Monday, July 22, 2019

Books stopping and starting, research and exhaustion

Ruth's first book was, overall, enjoyable, well written and
I learned a lot of culinary recent history and more about 
recent food cultures and what they were like.
Ruth's second memoir surprised me and I had to stop reading it.
Less than a few chapters in, her 10 year marriage is dissolving,
extra-marital affair(s?) happens and I stopped, immediately,
other than seeing that the middle involved some strange unstable
woman who she came across and by the end she is with her second husband. 
I had read her wiki so I knew her first marriage did not last
but I could not bear to read of the destruction of it,
of the pain she went through, etc.
I am used to secular culture (sadly also Christian etc) having so
much breakdown and disintegration;
it's painful and I know dear dear friends who have been through that awful pain. 
I don't feel mad at her (or anyone else) or feel that I am better than she is.
No.  It is more that it deeply saddens me; for so many reasons;
including that I grew up in an intact family,
that I remember friends crying when we were young because their
families were dissolving and I just sense the pain, on a different level,
as I am adult who has friends who have divorced and know 
how gut-splitting heart-wrenching it is to go through...
and it is so sad.... 
I saw very much how, in lives of Ruth and the many she knew,
in the 1960s and 1970s, went through many phases and 
I ended up blurring two words when I was talking to my Husband about it
calling them 'yippies' instead of 'yuppies' as in hippies who go totally the 
other way, often after a decade or so of being a commune-living, vegan-eating
hippie to that which is more city-fancy-food-money-focused person.  So 'yippie' it is I guess :)
Anyway.  I am sad about it, the sense of a lack of a constant in their lives;
sad like I was when I was young, maybe 18 if that, and
a friend I knew from my street was clearly not interested in God like I was;
I cried; I knew that her life would only get more hurt, more complicated;
I was right, sadly; of course I can see how God saved me so many times
from destroying my own life; so I have learned not to be mad at destruction,
at confusion and choices that lead to heartache that I see others taking,
knowing that I, at various times in my younger years, could have done the same thing.
I am glad that Ruth's live has, since then, stabilized and I may read later books of hers; 
but her third (second memoir), I just can't. 
Some books hurt too much to read and I have moved on.
Perhaps with some irony I am in the middle of reading another food memoir,
where the author breaks up with her long-term boyfriend who she lives with;
I know the end of this one too, and somehow it's easier to bear.
Funny.  I think Weiss articulated some things that I felt lacking
in Ruth's book; I don't think Weiss is a Christian,
though she admits to being so deep in her struggle that she is praying,
though she does not really know to whom she is praying
and she feels she is eventually answered. 
I feel like so many people are like her and 
searching for home and struggling to 
understand what home is and where
and what loving another that puts them first is like; 
she at least has a sense of things, a little bit,
like I see in life; though, admittedly, not a lot in terms of 
what life's outlook is like for a Christian; 
but there is something she at least senses. 
And she is more of my generation and she lived in NYC
and, as I get to know parts of NYC better, 
I feel like I understand a bit of where she was
but also understand more of how she struggled when she moved
to Berlin; I went through a lot of that when I moved here;
I lived in Canada since I was 21; in Ottawa for 7 years;
moving to New Jersey was both the best move I could have done
and one of the most painful and confusing ones;
it took months if not years to admit to the pain;
I remember having arguments with my Husband who was quick to say
life always has trade-offs/opportunity costs.
I was afraid if I admitted, in those early months, how much I miss
Ottawa, my church, my Ottawa father confessor, and Canada in general,
that my Husband would think I regretted marrying him and moving here. 
It's not that people in NJ did not know I missed Ottawa; they did. 
I am a lot happier now than back then;
but the losses (esp of community and culture) are real.
But also confusing because time does not stand still.
The community I had in Ottawa is not the same.
One key couple I knew moved back to Romania.
A close friend who is older sold his house (outside of town) and lives in a
retirement home and is a slowing down. 
The kids have grown up; the church has changed a lot; more people;
a shift of people coming and leaving. 
I would say 1/3 or so of the church, at least, would not know me.
I will be married 7 years come September DV and it will be just as long
of time married as I lived in Ottawa.
I still, however, miss Ottawa on many levels.
But I love things here too.
Well, I did some research today on eyes. 
Have some things to read now that my Husband printed double-sided at work
for me!  My eyes have been more tired lately, I think because of the heat.
I think Cleo my cat is not doing well.
She acts the same but she is losing weight, I can feel her bones.
so I need to take her to the vet.
I find this very hard to do.
My Husband's Uncle H is not doing well.
We think, most likely, we will lose him to this life this week.
Such a sweet man.   We are praying for them all and keeping 
vigil in our hearts with him and his family.
Lord have mercy!
So much for so many.
May God help us in whatever is our personal 'hard' right now.
Lord have mercy on us and help us! 


GretchenJoanna said...

I think I also read one of Reichl's books and then didn't finish one! Do you also like M.F.K. Fisher? Hers are my favorite books when she writes about food... but I haven't been reading food related memoirs much for a while, except in cookbooks! You are always inspiring me to read my cookbooks more, and I know, they are very enjoyable!!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Dear One,

When we took our older cat to the vet for her checkup. she had lost some weight since last year; they mentioned there may be a thyroid problem developing and for us to monitor her weight at home. Might be worth asking them to run bloodwork on Cleo to check for this.
My prayers for you all, and for Uncle H and all your dear family.

Elizabethd said...

Sad to hear of your uncle's decline. I will be praying.
And hope that all is well with dear Cleo.

Becki said...

Catching up, I am so sorry to read about your uncle's accident (in the previous post and this one). Praying that he is physically comfortable and in peace, and that worrying and hurting hearts will find comfort. I hope Cleo is okay.

Granny Marigold said...

How very true what your husband said about opportunity costing and that it's a trade-off. Definitely something I experienced when as a young mother of 2 little ones I (we) moved 1500 miles from all that was familiar. It was a good decision but hard at times.
Thank you for giving me that possible solution to my missing blog list. I am waiting for my DIL to have time to help me as now I'm afraid I'll mess things up more.

How I hope Cleo has nothing seriously wrong, just some weight loss.