Saturday, March 13, 2010

Journal entry: January 22, 1979

Garden Party by Gerda Wegener


January 22, 1979

As I opened my journal KINK-fm radio began to play The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun. Ironic since that recording was a major part of the music at our wedding and because this was our first day of marriage counseling today. It is our last effort to save the relationship, and I think we each have a good open feeling about the six weeks of counseling. After that time we will be on our own to either continue improving the marriage or to dispose of it.

The future is damn threatening for both TJ and me, but my fears are a bit deeper I think. After all, in May TJ will have a law degree which can lead to many things for him. I am now unemployed and have no financial security to call my own. Neither do I at this time feel capable of making a good enough impression on any potential employer to secure a job. Neither do I know what it is I really want to do; I do know it is not selling insurance.

Today TJ said to Dave, our counselor, that when he came home in August he stopped some motion of progress I had begun in the area of self-development. He said he also feels I cannot grow again as long as he remains around me. Is he right or wrong? Can we develop the marriage to a place where we each can grow, or can I only grow by being alone?

Why did I flourish so when TJ left me? Was it because I had to? As I told Dave today I've always been such a private person, yet Summer '78 was the first time I've had in which to be alone. That time was precious for me because I proved to myself that I could care for me and I received positive feedback from others for the way I was living my life.

The social highlight of my summer alone was the Garden Party given by some friends of mine who called themselves "The Ladies' Aide Society." Everything was perfect: the night air was the blessing of a July evening in the Pacific Northwest. The back lawn was sweeping and gracious befitting the oldest neighborhood in Salem. At the end of the grass toward the west a gentle sunset glowed over the little bank that almost hid Mill Creek. Our hostesses had scattered blankets there for us to further enjoy the water. Just feet away was a small brick patio where a man played classical guitar with a woman who played the flute and who also sang beautifully. They had set up a strong speaker system but used the trunk of a 200-year-old tree as a disguise for unattractive equipment. There was an aesthetic amount of lighting from outdoor poles which must have burned kerosene. People were warm, almost gushing friendship - but it wasn't phony. There was a generous movement in the people there; I met and liked everyone. They had humor as a group but were serious people individually. As their energy lessened toward the end of the evening, some left for home. A large number stayed to sit on the blankets and listen to the fine music. Their party photographer, a man who works for National Geographic, sat near me to get some shots of the musicians. He asked me how I felt since he had earlier shared some Lebanese marijuana and I remember I said, "I feel beautiful."

I want to feel that beautiful again, and I want it to last forever. Not my beauty, but the feeling of being beautiful.


~ from one of my old journals

~

10 comments:

YogaforCynics said...

Was about to say I'm sorry to hear about your relationship being so rocky when I realized this was written in 1979...I really shouldn't try to comment on blogs pre-coffee...for that matter, I shouldn't try to make difficult decisions like whether to have morning coffee at home or go out for it pre-coffee...

Anyway, powerful writing and love the image...not sure if I've ever been to a garden party...I'd probably be afraid of drinking one too many and trampling the flowers...

Ryhen | Mind Power said...

Hi Lydia! Forgive me for asking, but does this journal entry belong to you? I can't seem to figure out if it's indeed yours coz it indicates that it was created 3 months before I was born and the fact that I don't know much about you yet makes me scratch my head. Anyway, the story is very nice and in some sense, thought provoking. Makes me wonder what happened after the counseling. Thanks for sharing. =)

Peace and respect,
Ryhen

Lydia said...

YogaforCynics~ I sure understand what you mean about pre-coffee. I have the same syndrome.
Visualize behaving yourself at a garden party, in preparation for actually going to one some summer night. :)

Ryhen~ Yes, it is one of my old journal entries. Be assured that I give credit to any other writers whose work I share here. Perhaps I should add a byline to this one with my name for clarity.
Three months before you were born...doesn't that seem strange? So now I know that your 31st birthday is in April/May! The 30s are a great decade in life...

RB said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! Isn't it fascinating to see where we were in the past? What strikes me is how wise we always are without realizing it--you can learn a lot from reading your journals!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

A lovely story and a beautiful image. Have a great day my dear friend Lydia!

Lydia said...

RB~ Well, thanks a lot for reading and commenting! Yes, I agree it is fascinating to look back. I only wish I had kept a journal during some of the more important times in my life...like my first year of sobriety, for instance. I wonder why I didn't write about it??? but there's no second-guessing the Self.

Phivos~ I did have a great day and I'm hoping your entire weekend is a wonderful one.

Indigo said...

True beauty is that which flourishes within us. It took me years to discover that part of myself. I find it here often amongst your words dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Lydia said...

Indigo~ Thank you for your beautiful comment. And, likewise, I find that amongst your words. xo

Jennifer said...

Old journal entries are fascinating things, especially when they are as cogently written as this one. Your description of the party brings it to life and I love to see you turn over your thoughts, with the profundity of beauty, in your familiar voice.

Lydia said...

Jennifer~ Thank you for this kind comment. :)

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