Simone de Beauvoir wrote:
“Days have a certain rhythm. There is a tremendous difference between morning and evening. Evening means fever, a breaking down; one thinks of getting drunk, of crying and doing just anything, and one gets lost in the crowd. Morning is lucidity.”
The most certain time of the day for me is in the morning when I feel I am awake. When I feel that there is a world outside, even if it is full of cruelty, dishonesty, and dirty things. And in those early hours of the morning I can withdraw from the world and write and be all alone and be myself. And in that hour of early morning I do not have to pretend that I am okay or that I am not unhappy, or sad, or frustrated. In that hour of the morning I am myself.
On one such blissful morning last week, as I looked out my window before sitting at my desk to write, I saw a “for sale” sign that the landlord had put up outside. I panicked. Just when I thought that I had succeeded in some way to start living again, just when I thought that somehow I would be able to bring some kind of direction, some structure to my life again, everything around me seemed to fall apart.
The apartment where I live is the one that we settled into after we immigrated to Canada and arrived in Montreal. It is the only house that we had as a family, before my husband passed away. It is the house where he lived, and worked and dreamed and painted. It is the house where I still hear his footsteps, his voice, and feel his presence. It is the only house here in this city, in this country that I shared with him. Seeing that sign I felt violated.
“Horror is worse than desire, but sadness and gloom are benign compared to the tension, this denial and persistence of passion.” Simone de Beauvoir
And just when I thought that I was eventually coming to terms, finding some kind of peace, with my loss and my life, I am about to lose my memories too. And for the past week I feel I live in a kind of stupor. I am so indifferent to everything around me. I feel so lifeless that I don’t feel anything. And it seems there’s such an abyss between me and my past.
I feel this rebellion rising up in me that is so hard to bear. And this struggle and deceit to deny my anger and frustrations, to keep myself in check. This fight against the will to live and desire. Someday my life will be full again, that’s what everyone around me tells me. But how plain it will be. To quote Simone de Beauvoir:
“To put so many things into a presence and an eternal absence will never be anything that is full and can be grasped, but will always be an indefinite nothingness; how easy it is to throw something into nothingness!”