It was between Christmas and New Years 1998 that I separated. The yellow dream kitchen was just finished. I knew it would be hard. I had no idea.
Correcting myself, I knew it would be hard initially. And for some time. But I pictured myself starting LIVING eventually. A different life. Happier. More me. A me I could sense deep inside me waiting to be let out. Soul. Body. I was so sure of it. Positive.
But completely wrong.
Nothing went my way. Not in any sense. I was waiting for the turning point. Expecting it. Looking for it. Around every corner. That’s what they say, right? And that’s the story in every story. After rain comes sun. The turning point will come. When everything will be elucidated. The hardships explained. Making sense. Your ship comes in, someone offers you a hand to get onboard, you take it and you sail away in a good wind.
When I made that move during the holidays 1998 I felt like I was standing on a diving board. The 10 meter one. I didn’t have a choice any more. I had to jump. Hoping there was water in-under.
It wasn’t. I landed on the hard grey concrete and broke every bone in my body.
They don’t do that in the stories, do they? Or is it that those stories never get told. They are too painful. And too shameful.
I became a hermit. Was for the longest time. Shying away from people. Avoiding questions. Eye contact. Until I got cancer and had to start asking for help.
It was at Christmas time. As well. I’ve had very many dramatic Holidays. For a lot of years my anxiety started building up in November. What will happen this year? Which catastrophe is lurking in the weeks ahead? The colour red made me feel sick. I couldn’t listen to Christmas music. Decorations and tree for as short time as possible.
This year something is different though. I think it started already last year. It’s not that my ship has sailed in, finally. Nothing like that.
They say time heals. I don’t think that’s entirely true. The place where grief is located in our brains doesn’t have a time perspective.
The expression “time heals” often includes a ship sailing in. A positive turning point facilitating healing. The winds changing in favour for you.
If you don’t get that kind of fortunate help from life circumstances, work is what’s needed. Therapeutic work. Which, of course, always is a good idea. I’ve worked a lot with most of my issues over the years. But something was missing. And I knew what.
I needed to write the story of me and my long time life partner. I needed to write our saga.
Late summer and fall 2016 I was sitting in my sun chair at my west wall. Listening to a piece of music written by a talented young man that I know. I had been singing that wordless music already, and I knew from the start I wanted to write lyrics for it.
In the late sun I struggled with finding the right words. Catching the images. The feeling of them. The narrative.
It was hard work. Painful. Difficult. But there was also the lightness. The smiles.The good days. After many weeks I had written our story in all it’s complexity. From the beautiful beginning to the sad end. It was the closure I needed. Not until then, the story was complete.
During the Holidays the same year I realized a different story project. For many years I had been dreaming about writing Swedish lyrics to the hauntingly beautiful Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Now. An impossible task. To lovely to touch.
But I found a way in. It was when I knew I needed to write that lyrics to myself. And maybe others who can’t dream of some day everyone being together again. A song as comfort and support. A song offering a shy light among the lingering shadows from before.
Formulating the saga of me and my childhood love helped time heal, finally. And sending myself comforting light and warmth disarmed the Holiday traumas.