Deep Water



Days after I posted Troubled Waters, a soft, slow wave flooded my house. 2015  has been a year filled with forced change, with ironic twists of fate, with higher highs and lower lows. My husband broke my heart several times over. I returned home from my first treatment center to find his lover’s name on our mailbox. I fell in love twice, once in a psychiatric hospital and once during my three-month post-treatment program. I had a completely unexpected and maybe the best-ever sexual experience with a Blabla Car driver  on my way to Paris. I turned 47 and had a forbidden birthday romp in the sack with a much younger man at my treatment center. I drank relentlessly and then drank no more. I ripped an IV out of my poor arm in the emergency room after hours of waiting to leave. (Don’t ever do this, blood fountains out of you. It’s horrid.)  I planned to leave my husband and ended up staying. I looked for work without ever imagining for one minute that I might actually get hired. All of that led up to the flood. Then I got hired and began work like a real live human being.  I feel inclined to write about how awful and wonderful having your home go under water can be.

My home is my husband’s in almost every way. His house, his furniture, his paintings and statues and decorative objects. For all intents and purposes, I have been nothing more than the housekeeper. He is maniacally organized, meticulous. I too despise clutter. In my childhood, if I left my stuff lying around, my step-father threw it away. I’m quite tidy as a result. My husband tends to collect things. Pottery, beautiful silver, marble pieces, antiques. The awesome thing about a flood is, the water causes everything to float and since the water level goes down gently, almost everything remains intact. I would have loved to be under the water watching all of our life floating, turning over, gracefully landing. A huge buffet landed on top of our iMac and an ornate, expensive marble and gold-leaf pendulum (?).  It was unbroken. The computer was bathed in mud when we retrieved it but otherwise, it wasn’t broken either. We found frying pans in the bathroom and nearly all of my books floating like ducks in a muddy pond, our photo albums swollen with memories and dirty water. The water was so high that it filled the drawers in our refrigerator. No one dared open the door because of the rotten smell reeking inside.

My library books were in a higher place than my own books and I didn’t have to pay for them. My neighborhood is devastated….I guess the mayor must have picked up the tab for damaged library books and DVDs. When the flood happened, we were watching one of the DVDs that I had checked out. It remained in the DVD player under water for quite a long time but it was unharmed as well.

I live next to a Marine Land. Several turtles and a sea-lion got loose. I would have gladly adopted a seal had he escaped his sad fate. No such luck for either of us. As for the wonderful part of losing everything….you get to start over again! I feel lighter having lost so much of my stuff. I would have never had the heart to toss all the mud-covered cards, letters, paperwork. It’s all gone now. Unwanted gifts, clothes I never wear, the weight of 22 years of consumerism, washed away…’s amazing! I feel very strongly that everything that has led me to this point in my existence was right for me. I haven’t failed at being myself, making my own decisions, taking the long way. Now I have less to account for which should make motion more possible. Living through a natural disaster is really an amazing experience!


  1. Ann St. Vincent

    I’m sorry (not sorry?) to hear about this… my uncle had his entire home destroyed by fire many years ago. He was quite the collector, and man of many many suits and fancy things. It changed his life – he says for the better. Sounds like you are finding it to be this way as well…. here’s to freeing yourself and finding motion.

    • pivoine68

      I woke up in the middle of the night after posting this with the sickening thought that 20 or so people lost their lives in my Life Transforming Flood. I could have mentioned them I guess. I don’t know if I’m in some kind of euphoria or just in shock but I really do feel like all of that water washed me onto a new shore. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂


  2. Jayne

    Wow. If we keep moving, things will constantly change with or without our consent, right? We have no control, only the false belief that control exists. Like the books that took to floating in the flood…or the change of placement when the water receded, it’s the way we cope through the situation that determines where our mind ends up. I also think that we create the window to see the world with our thoughts. We frame our views or outlooks and if I’m lucky as I think you are at heart, things will be ok will be ok. xxxx, J

    • Jayne

      You know, if you’re like me, acknowledgement of strength amidst your traveling through tough times doesn’t really offer comfort because you’re deep in the shit. That’s how I feel during those moments. Maybe you’re more open. I’ll say it anyway. You have the strength of tenacity. You keep getting up and going. You could have stayed silent in your marriage and you didn’t. Your tenacity is an element of success. hugs and more hugs to you.

