craving normalcy

6 Jul

I do have  sympathy for the following monologue that was performed for me in real time on Friday:

Why can’t you be like other moms?  Why don’t we have family friends like other families?  Why don’t you have plans for the 4th of July?  Why don’t we have a group of family friends who all get together for like bar-b-ques and vacations, dinners and stuff?  Why doesn’t my life look like my friends on Facebook?

I should have stayed out of town.  Why did I come home where I am unhappy?  Why are you so happy being alone? Why can’t you find a step-father for me?

(Oh good lordy, on that last one.)

The 4th of July, so american, every holiday, really, brings up the pull of normalcy, the old and insidious lie of fitting in – and standing out – at once.  To be like everyone else will bring happiness.  To be liked.  To be good-looking.  To dress well – to say the right things – to have activities and people to surround us – to have photo opportunities every few hours – to package our lives in an understandable and compelling form.  To be desired.  To be outside of the flow of normalcy feels wrong.  To be in the flow of normalcy feels wrong.  It is an interesting place, to be comfortable with the flow, finally, now, but to live with others who are still in the searching mode, wishing all were different, wondering,  Where is the postcard version of our lives?

I listen to the storms of discontent of teenagers who feel free to express themselves.  The storms are dramatic and loud, but they pass.  I offer a freedom that is so close that it is not even perceived.  I offer a large space for the sound and fury, for the rage not against the machine but to be more part of the machine…

I am present and still – and  content, even so (quietly so as to not intensify the suffering by the contrast).

Despite my lack of normalcy, the 4th of July dilemma works out beautifully!  We jog/bike to the river, where the fireworks can be view from 240 degrees – and after our arrival, with no car to park – we find a spot on a floating dock inches from the rapid current – families, smiles, colorful explosions reflected in the dark water, together with our american brothers,  yet doing our own thing, too.  In serendipitous wonder, we stumble upon a restaurant with a young woman singing with her guitar and we split an appetizer and relax and talk before our jog/bike back home, late at night.  We are whistled at from a car of boys and I question, Who are they whistling at?  I know the answer, but it is funny to throw myself in the mix 🙂

Stepping out of the role of parent, teacher, wise one, can be tough when the voice of complaint wants a response and there is no response that pleases – I’ve tried them all.

When I talk, I imagine my voice often sounds like this:

Years move on in measured beats, bit by bit, ever changing, chinese water torture/pleasure drops; something new is coming around.  Even if I think it is the same, it is not.  A malcontent teen has to experience on her own, and her movement and turning may be slow and then suddenly fast – any snapshot is not the whole story.

Shift shift shift the angle of your boom and watch the wind fill up the sail, let the line go slack and watch the stillness hold you there at sea – never motionless even then. Learn along the way.  Go below, stay above, jump overboard and swim with sharks, burn your skin, drink salt water, eat ramen and sardines for days.  Drown and watch another avatar appear.  Never Game Over – never never never – hell or heaven, every second, burn and rise, burn and rise – bread as flesh, loaves and fishes, fisher of men, age of pisces, dawning of aquarius, summer, fall, winter, spring, repeating yet never the same.

Stay in this vessel from ballast to the top of the mast, bow to stern, move throughout the river of time, see the full buffet – and do not skip dessert.  Today, Chocolate Mousse for breakfast, pleasure in the unplanned days that bring bike rides and frog symphonies, and cheeky waiters, and organizing rooms, and found lost items, and rolling thunder, and fertile silence.

Ah life, said Emily Webb, you are too beautiful to imagine.  Oh no, here are the actual lines:  Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
― Thornton WilderOur Town

These words – a wave rising, not original, not profound, just a mass of water that wants to move up, then sink down again, again and again, for no reason.  Living life, in the moments, in the sensations, hello.


14 Responses to “craving normalcy”

  1. ptero9 July 7, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    You help me feel my abnormal is normal, or if not, I am in good company.

    As a teen, I fervently wished for more abnormality in my family. 🙂 But, I did get what I needed, and that is love. Someday your daughter will know the difference.

    Coincidentally, I was dreaming with sharks the other night. They were swimming peacefully with many tiny fish. I stood watching, surprised, but happy.

    • marga t. July 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      I love this dream share – so many layers for meaning – all of them goodgoodgood! All of these little complaints at 15 seem to move on out of here pretty quickly since they do not grab me (anymore) into any reaction except love! I could have given you a wonderfully abnormal childhood 🙂 xo! m

  2. ~meredith July 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    How cool. Emily would have liked this morning, this post… and waking up, altogether, I think. 😉

    • marga t. July 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      Ah, Emily. Such another world; did we dream it all up? love!! m

  3. britlight July 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

  4. Michael July 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm #


    While greatly enjoying bobbing along throughout this entire ebbing and flowing tide of spaciousness you have laid out for us, the Malcontented’s question that jumped out at me like a hot pink flying fish was, why are you so happy being alone? That one was a real sockdolager. There are whole worlds inside of it. I think as Debra said, there will come a discovery that real power lies in the Love that accepts and honors what is…

