I was feeling pretty good today (the weather was perfect) and then I went to Gourmet Garage on 7th Avenue in the West Village to pick up something for dinner. I've lost weight these past few months and everyone keeps telling me to eat. This happened to me (only) once before, loss of appetite, weight loss. People tell you how good you look and you really can't take in any compliments.
Anyway, I picked up a chicken and some apples, tasted a few olives and was trying to find something else that looked appetizing, when the song "Why?" by Annie Lenox came on in the store. It's a beautiful song and it filled me with despair. I quickly paid for the chicken and the apples and ran out.
I walked a few blocks to the subway and tried to change my mood. As I walked I was thinking, who am I? Where is my home? For so many years Zoe and Steve were home - it didn't really matter where we lived, they were home. I was Zoe's mom, and a wife, and a daughter, and a writer. And now, Zoe is in California, I'm no longer a wife, and my mother is gone and I don't feel much like a writer. I decided that when I got home, I would play "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, which remains the best song about divorce ever made and I would dance.
I got off the subway in Brooklyn and called Zoe just to say hello. We had a good conversation and I felt better. And then I came home and played "I Will Survive" and danced, well, not really. I tried to. I ate some chicken and green beans and a couple of cookies.
And then, just now, I was thinking, so what if I feel bad? It's perfectly fine to feel bad! These days, most people are feeling a little bad and if they're not, they're probably drugged.
My dear friend Julie keeps inviting me up to Connecticut to pick apples and I have other tempting offers. Right now, I'm focusing on packing and allowing myself to go through the feelings of loss and grief as well as happiness, which sneaks up on me.
As I pack, I keep finding pieces of paper that have quotes I've saved over the years. Here is one from Nelson Mandela: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall."