Definitions: of frame and reframe:
So normally I frame my job or relationship as being in a certain way.
Then one day I leave or break up; maybe I get dumped, maybe I am angry at qualities Y and Z
I reframe, realizing that my ex was Y and Z all along.
We are the world, and it is too late
to pretend we are children at dusk watching fireflies.
We must frame, then, more firmly the idea of good.
By Robert Penn Warren
I felt a playful tapping on my head and when I turned around it was my dad, who doesn’t live in my city. This was during a party in the RGO Treehouse. Ignoring everyone else in the room we conversed. He said he had been away, but was now passing through town and stopped in to see me. I said, “That would be nice to believe,” but I knew: I was trying to come up with a plausible excuse for his being away…
in some kind of dream state…
This because I knew he was still away, in heaven.
And then I found myself lying on my side fully clothed. I had been physically tired, and needed a nap. I had been emotionally tired too, like missing my dad, because a woman I had made an appointment with two weeks in advance, to have a friendly visit with, right after a certain shared activity, had kind of changed her mind. And no, this was not from being busy. And so I had to re-frame things, and now I miss our relationship. Cue Bonnie Rait song, you know the one I mean. (link is below)
At my Friday free fall writing group is a powerful writer who just cannot believe any positive feedback, about her work being good, from the rest of us. And when my father was alive, in his last decade, I could scarcely believe him saying good things about me—even though he kept doing so—not after years of contortions by him, to stand on his head, even, rather than believe anything good about me. Or is this wrong—was my judgment of his opinions contaminated by other bizarre family members, especially my mother? Was I just too low in self esteem, too hurt into blindness?
I can’t ask for a “perception check” from any of my siblings, even though there’s five of them, plus me. No, because earlier this month I re-framed my closer sibling as having been, all along… without my being willing to see—until now— … not impolite, not rude, but downright cruel. Which means then, to me, no credibility. Other siblings, I guess, are also non-credible. So now I can’t ask anyone.
Well. The best way to have a credible friend is to become a credible friend, so that’s the hope-land I am now heading towards, making my legs move, one small step after another.
May you too have hope, on this empty mournful day. Here’s Bonnie, with Bruce Hornsby on piano. (link)
In the year of our Lord