Friday, February 13, 2004

Though little has changed and the future is still "dimly lit," yet ... .

I woke to a more hopeful day today.

Dinner with Marilyn Langlois and her Jasper was productive and found some new friends who may prove to be very helpful in getting the school open and running again this fall. I'm always buoyed by contact with other productive people, and the Goode's (husband from the legal staff of now-deposed Governor Gray Davis, and wife, Erica, a physician) proved to be wonderfully warm and innovative and shows all the signs of becoming good friends in the future. Became reacquainted with Maury, about my age and a recent widower. Met him a week ago and enjoyed good conversations with him and with Marilyn. There's a brightness of eye and animation in body that announces the presence of the Goodes in a room -- I've sensed it before in others who've come into my life in the past. Chemistry? I liked them and Maury, and of course, the Langlois. Jennifer Ross, grants writer and dear friend, and Melita Sims, principal and adminstrator of the school, completed the group. We agreed to come together for a celebration exactly one year from last night -- assuming that we will have by then breathed new life into the Barbara Alexander Academy.

With my stockinged feet resting on the warm body of the family Newfoundland (whose favorite place during meals is under the dining-room table), we shared a wonderful feast and a wealth of goodwill. Good wine, good food, good company, and a great project to worry into being, plus a spectacular view of the night sky over the San Francisco Bay from Point Richmond. Can life be better? Hardly.

Home about ten thirty to the sound of a telephone and the plaintive voice of Dorian who was not scheduled to be picked up until this morning ... .

Still feeling well-fed in both soul and body, it didn't feel like too much of an imposition to climb back into my car and drive to Oakland to gather her up. She was grateful to see me (Kyle was rarely mentioned) and chatted happily all the way home. (Okay, so some of it was complaints about him, but with something added -- a growing recognition of his considerable flaws, with a matching impatience with his inability to change.) But, either I was in too good a mood to have my paper hat displaced, or, she is actually feeling it better to be with me tonight in a place of safety than at home, alone. Either way, we arrived back at my apartment pleased with ourselves despite the late hour. We even did some giggling before falling asleep, always a good sign.

This morning she rose with the expectation of going to NIAD. After a fleeting complaint about feeling a cold coming on, there was no resistance and a sense of anticipation for what she would create today. We're making progress.

Having the time to re-think just how she and I will move into the future is a luxury that I didn't anticipate. There are some programs I'd like to look into and will do so over what might be a short window of opportunity -- until Kyle figures out how to seduce her back into his control. How weird that I find myself in a competition for her affection. How healthy can that be? Feel uncomfortable even typing the words ...

I must be careful to make some corrections in the balances in my own life -- now that my work life has been interrupted. Will have to make a real effort to resist the temptation to bury myself in satisfying her needs and neglecting my own. That would be so easy. So justifiable since she is so impaired. My sons and my grandchildren need me as well, and maybe most of all -- I need myself. The choices don't seem to get any easier as experience mounts. If that were not true, this last stretch would be a breeze, wouldn't it?

Bill used to rise every morning at five o'clock to meditate. For the entire ten years that we were married, this was his practice. "Need this for focus," he'd say. It's a thought...may be a way to get in touch with that being who lives behind my eyes and directs my every move.

If ever there was a time ... .