Thursday, December 30, 2010

apparently, rumi has it out for me.

Sea of Lavishness

I have drowned in His Sea of Lavishness, I am the slave of His Dawn.
He is the wild perfumed rose who drew me to the rose garden.
Drowning in His Sea, all clothes are heavier than iron –
How heavy my turban is to me now, and my robe!
The Kingdom and its treasures, visionary beauties with soft faces,
All are mine, are mine, when my Friend is in me.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Lord of the Palace will not grant me an audience
The confidant of the soul will not whisper me His secrets.
His charm, His goodness, His glory, His fiery eyes,
And the tender subtlety of His tyranny have all enslaved me.
He mocked me: "Where is your love, your radiance, your glory?"
How can any of my glory remain when I see nothing but Him?

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

This is rather how I feel, with god (or my former self) mocking me, saying, yeah, where is your love and your radiance now? Well fuck you. How can any of my glory remain? Apparently, it does, and it will. Doesn't right now. This is going to take a long time of moving very slowly.

Monday, December 27, 2010

damn rumi.

Suddenly, in the sky at dawn, a moon appeared,
Descended from the sky
Turned its burning gaze on me,
Like a hawk during the hunt seizing a bird,
Grabbed me and flew with me high into heaven.
When I looked at myself, I could not see myself
For in this moon, my body, by grace, had become soul.
And when I traveled in this soul, I saw nothing but moon
Until the mystery of eternal theophany lay open to me.
All the nine heavenly spheres were drowned in this moon;
The skiff of my being drowned, dissolved, entirely, in that Sea.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Though, if I think of this for matt, and not for me, it's much more beautiful.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We didn't even celebrate most holidays, and this day still sucks. I'm trying to get myself, if not "up" for, at least organized for, going out to a movie. It was going to be movie-and-chinese food, but I don't like chinese food, and this is maine, where real chinese does not exist. I've missed two movie start times already.

Last night was a smack of grief-trauma, with flashbacks and screaming that hasn't happened in awhile. I woke up in the middle of the night having just had a dream wherein I was woken up in the middle of the night by Les Nessman, telling me my "flower of the day" segment had been moved to the three a.m. time slot, and I was On Now. I stumbled through some random made-up story based on the flowers in the vase in front of me, sounding like a drunk. Toward the end, I got more serious, drew the microphone close, and told the non-existent radio audience, "there will be roses blooming again. I know it does not seem like it, in the middle of this february. And it will take a long time, as there aren't many more places further North than us. I mean, there's Canada. The Yukon Territories. The North Pole. Spring is going to take awhile there, too. But there will be roses again. You will see those blooms again. I promise."

And then I woke up, singing both the theme song to WKRP and this song, below. In somewhat of a cruel blow, this song is one that always made me tear up when we played the cd in the truck. It came on one day on our way back from the river. He reached over and said, "are you crying again? It's such a nice song." I'd just nod, and try to sing, try not to imagine what the song describes. Then he said, "it's going to happen, babe. It's just life." He was always so peaceful about death. I looked at him and said, "I know. I know it's going to happen, and it is going to SUCK." The man gets to be peaceful about it - he gets to go and I have to stay. Hate to be all sour grapes, but Man.

A few years ago, my father was taken ill with something, was in the hospital for a few days, had exploratory surgery, problem found and fixed. Matt and I went up to visit him, post-op. Everything was fine until it came time to go. My mother bent down to kiss my father's forehead, he grabbed her hand, and they sat there for a moment, foreheads touching. I started crying. A nurse saw this and rushed to comfort me, saying, "it's okay, he's going to be just fine, it's okay honey." My mother snapped out of her moment and rushed to my side as well. I composed myself, and we all walked out. In the hallway, Matt took my hand. He whispered, "you weren't crying because you were worried about your father." "Nope," I said. He put his arm around me and said, "you were imagining what it will be like when one of them dies and leaves the other behind."

Apparently, I was consistent in my sensitivities, as well as potentially empathic for my own future.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

grown-up words

I am maybe fortunate in that I have very very few people, if any, demanding that I be who I used to be, which is one of the perks of being a relative loner and a great ignorer of opinions. I have a feeling my parents would like me to be doing things differently, but that is a much more long-standing issue than Just Grief. I know I have a few friends who would love to see me happier, who would very very much like to hang out and spend time with me - ANY time with me, and who respectfully and quietly wait. I definitely have a few people who are very uncomfortable around me, but try to pretend they aren't. I have a couple of new not-yet-friends who sometimes say they are stunned I am still standing, even now, and who listen to me ramble on if I feel like rambling, or just allow me to shovel out their barns or feed their cows.

