It seems I have resumed answering personal emails. I remember swearing I would never do so again as long as I lived. But that was... oh, a long time ago now. At least I seem to be having better luck lately.
For instance, my "raggie" and I exchanged emails recently. His love affair hasn't been going smoothly. He's younger than the lady the lady is my age, 50 and he has trouble understanding her. She doesn't seem to need him, and she frequently wants time alone.
Recently, I've been getting back in touch with my two best friends. We're of an age these ladies and I, and, the talking we've done has been interesting. This is what I wrote to my raggie:
"I find that Jo and Joyce and I are all pretty much in the same place. We all have very different situations, but we all are in the same place in our heads. None of us is either happy or unhappy. None of us knows what it is we're supposed to be doing, or, indeed, WHETHER we're supposed to be doing anything in particular. We're just going on, one step at a time, one day at a time, picking out our respective paths, unable to see far enough ahead to know where the paths might be heading.
"But, as I say, that doesn't make us unhappy. I think it just makes us very hard to understand. Because we don't understand ourselves.
"What each of us wants is the same, too. We want not to be hassled by life or other people. We've fought life for too many years. And now, we want to just enjoy being. No big plans. Just little, manageable ones. No huge obligations.
"And, for companions, we want people who give us plenty of space, but who can be counted on, both to be there when needed, and to be absent when we need to be alone.
We're all on inward journeys. We want and need people who can understand our need for solitude, honor that need, but with whom we can share the discoveries we made while exploring that solitude when we return from them.
"And, no, we aren't denying that our chosen companions may have other needs. As best we can, we are willing and will try to meet the needs of those we love. But, the price is that they must understand and honor our needs, too. The people who love us are going to have to love us as we are. We're trying to do our best for ourselves and others.
Maybe this all sounds like BS to you. But it isn't. We don't want futures planned out. We want futures, lives, that just... unfold, growing naturally, like plants.
"It's hard to love someone who doesn't seem to need you in the way you want to be needed. I told Bru years ago that the hardest thing in the world was NOT being married. Because there's no contract. There's nothing to tell you what is expected, what the obligations and boundaries are. It's all free form, and all the decisions have to be made as situations arise it's like being Lewis and Clark. You don't know where you're going or what to expect because no one has ever been there before. It's frightening and exciting. And it's way too much stress for some people to handle.
"Sometimes I wish I had my youth back. It might be nice to have big, ambitious dreams again, to be full of plans and ideas and the energy to try to carry them out. But I don't really regret that I don't. I have changed with age. My relationship to the world has changed...
"I can't answer for Jo or Joyce. But I suspect they feel pretty much the same way.
"Anyway. I hope you get the silver pig on the road soon and come by to take me for a spin.
"Remember, mon cher, not to take life too seriously. We're none of us going to get out alive."
My raggie wrote back and said he had read it over a couple of times and decided "This is the best explanation of where someone is mentally." I was pleased to hear it. Most of the time I'm not sure if I'm writing in Babylonian.