May 15th, 2007

Vatican/St. Peter's

Theological Notebook/Personal/Random: The Holy See Sees

According to my map program, today my journal got a hit for the first time, not from Rome, but from the Holy See: the Vatican City-State. Is the Pope reading my journal? The CDF? The cleaning staff? The office in the basement that secretly controls the world economy?
Choices/The Seventh Seal

Personal: Breaking up

Jen and I broke up last night. Not entirely unexpected. She'd come back from Indianapolis last weekend feeling strangely disconnected from me, and I certainly knew that I hadn't helped matters in having been a pretty awkward start-up in this relationship: but by the time I had really warmed up to her – and gotten past such unnecessary "internal monologue" announcements as to how strange everything seemed to me in this online matching business – she had suddenly found that the excitement/giddiness seemed to be spent: the overwhelming want to be with the one you love. We talked about it and found that perhaps, now being on the same page at last, that those feelings she was having might not be necessarily the way things had to be. And we had something of a really good week, afterward, with her finding that desire still there, but with a bit of reserve on my part, certainly, and hers as well, after what we had just experienced.

But she came back from this weekend away feeling the same kind of disconnect, augmented by her frustration at my being unable to share her outdoor adventures with her: the very issue I had cautioned her on before we met. In theory, she knew she preferred "the partner you could talk with" than "the one you could climb with": in practice, she found that she really wanted both – not that that was the whole issue, of course. And so there was the frustration of this being one of those situations where, yes, you know where the difficulties are, but at the same time, there's so much that's good, right, and loved.

Still, I knew that I could potentially find myself at the same place some months from now with regard to our spiritual or philosophical differences. But I wasn't there yet: I was still the one who saw potential rather than any assurance that this wasn't the relationship that would go the distance. Thus this was the kind of breakup that comes still in the context of love, with lots of honest and safe conversation, tears, kisses, and passion, frankly. So probably still friends, once the dust settles, but for the moment, just the feeling of being helpless, knowing – whether I would have chosen it, myself, in time to come – just how wonderful that thing is that I just lost.

It's been kind of a listless day, then, naturally, just feeling sad, and losing myself in the work of the dissertation, which I worked at at my kitchen table, not feeling like packing up my laptop and walking through the cool rain to the library. Her glass of water from last night was still sitting on the corner of my coffeetable, and I would find myself looking at it now and then, seeing it as a sort of visual echo of her presence: a kind of proof of a moment or chapter in my life that would soon be erased. I left it there, not entirely ready to consign it all to memory. I had mentioned what had happened in an email last night to Kevin, and it was very cool to see that despite how busy he is – and how out of touch we generally are with our various busy-nesses – how quick he was to drop things and make time to call me. So part of the afternoon was spent talking it over for a few hours while he and Guinness climbed Snow King on a warm afternoon in Jackson, Wyoming. He had told Frannie when she woke up and Frannie – all Italian passion – immediately wanted to go beat up Jen, which I assured him was not appropriate and not the sort of break up or woman we were talking about. In fact, as I told him more about it, he became more impressed, it seemed, with the whole way we were carefully trying to relate to one another. So, I suppose, more than anything, it was just good to catch up, as well as to maybe put it all out there to someone, and then to let it be.