Sunday, September 30, 2012

more than words can tell

Woke up from a nap with this song in my hazy mind, hearing only the lyric "I love you more than words can tell..." Not being a Grateful Dead fan, I still knew what song it was. But I didn't know any more of the words until I looked them up.


Sunday, September 23, 2012



I have kicked butt these last weeks.
Not easy, in fact quite a lot of painful
on the floor, knocked down again type things.
but I have been released from some energy drains
have let go of things that only brought frustration
or more pain.
It's weird to not have bees on the to-do list
the habitual thought of needing to get over there
replaced quickly with relief at no-I-don't.
          the sadness at digging up the garden
          is replaced by renewed irritation
          and such readiness to be done
          thank you fall woodchuck for reminding me
          by eating every last green thing
          that had recovered from your previous assault
          another carload of things to goodwill
          including all the business forms and
          professional checkbook ledgers
          (the pages with your handwriting removed before the rest went in the box)
          your old reel fishing poles, not used in many years
          because fly fishing had become your favorite
          clearing out the chest freezer
          I stood at the sink
          holding on to the counter
          while hot water rinsed away the contents
          of the last ice cream we bought together
          a heart left in stark relief while the rest of it melted away

          I have done good work, clearing out this place.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

bees, part whatever

I just had my bees inspected by the state apiarist. Nice guy. Went into those hives all bare-handed like it was nothing. My girls are strong and healthy, and the estimate he gave me for selling them was more than I expected. He asked why I was getting out of the bee business. I told him it wasn't fun anymore without matt. He didn't have the reaction I'd expect he would if he knew why matt wasn't here. I slipped it in to the following sentences... you know, a casual mention of death: "the year matt died, we were running three hives." Then the response, the apology, acknowledgment, and telling me I am too young for this. Respectful, kind, professional, human. A little later, Inspector guy said - "I don't even know how you do something like that, live after that. I'd move too. No reason to stay." Bee people. They really are good.

I still feel, I don't know, melancholic, a little heartbroken, a little wishing it didn't need to be this way, this selling of our bees. Another chapter in our life closing, differently than it would have if you were still here. A lot of little leave-takings. A lot of little melancholies. Digging out perennials to gift to other gardens. Boxes of things to goodwill. Posting our bees for sale. Looking around at the darkening skies and coloring leaves and knowing (Insha'llah) this is my last fall here, my last winter here. I am removing our roots, my roots.

It is weird to hold the line to moving. To hold to the reality of selling our hives. To continue to dismantle the gardens. The romantic notion of beekeeping, and even of gardening, is at odds with the reality of both. The romantic ideas can cling to me, especially on days like this. But I know if I allow that nostalgia and dreaming to keep me from doing all this, I will be angry and resentful come spring, angry and annoyed with myself that I let the romantic image sway me from my actual experience. What was once, what could be in the haze of romantic vision, neither of these are now. Money from selling the colonies means heat for the winter, means breathing room for the next couple of months. Right now, it feels like a gift matt can give me, a gift our life can give me. So. The bees are posted for sale. Wish them luck. Wish me luck.


Monday, September 17, 2012

new year

I had a whole long post. Took me ages to write. And after all of that,
I thought - I really don't want to write all of this. So I won't.

What I will write is happy new year to you. May it be filled
with sweetness and blessing, and all good things true for you.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

born to run

23 days before matt drowned, I started to run.

I know it is 23 days because according to something I read once, if you do something for 21 days in a row, it becomes habit. I wanted to run. After years of believing I was not built for running, I still wanted to run. Every single day after work, no matter how annoyed or tired, I put on my old sneakers and ran/walked as best I could the half mile up to the pizza place and the half mile back. It wasn't easy, but it was effortless, right from the start. The friday before the sunday he died, I hadn't run yet. We were settled onto the couch after a late dinner. It was after 10 pm, but I couldn't keep still. Just a short little run. I wasn't fast, and I couldn't get far, but it had become habit. That Friday was day 22.

On the way to the river that morning, Matt said maybe he would start doing 300 push-ups a day for the next 21 days, and just continue the rest of his life. Do I need to finish that sentence? To finish that thought? That the rest of his life was less than an hour from then.

After that day, I tried to run. I tried to run even though I couldn't eat. A friend with whom matt had hiked at 12,000 feet in the Rockies just 6 days before told me that, on that hike, Matt said how proud he was of me and my running, how thrilled he was at how proud I was of myself. All through everything after he drowned, I wanted to run. I wanted to not let him down. Grief and pain, and eventually, injury, took over though. Running stopped. For one long winter, even walking had to stop. Grief settled into my body and I couldn't move.

This spring, I started couch to 5k, for the third time, I think. When I realized that if I kept with it, I would reach the 5k point by exactly two years and nine months, I kept going. Now at three years and nearly two months, I'm still not fast. My feet hurt a lot. But I run three to five times a week, 30 to 40 minutes at a stretch.

Today I flashed on a conversation we had, Matt and I, me telling him that I want to know what this body is actually made for. This body I've been wearing around. I know I am not built for speed, I told him, but I think I might be made for endurance. I think I might be made for distance. Matt was an incredible being. A body so completely unlike mine - strong, light, powerful. He could do feats of strength and agility that impressed long-time pros and practitioners. He naturally mastered any sport, typically proficient at his very first try. I loved to watch him move. He made me want to move more, to be stronger and faster and just - more. I knew I couldn't be him, but I wanted to know what was me. Endurance, maybe. Slow and steady, for a very long time.

On the recommendation of my osteopath, who needs to fix my feet every few weeks, I read Born to Run, finishing it today with a long slow read on a rainy day. Towards the end, I could not stop crying. Crying, and wanting to run. Crying, so moved to read love and running and joy all woven into one. Crying, and wishing he was here. Knowing he would be set on fire by this book, that he would immediately set about logging hours and miles, pushing himself on bare feet over mountain passes. Crying, knowing that long distance running feels like it might be my home, slow and steady, and that he is no longer here - for me to watch, for me to learn from, for me to be aggravated by his coaching and correction. Crying for my loss and for his.

There's a lot more in this book that got to me, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. If you read it, you'll most likely know. And nope, there is no sudden widowhood lurking in the pages. No four tombstones here.  Enough to say that, just as when he and I first met, I feel an old slow lock gliding into place. I won't ever be fast, but long, slow, and steady might just be my home.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012


... tears are the blood of a soul wound...

And ~  I can see that image, that wall of tears in crystal. ...Bottles of weeping lining the walls.