My Ring doorbell chime still has a witch cackle from Halloween. I should probably change that –
There is still some pretty strange and dark magic going on…
Is there a sound more appropriate for post-election, pre-Thanksging, COVID-surge insanity that could echo through my home when someone comes to the door?
Let’s check my options…
“Turkey Gobble” is the only current holiday option. No thanks. There are actually no good choices here (which is a metaphor in itself). I’m down to classic Westminster (yawn) or something called “Flashback”, which is that sound they used in 70’s TV shows to indicate they were thinking back or dreaming. Yeah, that sounds appropriate.
THAT ring is taken care of…
I just “stream of consciousness” wrote in my head for about 10 minutes, which I suppose is sort of cheating and defeating the purpose of the morning’s exercise. Sorry about that.
“Cheating” now has me thinking and writing about what I was musing about whilst not pressing keys: the wedding ring. I’m looking at mine right now. Thinking about the pastor’s admonition of how the unbroken circle is a symbol of unbroken love for one another. Which is good and true. How come over half of us break that circle these days? No judgment. Just thinking and asking. I think one of the biggest problems is that we fall into binary thinking of what love IS and what love is NOT, what marriage IS and what marriage is NOT. And if we find ourselves in “IS”, the ring stays in tact. If “NOT”, well, everything we think we know is called into question. Is it really that simple? Of course not. Humans are RIDICULOUSLY complicated. Put two (or more) together and expect perfect harmony, perfect love, unity of thought and heart, blah blah blah…? forget about it.
I was talking to a friend yesterday who had an “open relationship” arrangement with his former partner. One of them traveled a lot for work, and it was basically understood when he was out of town, they were each free to see other people, hang out, hook up, whatever. But then my friend found out the other was “cheating” on him, which confused me at first, because if the relationship is “open”, how can you “cheat”? Well, it turns out the partner was sneakily meeting others when he was NOT traveling for work. This now violated the “openness” rules and was, in fact, cheating. And it was hurtful. An understanding had been laid out and agreed to, and that agreement had been violated. Is this a different agreement than you and your partner might have worked out? Different than an agreement my wife and I might have worked out? Probably. The thing is, they probably could have kept it together if they had talked, been honest about feelings, and adjusted the agreement to eliminate the sneaking (that may or may not have worked, but you never know until you get honest and ask the questions).
It’s all hypothetical at this point because the relationship was shortly thereafter destroyed by forces beyond my friend’s control. That’s another story altogether and not one I feel comfortable telling on his behalf, even anonymously, but what I’ve told you is enough and makes my point:
The end of a relationship is not the end of the ring, the end of the circle.
If the circle, the ring, tells us anything, it’s that LIFE goes on, and we need to get out of the trap of binary thinking. Yeah, it might be easier if my Ring Doorbell only had one chime setting. But it’s BORING. Life is about choices. Good ones and bad ones. You may choose well, and you may choose badly. Someone else may choose badly in a way that affects you. You may choose badly in a way that affects others (HOLY COW, have I “been there, done that” to my loved ones. I’m so sorry, all.). But don’t stop. Keep moving. Keep feeling. Not like a selfish ass, of course, but in openness and honesty with the important ones around you.
Just to throw some additional non-binary thinking into the mix, my friend and his partner were never married, so no ring, no circle. Doesn’t make my point any less valid. If anything, it makes my point MORE valid. We are ALL part of a ring. We are a ring unto ourselves to break or leave unbroken (or resize if our fingers get too fat – oooooh, there’s a good metaphor). We are a ring to our loved ones and family, a ring to our neighbors, a ring to our world. A “circle of life”, if you’ll permit me to go Disney on you for a minute.
Some of it is broken, of course. Probably because, at some point, someone demanded THIS or THAT, EITHER – OR, ONE or TWO…
My brother is going to jump all over me for being post-modern in thought with all of this (“When we were kids, we listened to that one doorbell chime and LIKED IT”). Guilty, I guess. We DO live in a time of moral relativity and ambiguity. What are we going to do with that? Cling to our binary “truth” and “non-truth” about things as complex as “love”? Or do we look down at our finger and realize our rings (if we have them) don’t choose one side or the other. They just ARE. And they keep going.
Unbroken. But not necessarily unchanged.
Like my doorbell. Sometimes the “flashback” chime may be a reminder of how things used to be, or a pleasant realization that things have changed, and we’re still here.
Time for my Rilke excerpt from “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” (I swear you will all memorize this eventually):
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.Rainer Maria Rilke
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) is “ring.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adverb, or an adjective…use it any way you’d like. Have fun!