Relationships with Women
While away for Thanksgiving, I
read & loved
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje. I went to visit Barbara
(my 90 year-old mother) and Martha (her 84 year-old sister). Martha
met me at the Kansas City airport and promptly asked if I was hungry.
We ended up at Winsteadt’s and Martha had their hamburger special
and a chocolate frosty to drink. I had a BLT and a frosty, too. At
lunch she told me that Ruth (her best friend) had died two weeks
ago. Martha asked me to help her go through Ruth’s things at
her apartment in an Assisted Living Residence. It took hours of necessary
sorting to get 2 black trash bags for Martha to take home, 3 for
a Homeless Center, 5 bags for the Junior League Thrift Shop, and
8 bags for the Disabled Veterans of America Thrift Shop. She talked
about how important it was to do this for closure.
I recall a line from Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, “All of us are in our solitude”—and I think it’s true. But, also true is the way we heal through dreams, prose, and haiku.
Relationships are difficult indeed, as understanding usually comes in hindsight, if not therapy. Passion is easy: it’s there or it isn’t. Compassion, especially when you’ve been wounded, is the challenge. Compassion demands that you open yourself all the way and see that we are all growing together.
Recently, when a relationship ended, if only temporarily, I returned to my life as it was before we met. But around this re-centering, misreadings and defensiveness soiled my mind. While beneath these horizons, the instincts and feelings that originally blossomed into the relationship were still alive.