Snow Globe in My Head   Leave a comment

Why are entire years strewn on the cutting room floor of memory?/ When single frames from one magic night/ forever flicker in close-up/ on the 3-D Imax of my mind – Jonathan Larson

I’ve been thinking a lot about snow lately. Partially because of the weather. We’ve had two sizable snow storms in a week’s time, and the world outside is covered in white flakes. And snow storms always make me think of snow globes.

I LOVE snow globes. I have since I was a child. The sparkling pieces of white obscuring the scene then settling down into peacefulness just mesmerize me. They remind me of all those movies where people close their eyes and mutter “I’m in my happy place” over and over again.

The thing is when I close my eyes, what I see is darkness. I have no problem remembering things, events, people, or places, but if I stare at a picture of a mountain or a beach scene or a flower trying to memorize the details and the colors, all I see behind my lids are specks of colorful fuzz. Instead of a mind’s eye, I seem to have a perpetually shaken mind’s snow globe.

With an incredible sound system.

There are times when the snow clears momentarily, and I am allowed glimpses of images or colors. Sometimes they are things that have happened, sometimes things I expect or want to happen.

When my ex announced he was ending our marriage, the snow globe flashed snippets of events I had dreamed about for years that wouldn’t ever happen – standing at the bima with our son at his bar mitzvah as a family, celebrating our twenty-fifth and fiftieth wedding anniversaries, watching our boy graduate high school and then college, traveling once we were empty-nesters, walking him down the aisle and dancing at his wedding, attending the birth of his first child.

Now, realistically, the events pertaining to the boy will happen eventually, if they haven’t already. Not in any, way, shape, or form as I imagined them, but unless something drastic happens in the next handful of years, they will happen. He will graduate (at least once), probably get married, and have at least one child. Preferably in that order. And the chances are good my ex and I will be in the same room for most of these events. Most likely at opposite ends of that room, but the same room nonetheless.

When the anger hit – that is one of the stages of grief, after all – the memories that swirled around were some of the less pleasant ones. Like the time I was told at a Marriage Encounter event, no less he “tuned me out” because I complained about work too much.

Now, did I complain about work a lot? Yes. Unequivocally, yes. Because I worked for a complete psycho. A friend I confided in about my work situation sat open-mouthed when I described my boss’s behavior and said if this had been a guy I was seeing, she would have insisted I leave the jerk and seek professional help. Unfortunately, as the primary wage earner at the time and the one with the health insurance, I was stuck until something else came along. Which finally did happen. Just not soon enough.

In any case, he ended up not having to worry about hearing me complain for a few days after that as I stopped speaking to him until he asked what was wrong.

Other recurring memory shards were the Valentine’s Day arguments about money when we didn’t have any that warred with my need to have some tangible evidence he was thinking about me. And – one of my favorites – the day I came home from a difficult Saturday at work having asked him to pick up around the house as we were having dinner guests to find he had instead spent the day helping someone else.

While the anger these images engendered was useful in keeping me from falling apart at the time, it wasn’t good for me mentally to hold onto it, and – with a lot of work – I was able to let it dissipate into the snow. Most of the time. There are still times when the anger flares, but those times are fewer and farther between.

So, now my snow globe is mostly vacant except for the occasional flurry, and while this is definitely healthier, it leaves my mind a little empty sometimes. I get occasional glimpses of images from the vacations my son and I have taken over the past few years, which are colorful and cheery, and I’m sure the roses I got for this year’s Valentine’s Day will figure prominently in the future, as will flickers of my small, long-haired cat purring while cuddling up to my arm.

What I need to do is start building more memories that can be stored, shaken up, and allowed to fly. And I think I’ve gotten a good foundation for this going. So, next winter, I’ll have to see what happens when the flakes begin to fly.

Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll close my eyes and actually see something other than snow on my eyelids. If there is one thing I have learned from the past few years it’s that anything is possible.

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Posted February 15, 2017 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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