Monday, November 21, 2011


sometimes I feel like this...
because I am clearly still not getting it.


I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
~ T.S. Eliot ~

In the Before, I had no problem with "dark." In fact, when I was seeing clients, or writing for various papers, I often talked about fear of the dark, fear of darkness, the endless pitting of darkness versus light, how silly it all was. Darkness is nothing to fear; darkness is just an inner turn, a waiting. Most things start in darkness. All germination begins in dark (well, okay, except for a few flower seeds that need light to germinate...). Anyway. Darkness is not now, and never has been, a metaphor for lostness or evil or anything negative at all, for me. Why do I say this? Well, because I like this Eliot poem very much. And because all my metaphors and analogies of life in the Before instantly became useless emptiness the moment the lead warden stepped out of the woods and said, "I'm sorry, but he's passed."

The darkness is the light, and the stillness is dancing.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Invisible

When the Invisible has become your food,
you've won Eternal Life and death has fled.
When the agony of love has begun to expand your life,
roses and lilacs take over the garden of your soul.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi


Friday, November 18, 2011

this morning's radio

I'm in the middle of making a sculpted cake for my little friend's 5th birthday. Crabby, overwhelmed, down - the usual. Had to run out to the store and flicked on the radio, which is unusual for me. This song was just starting:

I do recommend you listen, rather than listen and watch, as the imagery starts off with an older man lying in bed imagining his wife when she was young. I stopped right there - no need to add more visuals to a song that already gets me.

...Won't you take me with you darling I don't want to stay
And this place just keeps on getting sadder ever since you went away...

And I don't think, don't think I can wait any longer
O Lord I'm counting down the days
I'm gonna come back, come back and hold you my love
Soon as I get my wings....


Back to cake.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

updates and rude behavior

the updates portion:

Reminding myself that boris is injured, not sick, helped calm me down immensely. And, as cathy commented on my last post - whatever happens, I will just deal with it. Teeth clenched, reciting mantra: "deal with it."

Happily, the vet appointment went really well. The vet actually spent 45 minutes with the dog and I; we discussed options while boris politely expressed his desire to leave. He has new ~as needed~ pain medicine, he's otherwise strong and healthy, and I have a few options, ranging from relatively cheap but heavily pharmaceutical through moderately expensive with no side effects all the way up to expensive surgery. I always do better when I have actual information, rather than blind panicking fears. So. All is feeling better on the dog front. He's still limpy, but we will deal with it.

As for the "rude behavior" part of this post - we have a grocery store in town here that insists on those aggravating and annoying "rewards card" things. I hate them on principle. I also don't like the particular store, either. However - I have had matt's rewards card thing on my keychain since he stopped having need of it. It's old and beaten and worn. I go to the crappy grocery store sometimes just to use his card. So today, I went to said store, and before I could say anything, the crazy cashier person RIPPED THE CARD off my keys, tossed it in the trash and said "you can't use this one anymore." She then whipped out forms for me to fill out for a new one. I think I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. I actually forgot to pay, at first, I was so shocked. Normally those cashiers remark at how beat up the card is and ask if I want a new one. Not this time. How fitting that jackie's post on WV today addresses just such forced removals of our husbands' things.

Everything else was in complete slow motion, while I wondered if I should tell her to give me the old card back. If I should educate her with direct eye-contact whilst saying simply "could you retrieve that card for me please. It belonged to my husband before he died." Instead, I went out to my car, where I then sat for a good 7 or so minutes wondering if I would go back in and do just that. Wondering whether - I don't know. Whether I was ready to not have his card anymore, wondered if driving away without retrieving it was okay with me or not, imagining whether I would regret not getting it back so that I could decide if I was done holding the little scrap of plastic that his fingertips had worn.

I sat there wondering how good it would feel to see her eyes widen and her jaw drop, to hear her stammer an apology as she reached down into the trash to get my dead husband's card for me. I thought about all the tender, newly grieving people she would not ever do that to, having been politely but firmly corrected. Made aware. That a stupid rewards card is not always just a rewards card, and you should ask before you decide what someone is done with.

In the end, I drove off without making my cashier re-education efforts. Though I did imagine the conversation she'd have had, when she got home from work, all about the woman whose card she threw away.

Ah, to be so oblivious. To not have to grit your teeth and deal with it.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I was not expecting today to be such a bad day. I took boris to the beach. I sang some songs, and even sang one of our songs - and that was the start. The last line of said song is "I love you, til I die," which now I sing a little differently. Bam. Okay. Pulling it together. Then on our way back home, I noticed boris' usual limp was a lot worse. Really a lot worse. I made myself leave the house, telling myself I was worrying too much. I'd planned for a morning of being Out In the World. Normal things.

Eh. I don't even want to write this. Today has been a shit day of multiple ambushes, all while trying to be out of the house for once, somewhere other than work. Hard not to think - man, see what happens when I try to be normal? Back home, I see Boris is in pain today, he's whimpering when he moves, and he's stuck close to me. I made an appointment to see the vet tomorrow, likely for x-rays and discussions of surgery. I need to go to work soon, and am forcing myself to not call and cancel. I was not expecting such an ambush filled day.

That's all. Venting the ambush. Think good thoughts for the dog and me.

~ an addendum: Feeling a little better now. I can't believe the number of drowning references the world packs into just under an hour, in one place, in one morning. That and well-meaning but oblivious acquaintances wanting details of "how I am"... not realizing that my "fine, thanks," coupled with turning my head away from them and back to the newspaper means "I am done talking." The non-response and tear-filling eyes should really be a clear signal. I'm thinking I might bring a fly swatter and ear plugs next time. That should help with "being normal."

And on the dog front, reminding myself that boris is injured, not sick, helps too. One moment at a time - get through the vet appointment and go from there.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


It is two years and four months today. Don't know that the arbitrary marker means anything, or that it is "responsible" for the badness and heaviness in me. Honestly, I'm not sure there is ever anything but heaviness, it just has different shades.

I super duper much miss being light. Being normal. I miss finding things funny. Or you telling me something is funny. I miss being teased by you. I miss your hand on my knee while you're driving; your hand on the small of my back as you usher me in through a door. I miss holding hands across the breakfast table while we read the paper silently. I miss being able to go out for breakfast with you, to eat hash and pancakes like we did 122 weeks ago right now - just be fucking normal. I am tired of dragging my ass around this world. Everything comes attached to this. This comes attached to everything.

I wish I had some light in me, some light to share. I got nothing. Although, some trees in our neighborhood are a really amazing shade of red.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Rough times lately.

But also lots of very early mornings of silence, tea, thomas merton - and piles of tissues.

“I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home. ...Show us your Christ, Lady, after this our exile, yes: but show Him to us also now, show Him to us here, while we are still wanderers.”

Thomas Merton
        The Seven Storey Mountain

“I will no longer wound myself with the thoughts and questions that have surrounded me like thorns: that is a penance You do not ask of me.”

Thomas Merton
              The Sign of Jonas


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We pray to make it whole,
tip the world on edge and
follow the trail home, singing.
Our voices carry
into the future,
our brief language
a migration of words,
slow voice of mountain,
wandering voices of caribou, wind.
Blown seed, all the
lost languages wandering
through seasons, moon and sun,
wandering through centuries,
drifting, every year
the grass return, the birds
begin to sing,
the sky clears and
we can see forever.

~ Gary Lawless