Eight Days Till Takeoff

The crazy days are upon us. House partially packed (but not nearly enough). A big red X on the calendar for when Zack and I will relocate to our rental in Garrison, leaving our furniture and most of our belongings behind. We’ll be in hangtime for two weeks, waiting for the closings, the movings, the paper-signings and then the sweet relief of being home in a home we don’t know at all.

I’m floating on a jetstream of adrenalin and hope, a magic carpet woven slowly and carefully in these years of grief, believing I would find my way out. And then slowly, one step at a time, I am.

I feel so much dropping away, mostly my sense of weakness and frailty. I have new legs, literally, as I’ve just started greetings each morning with a walk/run, which brings tears to my eyes because I’ve missed it so much. But I just. Wasn’t. Able. to do it for so long. I could not take care of myself. It was another piece of too much to do when life was so scary and loss was so near.

I feel bright, alert, and these flawless summer days—no humidity, rampant sunshine—are adding to my sense of everything being just right.

How is it that the move is so tied to my movement away from all I’ve lost? It’s surprising to live it so potently.

The woman I was when I bought this apartment — bowed by my divorce, terrified about being a single mother, driven to succeed at my job as my only way to prove my worth to myself — is gone. I feel like my sleek and shiny DVF has been replaced by a relaxed Eileen Fisher. I’m more floaty, more easy, more natural. Still intense: that’s my hallmark, it will never go away, and for that I am glad. But maybe, just maybe, I’ve learned not to turn the intensity on myself and light the match. Maybe.

In my new gardens (and yes, there will be plenty of pictures soon), I will walk every morning and sing a silent prayer to my parents. I will name all the blooms—names they taught me—and imagine what I will plant there next. My son and I will walk outside the fence around our house (protecting the gardens from the deer), down to the boggy creek. We will hunt for frogs and toads, and throw rocks into the water until we get bored, which always takes longer than you’d think. I will commute to work on a train that rides along the glorious Hudson River, a body of water whose width and depth and age bring me a profound sense of rightness and peace, a reminder that I am temporary, as are my concerns. But my love and pleasure of the moment, of the world, of the days, is eternal in its way.

I will drop to my knees and weep, then meditate, in my little room set up just for meditation, a luxury that means more to me than I can express. I will sit quietly with my eyes closed and feel the world do its work around me: birds, leaves in the trees, the occasional car on the gravel road. The richness of the silence here will feed my soul.

I have so much gratitude, directed nowhere in particular. I feel so grateful to get to live this life, to get to survive heartbreak, to walk away from a scarred canyon and enter the woods. To live and to learn and to love, all such wonderful gifts, gifts that can be hard to see in the noise and bustle of getting from Here to There in NYC. At least for me they are.

I am walking into my own private Namaste. I don’t kid myself that everything will be rosy and swell, but I do know my heart and my soul will be more at peace. And with that as my foundation, my son and I can begin again and build ourselves a lovely little life embraced by nature and a small community of folks we can call friends. I will feel closer to the idea of life that matters most to me, and that is: pay attention, give thanks, be loved.

Eight days until the journey begins! Though this journey is many, many, many years—and many tears—in the making.

About stacy

I am a writer, author, mother, former magazine editor (last at Redbook), optimist, and, above all, a searcher. I'm still searching for whom I'm really meant to be, after a series of very jarring losses: a divorce and house disaster that led to a book (Falling Apart In One Piece); a week after the book came out, my parents suddenly fell gravely ill, I resigned from my job (and, apparently, my career), my son went into crisis, my parents then rapidly died four weeks apart, and my boyfriend (who had moved in with me and my son just weeks before the book came out) began the painful journey of realizing we couldn't make our relationship work (that story unfolded on this blog). Since then I've been trying to figure out what's next. Or, in other words, how to fill in the blanks.
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11 Responses to Eight Days Till Takeoff

  1. Rita says:

    Oh, Stacy–It made me feel so good to read this. Isn’t it so maddening (and perfect) that every journey is made just one step at a time? But some of them are definitely bigger steps than others. I’m sure your strengthened legs will be able to carry you well through the one you’re about to take. So looking forward to reading the next chapter.

  2. Jill Salahub says:

    This, “I have so much gratitude, directed nowhere in particular,” yes this is what it is to be alive isn’t it?, to be touched, so much gratitude and you couldn’t possibly know where to even put it because it’s everywhere, for everything, and yet not attached, a sort of vast emptiness. Eight days, forever, right now.

  3. Yes, there is nothing like that general sense of gratitude, especially when it has reappeared after a long absence. It does feel like the clouds moving away from the sun, or the curtains opening. Thanks for reminding me how that does happen!

  4. Jodi Carter says:

    So thankful for your willingness to share the so much of the pain as well as the hope of your experiences, Stacy. I’m cheering you on here in Minnesota…..I believe that this next step will offer some peace as well as a new layer of bricks to the foundation of your life with your son.

    Blessings to you!

  5. Rita Arens says:

    When I left Chicago, I was horribly depressed. I spent three months in my parents’ basement working a temp job, writing my unpublished first novel and saving money so I could get out of my parents’ basement. I had no intention of moving to Kansas City until I drove down to visit my best friend in Lawrence and instantly realized what I really wanted was not a cross-country move to California but just a new start. I didn’t know anyone in Kansas City and the first few weeks were lonely, but even then Kansas City felt like home in weeks when I never felt at home in Chicago in a year and a half. The act of leaving Chicago was good for me, even though now I love to visit there. It wasn’t the city’s fault; it was not the right place for me at that vulnerable time of my life. I highly believe in the value of a change of scenery and of having space and green space and water nearby. I’m so excited for you!

  6. “Walking in my own private namaste.” Very nice. This was a lovely read, Stacey.

  7. Sherry says:

    According to the calendar, you should have “taken off” by now! Hope it was a great experience, without any of those annoying stressors like the moving van breaking down or your favorite antique getting broken in transit. Looking forward to hear about your safe, happy and peaceful landing in Garrison.

  8. teamgloria says:

    you must be there now – how exciting and terrifying and exhilarating and right.

    and yes – it takes much longer than you think to get bored hanging out by a river – yes – yes – yes – a new life indeed

    so happy for you.

    *wavingfromlosangeles*

    _tg x

  9. Sharing your vulnerability, your losses, your wins- your hopes and what you treasure is what blogging is all about. Thank you for continuing to write your words. I was just dropping by to say thank you, for being a BlogHer reviewer for the VOTY. ( I realize you are so much more to BlogHer.. ) instead of spending my weekend bubbling with my excitement as being honored as a VOTY, I have been visiting all of the blogs of past VOTY reading wonderful , wonderful words and soaking it all in, and thanking reviewers like you that were up to the tough task of reading the many, many submissions.

    Although I have been lucky to write a lot lately, I have never met any other bloggers! This will be my first blog event, and this honor means so much more knowing it was for writing, that I was chosen. Thank you! And love your blog, I will be back to see pictures of the new gardens!

    • stacy says:

      Suzanne, so exciting that you will be at the conference, and have both the experience of meeting so many bloggers, and then the thrill of reading your words for VOTY. Congrats!! And thanks for stopping by. See you soon!

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