On a walk last night I got to thinking about yin and yang – yin-yang. In fact, those three words have slipped into and through my mind a number of times the last few weeks. To be honest, I’ve never truly understood their meaning or if yin was the ‘good’ one and yang the ‘bad’, or vice versa, or maybe good and bad has nothing to do with it at all. In the organization known as Al-Anon there’s a saying which is , “You have to take the bitter with the better.” I suppose that is kind of the way I’ve thought about yin and yang all these long years – one (don’t know which) stands for ‘the bitter’, the other ‘the better.’ But, again, I doubt that’s it.
I googled yan and yang a few minutes ago, here on a Wednesday morning before I leave to go pick up my son Spenser from a three-night overnight with his new ‘family’ and bring him back to his room – his own room – now depleted of the desk and bureau, his closet nearly empty, a high mound of boxes and bags and t-shirts by the window to be gone through for saving or ‘deleting’, and hoping he’s mostly okay — so I googled the phrase or saying or whatever and after reading the prime definition I still do not have any clarity, something about the yin femininity and shadows, the yang passion and growth. Something like that.
All I can say is that for all the years of my life since I first heard those three words together – yin and yang – and I’ll take a wild guess and say it was sometime in the sixties, I’ve felt it meant that life had its opposites and quite often they traveled through the world arm in arm, inseparable partners, offering both comfort and ennui. Pain, maybe, too. So this dramatic one-month-exactly-now change in my life, which initially and lasting a while was all one or the other of them – the pain one – has also do-si-do’d around to something else. Somethings else. Like someone I have never spoken with before yesterday saying, on a phone call last night, that even despite such a heart-breaking life situation, maybe I am – he said – on “an adventure.” It’s a word which has come to me the last couple of weeks too.
Having no address, come the 31st, also means having no address. No yard to sit in, no lawn to mow? No place to call home, no other place unavailable. Not good examples at all, but they do and have for a while rung in my head – and it feels like in my soul too – with a sense of the yin and yang thing.
If someone had told me, say, three weeks ago, “You can end your marriage and leave all those responsibilities and set off in your “twilight years” to who knows where on some amazing “adventure” I would not have given it a nano-second’s thought. Never in a million years. Go read through my books of poetry – the poems I have written and shared. The truth is there. But then life do-si-do’d me and there I was and here I am and slowly through this last month lighter patches of wonder and possibility have slipped out from behind the terrible, scary storms and clouds. People have helped.
And that sense has felt a little yin and yang-ish to me. However that goes.