Life is good

Barbara Sensei and Jenny Sensei
Events from the past month make it that I barely recognize my life today. I really do not know what set off the avalanche or if it is that I am looking at things with new eyes. Whichever way, change is welcome and change is life.

More details below the fold.

A bit more than one week ago I called my former professor and mentor from my undergraduate days, Joyce B Maxwell. Until she was on the other side of the line – yes I used conventional telephony – did I realize how very simple this would have been a lot earlier and how much I have missed her. How could I have not thought of calling her earlier?

Her residence and phone numbers have not changed in over 30 years, however the last time that I was in California two years ago I did not get to visit her as I was there just for a couple of days and had some family matters to deal with, in particular, with my son’s residency.

Still, it was on hearing Joyce’s voice again that it dawned on me that she is one of the nurturing people in my life who have made it possible for me to survive. How very easy it is to take nurturance for granted, and yet when it is missing one suffers a pain that can kill! Not that I had forgotten her nurturance and continued support, it just needed some refreshing. Especially now during psychoanalysis where I have been looking into my continued quest for “my mother” and her acceptance, I have wondered how it was that I could have survived in the view of the fact – it is a fact – that although my biological mother was always there in some way or another, I just failed every single expectation of hers from a very early age on. Acceptance is nothing that I ever felt. It could be that it was there, I just never felt it, and still do not. I can live with this, and I have given up on looking for it. At this point it no longer matters, and there is much that I am grateful for when it comes to my family.

I often feel rather ridiculous with the observations and constatation that de facto I was an orphan. My own childhood traumas seem insignificant and bland in comparison with those of war zone inhabitants or those who have suffered extensive physical abuse. Really, what happened to me? Not much, but that does depend on how you are willing to look at it. On the surface all looks alright. It is the kind of alright that reminds me of the film Festen by Thomas Vinterberg. Still, there is no bigger trauma than the one that one experiences.

Getting back in touch with Joyce means a lot to me, and it does provide the answer to the question of from whom I found nurturance during my college years. Nobody encouraged me more than Joyce. I joined her biochemical genetics research lab as a university sophomore and stayed there until I graduated. I did not pursue my studies in biochemical genetics, changed tack and went more and more into Physics as I found the biochemical world much too complex. I was looking for a more fundamental understanding of the world and I thought that I would find it in Physics. Joyce was a fantastic mentor through out my early university studies. Our conversation a few years ago was like both time and space had never separated us. She missed me, and I have missed her.

This is not all the good that I am discovering in my life and that has been raining on me during the past month, there is quite a bit more.