Compartments and Imperfections …

December 15, 2007

I seem to have lost interest in most everything of late. The holidays are always a trial, but throw in several levels of build-up angst in the months prior, you’ve got pretty much the feeling of being either an over-extended about-ready-to pop balloon, or one that is deflated and hanging by the thread that tied it to a shelf somewhere.

The majority of one’s angst is self-inflicted. Not all of it, of course, but the majority of it. We bring a lot on ourselves. We worry about things we can do nothing about, or alternately, we bring things upon ourselves that cause us no end of worry later.

Several years ago some of the parts of my “separated” life joined together. It was a relief to not struggle and have to separate one aspect of myself from another, one part of my life from another.

But over time, from then to now, I’ve noticed that my life has increasingly returned to that way of living, and become more fragmented and compartmentized. I don’t particularly like it. There is one person that knows most everything about me, and that’s kayleigh. And yet, as much as I rattle about most everything that pops in my head to her, she doesn’t know everything because, frankly, she can’t know everything. It’s just not possible. has a department called “Since you asked …” The other day a woman wrote to the columnist and said that, after her husband’s death from cancer, she had discovered he had had an affair, and it had broken her heart, and made her so very angry. It was making it hard for her to grieve.

The columnist, Cary Tennis, who can be a sarcastic if enjoyable shit sometimes, replied with something that struck me deeply.

You loved a man who was not perfect. You married a man who was not perfect. You had three wonderful children with a man who was not perfect. You did not live for 13 years with a total stranger. You lived for 13 years with a man who was not perfect. Death took this man from you and then you learned of his imperfection. You knew this man, but even after 13 years you did not know everything about him. That’s how it is with people we love. We never know everything about them. All of us have hidden imperfections. You do and I do. You are not perfect and I am not perfect, but no one knows all our imperfections. Perhaps when we die everyone will know our imperfections, too. He was not perfect and he had some secrets and now you have been granted knowledge of his secrets.

(To read the full text, one must be a premium subscriber.)

When I’m gone, my journals, photos, and notes to myself will reveal that my life was one of compartments, secrets, and imperfection.

The larger part of my struggle, my self-inflected angst, is one for perfection, a perfection that I’ll never be able to achieve because the greater part of my life, the part that is — in essence — really me, is built on those compartments, secrets, and imperfections.


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