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“Emptiness refers to the absence of something that, for some reason, one expects to find—as when we say a glass, normally used to hold liquids, is empty even though it is full of air. The point is not that there is nothing there at all, but rather that what is there differs from your expectations.” ~William S. Cobb, “The Game of Go”

Expectations. Emptiness. What I hold on to that I don’t even form into thoughts, into the stuff of consciousness. Unconscious expectations. Ah, that is interesting stuff.

Sunday.  Julia is up first, watched some tv, folded her clothes and taking a shower.  For days, her lack of independence compared to her typical peers has been what I see and I have felt such sadness.  For me, for sure, but more, for her.  Listening to her move around our new home, sounds that are unfamiliar and not easily identified, I see, ah yes, I see, expectations.  For all that I preach, to myself and others, about natural unfolding and patience, I am still comparing her to peers. I am comparing peacocks to robins.

Yesterday, we T-ed it into Boston to see a Dear Evan Hansen with Cheshire and Justin at the Boston Opera House. Good show with themes of suicide and lies and what happens when the snow ball gets rolling downhill. Some of it is achingly sad. Beautiful opera house.  Ate in Chinatown and walked up the Greenway, past fountains and funky art to another T stop. Took the Green Line back to Newton, our parked car and home.

It felt like vacation.  Like Sydney, arriving in the middle of the city after an easy bus from Steph’s. Like Kew, town shops wrapping around the train stop. Like Madison, where theater was a short drive from my house. I didn’t know that these particulars were on my list.  I am finding home.

Sunday morning, we attended our first service at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton (“FUUSN”).  Small, lay led and in the parish hall. The piano played the introduction to “How Can I Keep From Singing?” and my eyes filled. Enough was familiar for comfort but so much is different. Claire was not at the front door with a hug, Janet was not bustling around the kitchen, how many faces that I might see on any given Sunday or Saturday, were, of course, not there. Afterwards, I introduced myself to a lay minister and she introduced me to her son.  We chatted and I saw possibilities.  There will be community but I miss my Madison peeps. I miss being known and knowing. 

When we first walked into the parish hall, Julia attached herself to two teens who were running childcare, if it was needed.  They were kind and asked Julia to join them.  Later, they asked her to come back again.  She announced on her way to the car that she would like to help out in childcare.  Something to explore.

In the afternoon, we went to IKEA to buy bookcases and tonight I put the first one together. Yes, I am strong.  I am capable. I can figure things out and get challenges done. When all else fails, I can hire someone or do without. This independence is lonely but I do not hold expectations of anything different. And so, loneliness is not emptiness. This is new.  It has been growing and now it is here.  

I put the bookcases that I cannot get into the study back on Facebook Marketplace. I so hope someone wants them soon. It would be nice to get my mistake out of the dining room.