Thursday, February 01, 2007


In the last year I experience my first encounterwot with estrangement. It's hard for me to understand how parent and child can find themselves willing to let go of a common history. Their history IS their life. Yet, they turn their backs and say they don't care. Caring is not an option.

I am confused by it, confused by how they defend themselves with their fear, by calling it anger. How can they stand so assured that the other intends harm? They work so hard to reach so far, finding that negative idea to cling to.

One would think some great trauma brought this about. Some fierce and hurtful, mean battle must have burned this house. But no. It was air. It was nothing. It was irritation, impatience misplaced expectations. Choices made not to talk pushed generosity and forgiveness out of their lexicon, turning two that I love into spoiled children who demand things with no compassion.
The quality of mercy is not strained. Just now I understand what that means.

I frown with discouragement at my inability. Even my love can't convince them how they hurt themselves, not each other, can't show how much they give up, how they rail over a breeze and fret over raindrops, when they could just change the weather.

My parents are dead -- they died when I was 26 and 30 -- it was strange to think they were gone from the planet. They never saw my son. He never met them. He's only heard stories of their gifts and their wonder.

I think on this often and my thoughts just stare sadly at two who refuse to let the other win.

The irony is that there is nothing to win, but a lifetime of history to lose.

--me strauss Letting me be


Dawn said...

A certain sense of helplessness comes when one is a witness to the estrangement you describe. Not only do the 2 people lose, but something is denied from those who are close to them as well.

ME Strauss said...

Yeah, it's sad to watch. Loss is contagious, isn't it?