Lost and found

One of the afflictions of any age, but more as I get older, is the people one is forced to leave behind.  Of course, death is the final leave-taking; my brother and I washed my father’s body some hours after his death, and no moment – not his service, not walking away from the grave when his ashes were interred – was more definite than zipping up the bag over his already shrinking but still beloved face.  Each time I leave my mother on one of my world-girdling trips, I am aware of ‘This could be the last time’, even though she is as strong as Queen Anne’s Lace.  Of course it could be my plane that goes down first, and such leaving could happen anytime with anyone, but you feel this more with your mother than with anyone, do you not?

But I am talking something more prosaic here than those fateful footfalls or the moment you leave you parent’s house and start building a life of your own. This calls to mind Robert Frost’s definition of ‘home’: It is the place that when you have to go there, they have to take you in. As long as your parents’ house is still this place, you have not yet built a true home of spirit.  Though I left their home in my early 20’s and worked my way through several properties and marriages, it was my early 50’s before their house was not my ultimate place of refuge.  For some this never changes, and in truth, I am now back in that place in a way, but now I am the keeper of this ultimate place of refuge for myself and my daughter and perhaps my wife – I’ll have to ask her when next I am home.

But the complex braid of a life means that people wind in and out.  Last autumn, I had been playing music with a blind friend; music is a large part of his life, but once every couple of weeks was all I could manage.  Then I lost a key employee, and for the last nine months it has been business 24-7 as we interviewed, hired, trained, and retooled for new directions – and music went by the wayside.  His life is so different from mine – how do I call up now and say, ‘Sorry, had to discard you for a while, but now I can come back until the next crisis’?

Within the business, to narrow my range still further, there are ‘special needs’ students who arrive at our doorstep who, if they had showed up just a couple of years earlier and perhaps even a few years later, could have been accommodated within the school.  I hate to lose these people, but each phase of our development has its requirements, and they are not all of my choosing. This is most poignant when it involves a teacher – only a few of the students have the capabilities of being a teacher, and fewer still attempt it, and fewer still stick it through. When one of those flies the coop close to the finish line, it is a real emotional loss.

Many of these people, casting me in the role of parent, do not realize how much I am also invested in them, and have that innocent cruelty of newly adult children as they cast off in another direction (‘how sharper than a serpent’s tooth…’).  I feel these losses terribly, and sometimes say things I regret in the heat of departure, as fathers will.  I just remet one of these after a five-year hiatus in which she studiously avoided me.  It was an immediate reunion, as I hoped it might be – enough time had passed and our easy humor retooled itself immediately.  Another teacher, fallen from grace as her personal life unraveled, is now back in the fold and welcome.  I wish all those misfires could return at the right time for re-integration, but the moving finger braids and rebraids and life is a mass of dreads under a red, yellow and green knit cap.  You cannot put a brush through it to find them again, and some opportunities are simply and sadly lost forever.

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3 Responses to “Lost and found”

  1. neil Says:

    i find myself strangely resonating with this, particularly as i imagine the ‘back story’ to those alluded to later.
    i came to bodywork relatively later in my life, and then undertook an accelerated program of learning, dedication and practise around the world as i became a devoted somanaut.
    Having received the 10 sessions, and then learning the science, art and philosophy (insideSI) of delivering 12 sessions, i have found that integration is not as linear and as smooth as i might have expected.
    It has more likely been a dis-integration first or defragmentation, (forgive me), as issues of absence, emptiness and need, fear, frustation, want, longing and desire have all required attention. I find myself considering events, and myself, as if from a third person as i have dealt and mis-dealt with emotions when they arose; emotions that not long ago would have been very easily suppressed in a shy, insecure and under nourished soma.
    As i went through the SI process, i think i immersed myself in these new sensations and wallowed in them, thinking this is what i had been missing. But as i ran the gamut of these new feelings and sensations, i was really only considering myself. I dived deep into an unexplored soul to find meaning and purpose, which certainly challenged relationships, friends and family as i struggled to engage fully and sure footedly with my immediate world through new eyes (including eye in the spiritual sense).
    Now i find myself ‘re-integrating’ myself, from the ashes if you will allow, and now understand the lessons learned. Happy and humble, i really value this recent roller coaster as i am now more aware and sensitive to similar events as they might arise in my own clients.
    i am not sure if this was unknowingly cathartic as i re-read this; but i am intending to highlight that the SI process, whether experiencing or delivering, will certainly throw up challenges and is only a part of the journey— and not the elixir to a freedom from pain as soon as the head is put on. Like a teenager preparing to enter adulthood, a rebellious stage is essential before maturation; chaos before the calm; integration-disintegration-reintegration has been my personal journey.

  2. julianaotter Says:

    “life is a mass of dreads under a red, yellow and green knit cap. You cannot put a brush through it to find them again, and some opportunities are simply and sadly lost forever.” Indeed.

  3. julianaotter Says:

    “chaos before the calm; integration-disintegration-reintegration”~re interesting

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