...on vacation with my kids, along with my parents, brother and sister-in-law. Went to the beach.
So, we're there, and I'm watching throughout the week the inter-dependent relationship between the waves and the beach. Where and how the waves break depends on the geometry of the shoreline - which is, in turn, shaped by where and how the waves break. The system reaches a stable point after a period of time, but the stable point is dependent on outside inputs outside the realm of both: winds, deep-sea waves, tides, phase of the moon, etc. When the outside forces change, the inputs change and the system changes until it finds it's stable point again.
I say all that as backdrop. The last night we were there I took a long walk down the beach by myself. The two previous summers we took the same trip, but with my now ex-wife. At some point in the week the two of us would always take a walk together down the beach. This time I did it by myself, in the hopes of getting in touch a bit with how I feel about things. I feel like I'm repressing my real feelings so very much. I mean, I have yet to really, actually, cry about any of this.
That last night was also when the winds and such changes and the beach started going through a pretty serious metamorphosis.
So, I'm walking down the beach and I realize that, while this is certainly the same beach where I would walk with her, it also is not the same beach - because it changes daily.
And I realized something about this and about me and about how I have to be to deal. The waves and the wind are beyond the control of the sand - they come in from outside and the mess it up. But it's still the same beach. It adapts to its circumstances, it finds stability, it gives and reshapes itself - but it never stops being exactly what it is. That piece of shoreline is never the same two days in a row, and yet always the same.
I've got all kinds of external forces hammering me right now that are beyond my control. I can go insane trying to stop them all and force myself into control - but that's all futile. As futile as the sand trying to stop the breaking of the waves. But I can bend to circumstances and be who I need to be - and I can do that without actually changing who I am. I can be the same person, and yet change to deal with what I have to deal with.
So, I didn't find my lost mourning for the ex. But I did find out something that, I think, was pretty important.