If you type in ‘openure’ into dictionary.com, it will tell you, upon the press of the search button, that there are ‘no results found.’ So on a cool Paris morning, join me in the celebration of a new word. It’s the third or fourth word I have come up with, or been involved in, the creation of. “Manufactroversy” is Max’s word, but we were working together at the time and it’s a great word. “Yogabation” is one I came up on my own about a certain woman and that brings me to today’s new word, openure.
Closure, you see, is an often-bandied-about word that implies you are able to take your heart, your soul, you, and when the three of you have been exposed to heartache, tragedy, love, loss, that somehow there comes a point where you can close the door on it, shut it tight, throw away the key and somehow, it’s then, just at that moment, it’s in the past and you have “closure.”
“Time heals all wounds” they say, they who haven’t had their heart ripped out, they who have never loved too much, they are wrong. Time doesn’t heal all wounds; what time does is take the raw open wound, and slowly, make it a scab then a scar and the scar fades but it never is completely gone or healed.
I returned to the States for the holidays, I had hoped that my kids would be allowed to come to Burma to see their grandfather’s house, but their mother disagreed, so I flew backwards to pause a moment and now, am headed back.
The break in the States was jarring on many levels, to go from Yangon where you are happy if you have power all day and be dropped in the commercialism of Christmas in Boston, it might be the greatest opposite experience you can imagine.
But it was a remarkable time of “openure” because there have been not one, not two but three lingering wounds currently in my life, in addition to the gaping lingering wound of my father’s death for which I am now seeing openure.
Which brings me to the door.
In Bagan, in the Ananda Temple, there are teak doors, each carved from a single tree, single massive pieces of wood, some thirty, thirty five feet high, and while at one point perhaps they would swing open and close, now they are stuck permanently open.
I was in love with a woman who was in love with me as well, but, for her, the timing seemed wrong, or maybe it really was wrong. I am more romantic than that. Life is so short that when you find love, I think you have to put love first, but for her, it wasn’t quite to be that way. I saw her when I was in Boston, having thought of her every day of my journey last fall. The good was she still loves me. The bad was she still loves me. And it wasn’t closure when she walked out the door and down the hall, it was openure because having seen her, I am now open again.
Imagine a glass pitcher where you can see the water in it. If the pitcher is full, you can’t put more water in it, but as you pour the water out, then you are open to more.
The second moment was a woman who I was deeply involved with who has been lingering around me, and has made me wonder, and I have had made her wonder as well. She said something to me that all my friends, especially all my woman friends, were shocked at, and shocked me as well. It was deeply self-absorbed and after your friends have been telling you a person is this or that and you can’t see it, then you do, in technicolor brilliance, you are able to pour the water out.
Finally, for years, I have tried to deal calmly and fairly with the mother of my children, out of love for them and respect for her. But, for some people, the more you give, the more they take, and the less you have and the more they demand. Again, there was a moment of perfect clarity and I walked away, and I will never look back or help again like I used to.
So here in a cool gray Paris, working hard on the book, there is openure in the above. The pitcher is empty, not because people are telling me it should be, but because I saw for myself. In that, there is some sadness, things that flew in and around me for years are now quietly boxed on the shelf.
An empty glass pitcher stands on the countertop. Clear, it’s for everyone to see, but most importantly, it is finally open again.