Yesterday I drove to town to get coffee and went off course to look at the gigantic pink and white peonies at the farmer’s market in Greenport. Then I stopped at Sep’s, the farmstand up the road from me, and picked up some fresh strawberries for breakfast. While I was gone, a process server came up the driveway, my landlord reported, looking for me. The process server said that he had papers he needed to put in my hand. My landlord felt concerned and protective. We live out here on the edge of the world, with only the trees, the birds, the deer, and bunnies as witness. I live in the back, alone.
I know what the process server wanted to hand me: divorce papers. I didn’t expect them yet (I thought we were negotiating), and I didn’t expect them here. Anyway. I get very sad and anxious when I get these messages from Julia though she’s nowhere around, and usually I have to take a Xanax and cry a little bit and hyperventilate and watch the clock for time to tick slowly by. Yesterday, though, I went into the my kitchen and took down the two photographs that are propped up by the canned food: one of me and Maudie when she was about three months old, and one of my teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, with his teacher, Dilgo Khyentse. I brought them to my table, where I work, and propped them up against the bowl of smooth stones and delicate shells that I’ve found at the beach. I sat down and stared at them.
Love keeps me sane. Love for and from my daughter and my friends and my teachers. I am learning to turn to them in these moments, rather than fall down the dark, sad hole where there is no love at all. I am getting only slightly better at this, but better is not bad.