I have at least one friend  from long ago who dislikes and disapproves of the way I am handling life. She was incredible in the first few weeks, then disappeared for months, only to call on the actual anniversary date to scold me for not being a better friend to her. I am thankful that when we did talk, she used incredible grown-up skills, showed beautiful compassion and understanding, and was all-around lovely. We aren't really friends anymore. We haven't said it, we didn't say it, but I have the sense that she respects my truth and my choices, even though she thoroughly disagrees, and wants it to be different. She wants a different me, and she can't have it. It's weird, because randomly thinking about who I would want at my "deathbed," I thought of her. Even though we aren't actively friends, and hadn't been for a few years before this Event, either. Something about someone who can use grown-up words, though, makes me like them forever, even when our paths divulge and we disappoint each other in pretty major ways.

A couple of years ago, I ghostwrote a couples counseling workbook. One of the best things I got out of the whole experience was language for desire and disappointment:

It is okay to want something from a friend or love that they are not currently giving. It is okay to express your grief about said shortfall or disappointment. It is okay to ask them if they would be willing to give what you are asking. However. If they are not willing, or simply cannot give you what you are asking, it is not okay to shame, harass, manipulate, judge, correct, and/or constantly try to change that person into the person you want them to be. If they can give what you ask, great. If they can't, and that disappointment is more than you can bear, bow out gracefully and Leave.

I know I used to have such skills; I used to be able to tolerate such discussions. Matt and I were doing awesome with this stuff. We were kicking love butt with our discussions of disappointment and needs. It was easy, and fun, and when it wasn't, we were massively brave anyway. The current me will get the heck out of such discussions quite quickly these days; I will wiggle out quite uncomfortably. It is different trying to be a grown-up with someone I don't know and trust as I do matt.  But I can still imagine what a grown-up set of skills might be. If I ever have need of them again.  

On other peoples' behalf, though, I am all about respectful and truthful communication. When I hear of someone being less-than-respectful to one one my widow people, I want to (aggressively, protectively) hand that person a little prompt card, suggesting a wee better way of communicating their needs...

"The reality of your life right now is painful/overwhelming/weird/boring/not fun and I am just not digging it.  Can you please go back to the life I enjoyed more? Can you please experiment with subject matter I find more interesting? Can you please change the way you are responding to this whole thing? No? Well then I will be self-responsible AND respectful enough to bow out gracefully at this time. Self-responsible, in that I will not continue something that is not feeding me, and respectful in that I honor your path even as it takes you away from me. "

That would be so cool ~ for those people I know who have un-graceful people they know, making judgments and demands on their lives. Not exactly fair that I would expect direct communication in others but not be able to tolerate receiving it myself, but there you go. You can't take the counselor out of me, apparently. I want other people to have the skills, I want the people I know to hear respectful, truthful, honest things. I just don't currently want anyone using those skills on me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

sunday the 12th

seventeen calendar months today. For some reason, that seems very very much far more worse than 74 weeks. The other day, I imagined someone saying to me, "but he's been gone a year," and I said - "No. It can't be. That isn't. No." And then I realized - he has. He has been gone a year, and then some. A year and five months, today.

I went to mass, heathen that I am, and Mike's homily was perfect for me, as always. Well, as often. I learned that today is the 3rd sunday of advent, also called The Sunday Of Joy. (it is also the feast day of the virgin of guadalupe, which he didn't mention, but I already knew) So - the Sunday of Joy. He went on to describe the difference between happiness and joy. He took a detour to talk about grief - when our hearts are shattered, when we have lost one we hold most dear, when there is no happiness, there may be joy, somewhere, in knowing that our separation is only temporary. We must hold our hearts, feel our brokenness, and all the while know our separation is temporary.

I try to believe that. At least (at most), to know that there is more to this world and whatever lies around it than I will ever know. There is more heaven jammed into this place right now than most would know, and who am I to say whether our separation is temporary or no. I can't imagine love would disappear. I need to know, and believe, and remind myself, that love Is. And when my time comes to join the compost pile of this life, I have to believe I'll know it's time, because matt comes on over to pick me up. Rests his hands on the chair opposite mine, and just says "ready?"

I wish (though not really) that I believed in any one thing, so I could, I don't know,  join something and feel like it fit. No, I really don't. But I do like churches, and I always have. Especially when they are empty. If there were some Order who would take me, take me in all my spirit of gods but not the letters of people, take me without pinning me into one way and one way only, then I would probably become the nun my high school guidance counselors thought I would be (much to the surprise and hysterical laughter of my friends at the time). I've always been a monk of my own order. My fellow goofy monk has gone on ahead, and I am not digging this order alone. My match and my equal, my peer and my friend. I miss you my love.

