that are awry– and the story of how certain people approached mending this.
I am by nature a person who abandons things I cannot solve. Really. No wonder I have several really special friends who have accused me of being disloyal and abandoning them. Well, it was out of self-preservation. How did I get into these relationships? Out of caring for the good things in these worthwhile and excellent people. But I can not weather the storms that arise in these particular close relationships– not with the tools I currently have. How long would it take to teach a 74 year old woman new tricks?
Actually, I have had professional counsel that leaving these relationships alone was a good move– because the gyrations of keeping them alive was going to make me nuts. I was told that the other party, in each case, was one that needed therapy also, and that was not something I could do for them. And they would not. One of the very serious mistakes I have made over and over again is choosing just the kinds of interesting folks who will get into this interplay with me– and it’s likely because it is a pattern that I grew up with and thought was normal. I thought it was just natural to be bullheaded and to have close relatives who were also bullheaded and self-absorbed. (Not a good combo if two such ones try to collaborate without some professional coaching.)
So, I need reworking — but I’m too tired now to do it. (the bullheaded part of me is insisting that that is true, and my aches say amen.)
I hope others will get smart soon and find out soon enough what is causing a disagreeable and disheartening demise of good friendships and other relationships. Identifying the pattern is the biggest part of stopping the cycle.
It can, happily, work the other way. I like the way bread teaches you how to handle it so that the loaf comes out smelling and tasting exactly perfect– a win win. You make mistakes, but you adjust…and you read about yeast and flour and heat and timing and try again. In a while, you wonder how you didn’t make a good loaf of bread! You forget the clumbsies you committed because you and the bread have created a cooperative give and take that works for both of you and produces something special.
May the readers of this enjoy mostly good cycles and learn to make the most of them. Like all that snow in the small picture above… it makes the green happen next spring. And the table gets lower and lower. Soon a bench will be moot.