Process prior to writing:
Yesterday, I blogged about my mother’s 90th birthday party, the passage of time, and how things change. I alluded to a strange quality of my visit. I have found that it is nearly impossible to write well about things that I haven’t fully processed; this is particularly true about ongoing situations. Sometimes I need to work out issues at least partially before writing about them (at least in a public forum).
[Note: I do write to work things out, normally in a journal, but it is a disconnected stream of consciousness that essentially ‘gets all the cards on the table’. Further refinements come after re-reading and re-thinking.]
In addition to writing, I use painting to try working things out. I have tried to paint a couple of watercolor studies during my visit thus far, but it has been exceedingly difficult. There are a number of reasons that could account for that. I’m going with stress.
I’m certain that many of you have faced, or are currently facing the same strangeness that I am feeling. A better way to characterize the situation is to use the term ‘identity shift‘. As I have used the term in previous posts (Defining a Shifting Identity, Identity and Circumstance Bad Day and its Identity Shift), I refer to the change in one’s self image based on changes in environment or status in society (i.e., losing one’s job; getting married, divorced; becoming seriously ill). In this context, ‘identity shift’ means the change in status of someone else with whom one has had a stable relationship. This is the strangeness I refer to: when parameters of such a relationship change.
More to come, as I process my thoughts.
What I can write about is Dave’s visit to Mom and me today on her actual birthday. Dave is my younger brother. I haven’t written much about him. He is a professional musician, very busy working in many different venues.
This evening was the only time he had free all week and he drove down, bringing his piano with him. He set it up in Mom’s living room and played Happy Birthday. Mom really enjoyed it, especially when it morphed into Rachmaninov.
Notwithstanding the ‘strangeness’, we all had a lovely visit. Dave went on to play Debussy and other classical works that sounded a lot like jazz. A wonderful time!