She brings up how much Jane and I are noticing as we go back through what we wrote in January and February and this is true. We were not able to feel it then. We struggle even now to feel it. We continue to see each time we read the words how much more is there, and it may be that in including more of the details of the wedding day, I make it more whole. It is true that Steve and I walked on the rose petals and did not disturb them at all, and my sense is that I need to honor the privacy of the pain of those who did come to the wedding, though, for them, it was betrayal, and, therefore, brutally difficult. They had to hold themselves together.
What I see and feel, upon reflection, is that the whole group expanded in love, to hold the pain of the anguished two. Somehow everyone seemed to understand, at some level, how some pre-conceived idea could mean an inability to accept what, to the rest of us, was only lovely and beautiful. Perhaps, each of us learned to honor that small place in ourselves that is conservative and unable to accept or change.
I have long struggled with the subject of tradition. I think I am, at heart, a very conservative person. I love my tribe, and am loyal, and in defense. I have, until recently, been proud to be an American. I do not know what China Jan's parents and the parents of some of Jan's friends hold in their minds as to be worthy of such loyalty. Of course, I know that an interracial child may be judged by some ignorant souls, but each of us may be judged in some way by an ignorant other. We cannot live our lives fearing judgment, and I do see that the narrowness of the vision of Jan's parents allowed us each to feel some compliment to ourselves that we are not like that, and yet, I am not so unrealistic as to believe that there is not a place where I am just as narrow. I do not want to be judged for my narrow places, (unfortunately, my narrowness is not in my hips,) and so, I try to back away from judgment of the narrow places of others. I know Jan's parents love her, and their way of showing it may be different than mine, but, if I judge them, I set myself up for judgment, and I think, perhaps, that is the point. I am trying to include a space for my own narrow-mindedness, and to be kind to myself. That is why I backed off, for myself.
Also, when I read my words again, I felt anger. I was re-building a fire that is now extinguished.
Steve's brother used to investigate the accidents of Porsches. People would sue, when they had an accident in a Porsche, and blame the car, when, in reality, they should not have been driving such a high-powered car. They hadn't a clue. Steve's brother was down south one day, trying to re-create what happened in an accident. He kept asking questions, and the sheriff kept saying, "Son, it's all burnt up," and that's how I feel about this. The fire is out. They have stopped calling Jan and leaving angry messages. "It's all burnt up," and now, we begin again. Thank you, Vicki, for helping me sort myself out, and also, letting me know I understand what you say, and, still, in this case, sit with what is, for me, in this moment. The rose petals are swept up, and the fire is out.