    One year for Christmas, we each went into the woods and collected a rock for our pile, in part to save the cutting of a tree, in part to save the cost of normalcy. Love thrives in the absence of convention…


    • marga t. July 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      I am absolutely intrigued and taken with this rock pile christmas – Seems you were or are surrounded by original creative wonders! We do not do christmas around here, but I am wondering now about a rock pile menorah – wouldn’t that be grand? Down by the river – I may wish to mark the week again, this year. So grateful for the sharing – and your keen eye for the sockdolager – for it is a wonderful thing indeed to be so happy alone – even if it can annoy others at times 🙂

  5. Awareness ItSelf July 8, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    Oh I can soo relate to the – To be outside of the flow of normalcy feels wrong. To be in the flow of normalcy feels wrong. For Canadians we celebrate on July 1st and although my kids weren’t complaining about our lack of family friends, it was my my mind complaining that I couldn’t bring up my kids with the Facebook family types, that somehow I’ve deprived them of something important because its the norm for most everyone else, or at least it seems. Yet I know that other people’s normal makes me abnormal to myself. I am slowly learning to enjoy the flow outside the norm. I was fascinated with the Pelicans at Lake Winnipeg last week, those huge bodies with their wide wide wings, soaring and floating, circling above me with such grace and ease and enjoyment. I want to fly like a Pelican in my body, I want to be as free to be me as those pelicans were as they rode the wind. Just today I turned down an invitation to a ‘fun’ party hosted by some normal people that have a lot of fun parties, and this time I wasn’t weighted down by the guilt, I just felt free. Free to be me.

    • marga t. July 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Such freedom there is to be found away from such ideas of normalcy, groups, fun, obligations, fitting-in! I spent years trying at those sort of gatherings, and am coming to see how my choices and love for myself has been letting myself off the hook – and then I see how lovelies such as you, Erin, come into those spaces I’ve made. Not conventional type small talk over the potato salad, but deep and rich and beautiful souls that share their very best recipes! 🙂 xo!
      I can watch Pelicans for a long time – I love those bomb dives they take into the ocean to catch their prey. And they look absolutely prehistoric, here existing in the “modern” world! So glad we are allowing ourselves the freedom to be us – so delicious is this! Happy 1st of July!

  6. seeingm July 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    The inner sparks that light the way to the path of deep remembering are there or these precious girls would not be your children. However, the world works really hard to build walls around the little flames so they cannot be fanned into external bonfires.

    We also get to watch our past play out through the time delay that is our children. We set down initial pathways that they picked up on as tots and now we get the mirror of our own current changes to dance out and against up close an personal. There is what used to happen and there is what is happening now. Great wisdom to meet those lingering expectations that we had help set in our children with love as we change our own rules.

    There also is the blessing that your children get to live out watching these new, deeper sourced choices in action in your life moving past normal BEFORE they have had to make the big ones in their own. Normal may still be on line for them, but take my word for it, they are absorbing every nuance of every move you make in AUTHENTICITY and it is teaching them how to navigate to the deep diving place while shedding the layers of fear. Their journey to the door of depth will be much smoother to negotiate (if and when they so choose to make it) as a result because they have lived with you as you have courageously made yours.

    Questioning the hows and they whys and the wants and the what ifs and the what could be-s is such a heartening sign of thinking about the fact that there are so many different ways of being to begin with. Fifteen is all about looking around and fitting in, but I know she is doing it with one eye on her own authentic style. How do I know? She is your daughter. This automatically makes her amazing 🙂 .


    • marga t. July 9, 2014 at 1:18 am #

      Oh M – such insights and heartfelt encouragement helps further anchor me in my own center in motion, for sure! I am pinging in on the realization that you bring to light that the earlier patterns that I helped set are playing out a bit, as I have shifted yet again, and this playing out against up close makes perfect sense. We have such lovely times amidst the discomfort and angst and I’m pleased as punch to be in such fine company, even through the struggles! These days are numbered I can see, a zoomed out perspective that helps me roll and flow and just enjoy the now. Warm E.T. Heart glow for YOU!
      xo! m
      p.s. are you visiting Schrodinger’s Cat for a Danish Spread Tea for real? If you haven’t checked the box, I’ll just let you know the cat is alright, and so are the kids!

  7. Kelly Kuhn July 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Curious how we both write about water, yet you seem to be riding on and enjoying the waves whereas I feel at times that I am drowning. A new me is being born, though. Or rather, the real me is emerging. Your post reminds me that there are other swimmers and sailors who truly know what I am experiencing, even as I say little. And you reassure me that it is good, very good, after the storm.

    Love you.

    • marga t. July 10, 2014 at 2:38 am #

      I so love what you have to say about Trust, Kelly. At times I ride on waves and feel acceptance and joy in the ride, yet I can also find myself in unknown territory, outside definitions, no ground on which to rest my feet, really disoriented. I am starting to see how trust is there too. I hope to be trusting the need for these spells – for if we stay in the known, we don’t grow, it seems. Big heart squeezes to you. So grateful that you are willing to reach out and share in real time, where you are calling from. xo! m

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: