Saturday, July 9, 2011
Our 4th of July was at Lake Arrowhead in southern California. We were with M's grandparents and aunt. This was not so easy of a trip for me however as it was my ex-husband's father, sister and step-mother whom I adore and love. Families breaking up is like an unending amount of band aids being ripped from thin-skinned parts of your body. My friend and I have been emailing back and forth the last couple of days about this. She is about 3 months ahead of me in her own marriage breakup. We check in on occasion with one another. Is it better for you yet? Has the heartache softened? Are you crying less? Are your afraid your friends are tired of talking about this yet? Dating? Along with the immediate loss of a long term partner, extended family is a whole other ball of wax. I have struggled with feeling replaced and trying to understand how I will fit into families I have come to love when they are not mine, but are for my daughter. I start to cry thinking about how much time, energy and love I put into making connections with my ex-husbands family the past 11 years now knowing that I will most likely never talk to most of them again.
My girlfriend and I have also been talking about the fairy tale we as a society buy into. Girl meets man, man takes care of girl. No one mentions the rescuing, resentment and power imbalances that go along with the current acceptable "successful" marriage template. The power we willingly give away for a version of safety and security that is nothing more than a mirage. I never would have believed someone if they told me how painful a family breaking up is. Life is so mysterious in that way. So much of the most potent experiences are like heavy clouds, bursting with emotions, grief, relief, joy and suffering. We can look at the storm clouds and feel the wind, sense their intensity, hope we can seek shelter, and yet until we are rained on, we can never fully understand the experience. Storms are imperative for nature to survive. Like a forest fire raging out of control, it is necessary to release the precious seeds that only fire can for its ultimate survival. And so it is this for our hearts also. For my heart to grow, I need the storms. So I carry tissues everywhere for my tears. I seek solace in my friends who also seek soul storms and intimately understand their wisdom and power. I cry rivers and know my life preserver is loving the grief. I am sad and tender and open hearted. I am angry and scared and accept that it is ok to miss my life before that was so lifeless. I am thankful that even when it seems that everything is gone, it is also grace wiping the slate clean for our hearts to fill with a new and more authentic kind of love. Saying goodbye can be really hard to do.
After coming back from L.A. I had a dinner party. Dinner conversation with 5 women and 5 kids running around. I feel so lucky coming home. That day going to the coop, I noticed Burrata and the first heirloom tomatoes were in stock. Figs, shiso leaves and nectarines too. A whole dinner ensued that made me feel deep thanks that I have friends who do not shy from life and its struggles. Burrata, while perhaps being an older trend, it still on my top list of summer treats. A mixture of mozzarella skin filled with cream and leftover mozzarella curds, it is a showstopper! Creamy, rich, delicate and flavorful. I served fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes, high quality olive oil, local shiso leaves (mine are growing but not yet ready) sea salt and sliced burrata. A perfect celebration of summer's flavors with very little effort. Burrata is best fresh. It is a guarantee hit for any dinner. Burrata makes it better for me.