      • pivoine68

        Either I’m tenacious or a stubborn mule! I think my mom read me far too many fairy tales when I was a child. I always figure there is a happy ending just around the bend. I’m a optimistic pessimist in disguise! Heheh! I do love French movies though because you always know that they will end tragically, unlike our movies. Predictable either way I guess.

        Bises of thanks to you Jayne!

    • pivoine68

      Yeah! It’s so weird. I feel like I’ve been stuck in the wrong track for so long and then all this water came and washed me into a new path. All of my crying and kicking and screaming had nothing to do with it. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. Always. How incredible is that?

      I think that we are lucky too….I know that I am especially lucky because our paths have intersected and you bring me so much. I love your thoughts and words. So I must love you too! ❤

      Big Wet Bisous,

  3. TK.Kim photos et maux insensés

    ma soul sister… si tu savais comme je te comprends… Vraiment… Et si sincèrement.. Il y a dans la perte de toute cette accumulation matérielle dans un désastre naturel, une sorte de prise de conscience qu’il n’y a rien de mieux à faire que de faire table rase… Ton chemin est le bon puisque c’est le tien… Je t’admire, ma sister, je t’admire tant! ❤ ❤ ❤

    • pivoine68

      Ahhh! Je suis heureuse de pouvoir partager tout ça avec toi Soul Sister!!!
      C’est une expérience tellement bouleversante et horrible et magnifique au même temps. Si on ne trouve pas ce qu’il faut pour changer notre existence, la planète règle notre cas tôt ou tard. Nothing matters. Everything matters. We matter.

      Je t’embrasse, 😘

  4. Mrs Fever


    I do not believe you live in Paris, but I know you live within traveling distance. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks there yesterday, I am concerned for you. Are you all right?



    • pivoine68

      Hey Alanna!
      Yeah….things had been stagnating for so long and then I was blown over by all of this stuff and now I feel lucky that the gods shook up my world a little. They do work in mysterious ways!

      Good to see your beautiful smile here in my corner. 🙂

      Big Bisous,

    • pivoine68

      Oh, I’ve dried my feathers since then! 🙂 Everything is going ok now…except my blog. I can’t write anymore. Maybe my words were washed out to sea. Hopefully they’ll come back. Nice to hear from you!

      • columbuscynic

        Words, like flotsam are never truly lost to the sea. They just drift until they find another current.
        For me, my biggest issue is finding the mood. The Muse doesn’t like to be watched. 🙂
        Always good to re-enter the gravitational influence of WordPress and see what friends are writing… Hope to hear more from you… 🙂

    • pivoine68

      I miss writing so much. I keep wanting to but it’s not happening. Maybe sobriety has put a grinding halt to my literary life. 😔

      • samesizesoul

        I have thought similar things…wine or vodka as a muse but then something happens outside that sphere…catalysts for inspiration…I saw a woman in a yellow dress and I began to paint

    • pivoine68

      Oh AM! That is so nice of you! I’m ok. I haven’t been blogging either and I miss my blog friends like you. I’m feeling on the verge of writing…maybe I’ll return like a guest at my own funeral. Hihihi!

      Big Bisous to you,

    • pivoine68

      Since I quit writing here, I am now sort of intimidated about even commenting. It’s exactly the same story at my gym that I no longer go to. (yet pay for…) I guess that even in places where I have felt really comfortable, extended leaves of absence make me feel like a clumsy idiot. I have lots of titles for posts I haven’t written yet…

      I hope you are doing well too!


      • columbuscynic

        I feel the same with my original blog… though I try to force myself back into writing. The Muse never sleeps, really… and social media is not really the best forum for lengthy monologues and observations – in fact, I think coming back to blogging is a way to regain the sanity I lost during the election cycle here and the fallout afterwards. What it really boils down to, I guess, is disregarding what anyone thinks of your re-emergence and just writing (sorta what I am trying to do…)

        All is well… Retirement has given way to school… School is soon to be giving way to… what? Not sure, but writing will play a key role in whatever it is I end up doing…. 🙂

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