I haven't been keeping to a normal routine of late. Have had bronchitis for the last 6 weeks and while the dry cough is annoying, it is the fatigue and weakness that have kept me close to home. This has, however, given me a lot of time to think. One of the things I have been thinking about is people who have come and gone out of my life . . . I am struck by how many life stories there are to which I will never get to "read" the final chapters. It seems obvious when I commit it to the page. Of course this is the case. How could it be otherwise. But this thought has been re-visiting and confounding me of late.
It kind of boggles my little mind to think I will not know how my children's lives unfold in their later years. I will most likely not know the "end of their story". Perhaps this is a normal thought for someone in the autumn of their years . . . I guess you can see I am trying to figure out the need buried in the quandry. Why do I need to know the end? Why am I preoccupied right now with not knowing how things turn out for people I care about?
As a therapist, my work is about hearing the intricacies of peoples' life stories. Yet, they do their work and move on . . . and most of them I never hear from again. I do know the end of certain chapters in their lives - but I will not get to know the completion of their life story. I would have thought that the experience of being a therapist would make me more comfortable with not knowing.
Even here in this intriguing world of blogs where intimacies are revealed through smoke, mirrors, masks and veils, there are stories with which I am engaged, but will never really know the final outcome. What happens when someone whose talent I admire, whose insights I seek out just stops blogging? I have the image of so many stories left open and unfinished.
So, is this about my need to know - my need to have everything neatly tied up with a pretty string - my core curiousity about people and unfoldings? I'm not sure. I am just aware that it feels like a possible loss . . . like something I am preparing to grieve. Perhaps I am becoming aware of a certain risk of engagement here with some of you . . . the risk that I can look forward to your next post and our little interactions and you can just disappear.
Of course, that is fundamentally the risk of all relationship. We risk reaching out, opening up, letting in . . . knowing all the while that nothing is secure, there are no guarantees. Yet risk we must - because to be human is to relate and to connect - even though there are many connections where we will never know the end of the story. I must better integrate what I know to be true of life: we will lose or leave everyone we love, and we must love anyway.