Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

The Little Engine that Couldn’t

on May 6, 2011

I had the odd opportunity tonight to spend several hours alone with my computer.  That doesn’t happen very often, and after the obligatory 30 minutes of social networking, I decided I’d sort through the pile of papers on my desk and try to make sense of those blog notes I’ve been keeping at work.

 I’ll be the first to admit I’m easily distracted.  My train of thought is usually in route to the next station before all the passengers are loaded.  There is a reason Kurt Vonnegut was once a favorite read – I can identify with all that stream of consciousness writing. (See, there I go again…)

 So, as I begin to sift through pages of scribbled notes, I thought perhaps I’d wonder over to our blog and see what types of stats or responses we’d had of late.  What actually wound up occurring was a systematic reread of most of our static pages, along with all 16 months columns from our stint as columnists on Poly Percs.  Not even a year and a half… and it seemed so much longer at the time.

 There is a measured amount of (cringe, I see it coming) realism in those posts.  With any amount of forethought one can see it headed towards you like a speeding freight train.  In retrospect I can live each of those volatile moments that lead to certain words on the screen.  Looking back through our archives has a certain therapeutic quality, and then a certain palm to forehead resignation.

 We tried.  Those articles were not just theoretical drivel; we lived every moment of what was written.  We talked, we communicated, we balanced, we rearranged.  And at the end of every “this poly thing is ever so complicated and we feel like we are drowning” was this lilt of hope.  Maybe it is the eternal optimist in me, but I honestly thought we’d make it.  I knew, just knew down deep we’d be able to pull off what so many others before us had not.  All we needed was a little more time, a little more understanding, a little more… {What? What was it that we needed to survive and thrive?}

 As a child, I remember vividly the times when a treasured balloon slipped from my grasp.  That moment when you realize there is NOTHING you can do to being that balloon back.  Reaching, grabbing, jumping up and down – none of it will deflate that balloon before the wind whisks it from sight.  All you can do is watch it float away.

 And thus were we.

 The challenge with relationships is you can’t force them to be something they are not.  Just like individuals, you can fake it for a while, but eventually the truth comes out.  If all parts of the whole are not in harmony, there will still be discord.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  Can you think of any other worn out cliché’s that speak the same message?

 As sad as it is to admit, we didn’t have what it took, we weren’t like minded, and we were not as “exceptionally well put together” as we’d thought ourselves to be.  Our lives turned into a huge game of Tug of War.  And as you know, in that game, both the winners and losers eventually end up face down in the mud.  Everyone gets dirty.

 We had some really great moments, we lived to share some great examples of what to do, and we can retell humorous poly anecdotes from our glory days.  But in the end all four cars weren’t pushing uphill together.  The Little Engine only has so much strength in the face of overwhelming adversary. And in the end, our story did not have a happy poly ending.  We never made it over the hill; our mantra did not provide stamina and will power.

 Temptress and I share our days of melancholy remembrances.  I seem to be ever so much more preoccupied lately with the sad resolve.  But I think I’m moving past the point of hoping to recapture the balloon and just sigh as I watch it shrink into The Great What Was.

 ~ The Laundry Goddess, May 6, 2011

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One response to “The Little Engine that Couldn’t

  1. This post says so much that I could have written myself.

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