Happy third sunday, 74th sunday, and day of Our Lady who brings surprise tangible gifts of her love.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I don't believe in causality. I don't believe that thinking good will bring more good, any more than I think that thinking bad will bring more bad.  For me, the law of attraction, or believing in the law of attraction, is pure hubris; I don't have that much power. If you put that law the other way 'round, somehow I deserved this, or earned this, because I thought the wrong thoughts. That puts a whole lot of responsibility and power on my little ol' mind, and I just can't take that on. Currently, I believe that things are going to happen as they are going to happen, no matter which way I align my thoughts. What I can do with my thoughts is care for myself or beat the crap out of myself. I think that forcing myself, making myself, notice small beauty is not to bring more beauty my way, but to notice it right then because I desperately need it right then. Because it is, right then. But beauty doesn't make this okay. It doesn't subtract from this, make this less than what grand rot it is. The two are not related that way. I keep trying to do that, force current beauty to make this okay, and it can't. Beauty can come along to help you bear that moment you're in, but it's not there to take that moment away.

I think funky math is also what so many people do when they try to cheer us up: "look - he might be gone, but the sky is pretty," "look - other people love you," "look - your life can be even better than before," "look - here is some delicious sweet thing, aren't you glad you are still alive to taste this?!" "look - you get to learn things most of us don't understand." Look - look at all these little things you have in exchange for what you had. The equation does not balance out, no matter how bad my math skills may be. Nothing will ever make up for this, nothing will ever make the scales balance right again. The best life in the world will not be a fair exchange. You can't compare things that way and come out anything other than angry. Well, I can't.

I keep thinking about what michele wrote a couple of weeks ago on Widow's Voice -

I don't think of the differing ways I have filled in this loaded sentence to be a balance sheet. There is no way to measure out in even amounts what I lost and what I have gained. I didn't have a choice about my life circumstance. All I can do is make the most of what lies ahead, in honor of the potential that exists with each day that I draw breath. ... Not in exchange, but in addition.

That last line has helped me so much. Nothing that happens in this life, however long it is, will ever be greater than (>) my life before; my life before will not be less than (<). Nothing will ever make things equal (=). Nothing will subtract (-) from how awesome our life was. I don't know that there is or is not an absolute zero, because my math skills don't extend that far. But there is nothing to make this a fair exchange.

Everything that happens now simply sits beside me. Everything from that day on is and. Everything is in addition.

Monday, December 6, 2010

beautiful things

I was going to start a little notebook of daily beautiful things, but maybe I will do that here for a bit. I seem to post a lot of pain and badness, so goodness is nice. Some days (like the last three), the best thing I can say about a day is that the sky might be beautiful, but wtf difference does that make. Today is better (see #1), and I still have to live here, apparently, for now, so it will help me to find something beautiful. As a practice.

* The incredible dream, early this morning. That dream may have saved my life today. I didn't wake up courting death, but I sure did go to bed that way. Beautiful, awesome, powerful, full of love dream. Thank you, my love. Right on. It has made me light all day.

* The massive happy dance our dog did when I got home this afternoon. A dance I have only seen twice since That Day.

* Coming home from our afternoon walk, thinking of the giant hawk who lives in the tall dead tree, coming into the driveway just in time to see her, lifting off said tree, hovering overhead for several seconds, then flapping off slowly into the woods.

* Louis the still affectionate, but far too big for close cuddling, bull calf. We have to do chin scratches from outside the gate now, but his face is just awesome - big goofy underbite and tiny little horns.

* The elegant, Dutch-made wooden cheese press loaned to me by the farm owners, along with an additive I needed to make cheese.

* Being home with our beasts, and bedtime not far off.

more poetry

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I've been torn up inside
I've been left behind So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier

I wait for the sound
I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

from Soldier of Love by Sade. The video on you tube is totally dorky, but the song itself....

Friday, December 3, 2010

soured and soared

My Friends!

My friends! My friends! However hard you look
You'll not find a trace of human nature in me!
Even the maddest madman could never imagine
What I have imagined in my heart!
I am so extreme, even madmen flee me now!
For I have mingled with death, soured and soared in Non-Being.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A song sent to me from my high school friend. After 21 years, we saw each other for the first time just a month after matt died. She said, "I wish I'd connected with you again before you'd been destroyed." Typing that now, it sounds rude. Actually, it was a really awesome thing to say.