There has been a 2 week lag in my intended weekly contact with you all due to my computer being in the “hospital” and is now fixed. (And a double dose of writing to make up for it:) I am gratefull!
And, I am not pretending when I tell you at this very moment there is a ladybug walking along the frame of my glasses as i type this…
I tell you this because of wishing to raise everyone’s awareness about what makes us pretend that certain things do not bother or concern us…when they do. It is a betrayal of our true self/spirit…and so i share my monthly essay as my experience of being true to ourselves even when we are afraid TO BE. Enjoy and your comments are always welcome.
SUNreaderswrite dianea kohl
December2009 ithaca, ny
Over the years my brother and I have not been as close as I wish. Still, our relationship has been friendly and we have connected especially while running together, even the Marine Corps marathon. In 2003, we enjoyed hiking with a guided group down into the 90 degree mouth of the Grand Canyon for a week. I was thrilled that we were sleeping in the same tent. Since then he has made it possible for me and my sister to fly with him to visit my dad’s family in Germany…a first to have this time alone as sibs since we grew up together. It was very special to me as well as to my dad’s sister, Resi, who had a very close relationship with our dad, and not met my siblings before, and Resi was turning 80.
I have been the one in the family to make waves (if only we could flow like waves or wave like babies doJ) because I write about my life, which entails my relationships with my family members. Some of them are not pleased about this, my brother being one of them. Also, my sister called and yelled at me, then cried, for writing about her, despite me saying it is only in relationship to me, not wanting to hurt her in any way. Constance’s phone call happened in the spring of 2008, and within a couple of months we had mended this hurt despite our differences about being open about ourselves…she needs to have the power to veto anything she does not wish to be in print. Sadly, what I wrote about her, everyone in our family knew, still she wants the “respect” of being asked permission. But then, when I ask permission, she tells me I cannot print things that affect me in not being able to be OPEN about my life lessons that she is a significant part of.
I have risked rejections to be able to uphold my truths and integrity, and it has been difficult to lose some closeness with some while gaining the respect of others. My brother has not answered any of my phone calls or emails which I write at least once a month, since Constance blew up at me. She and I are closer than ever surprisingly? Still, he will not communicate with me as to why he is giving me the silent treatment, although I did catch him once on the phone this past June (2009) when I called. I was in the airport, and although he was superficially friendly…when I asked the question as to his silence…he said we could not have a therapy session on the phone.
We had seen each other at the previous (2008) Thanksgiving, where about 20 family members gathered at my nieces. There we spoke as if nothing was a problem between us although my stomach said otherwise until, as he was leaving, I followed him into the hallway and asked, “Are things OK with us?” he easily and smiling said “yes.” “Then, I’ll hear from you?”
I am still writing, calling, and waiting.
I want to pretend that the neighbor’s light doesn’t bother me. I want to ignore the feelings it brings up. I want to deny that I need them to turn it off.
I have called Kate and left messages a couple of times to explain why their outdoor light being on all evening is of concern to me. I want her to talk to me about a compromise because I love living in the country and seeing the natural light reflect the trees symmetries, the various colors and patterns of the moon and the sparkling of the stars. The day after christmas, my landlord tells me that Kate and Jeremy, who are in their twenties can have their light on as long as they turn it off before they go to sleep. So, why don’t my apartment neighbors talk to me, when we have been friendly all summer?
The day after christmas I knocked on my neighbor’s door, and Jeremy opened it as I asked if I could talk to Kate and him. He replied that they were in a hurry, preparing for a guest to visit. We spoke for a couple of minutes, Jeremy telling what the landlord said and I should talk to him. I said, but we are the ones who are having the issue, so we can resolve this. He added, “Why should we have to go out of our way?” Stunned, I echoed his question out loud without a skip in my heart or mind. I like to be a good neighbor and help you out if you asked me a request that I could remedy. Then added, “Do you know why I want the light off in the evenings?” I was surprised to hear Jeremy say “No.” Hadn’t Kate relayed my phone messages?
I explained about the country natural ambience being why I live in the country, and couldn’t he turn the light on and off when others visited or when they come and go. Jeremy was concerned that someone might sue him if they slipped on the snow or ice. Would his young friends sue him?
Because he was in a hurry I did not have the chance to say, I have lived here for 8 years and the previous 3 renters never left their outdoor light on, and they were all older than you. I have never fallen while walking to my door without an outdoor light, and I am old enough to be your mother.
My heart continues to swell for the natural wonders of the country beauty; to drive home in the dark, to be able to meet the sky without artificial light’s distraction; is that too much to ask?…I can no longer pretend, despite my heart beating faster, I will find the right time to talk to my neighbors again.