This morning I felt the same thing as I went to my mother's apartment as I usually do - to have breakfast - as I was walking along the suburban street near my home. There was this weight inside me, a weight on my chest and in my throat, and a desire to cry.
Driving down the highway the weight inside me was somehow connected to the separation - even if only temporary - from my usual connections. I was leaving my mother alone in her home to go into the city for a few hours, to recharge my batteries. Nothing undue, nothing exceptional. Or so you would think. But the burden of caring for my mother has been matched recently with the additional burden of planning to leave our town and move to Sydney, and somehow this new burden has doubled the pain of separation I feel whenever I drive down the highway to the city. The pain of separation can even be felt just while walking out the front door on a weekday morning on routine business.
The pain of separation is permanent now. I am planning to move back to Sydney and also to place my mother in a nursing home, and this compound of burdens makes itself felt in even the most normal parts of my life. Even just walking down the street I can feel the burden pulling on my emotions, drawing me down into new regions of discomfort and anxiety. New worlds of feeling, new loci of pain and separation.
I am sure that this is the case, and that it is these new elements in the topography of my life that are causing the new stresses I can feel while driving or while walking down the street. I know it is them because I didn't feel these things so strongly before, and these new elements are of recent origin, belonging to the past three weeks or so of my life, to a part of my life when they were born in my mind as ideas, and began to develop into plans. I am still resolutely connected to my mother but the new reality means that I feel the tug of separation at all times. You can check out any time you like, but - as the old familiar song says - you can never leave. A busker was playing that song yesterday in South Bank while I was in Brisbane.