Thursday, April 25, 2013


One more night here.
I am so far past fried.
But this phase is nearly done. It's just the last few things, those things that don't fit neatly into boxes. And those boxes that keep getting shuffled around.

I keep checking with myself to see if I am, in fact, feeling emotional or down about this leaving here in any way. I don't seem to be. I am so far gone, left here so long ago, was ready to go even Before. I know it's not endless. It feels endless.

My former employer came to pick up my chest freezer today. One of the very last things to go. I've forgotten the kindness of men, the sweetness of a kind man. Not that there aren't any - just. You know what I mean. I guess, as I type this, I realize it is some poignancy, some melancholy, for those early days After, when I was still too raw for words. When all I could do was milk and muck, when the yellow light after light rain gave me one good moment of peace. My first moment of feeling I could live this. I miss that me. As nice as it is to not be retching on the floor regularly. As nice as it is to feel excited about this move, to feel happy to leave this place. As nice as all that is, I miss the raw newness of this, when you were here. When you were still here so viscerally.

S. hugs me goodbye, and I tear up - at the kindness (that always gets me - Before and since), and at the memory of strong male arms, the solidity of a hug like that. Something I do not think about. Not on purpose; it is just not present here at all, and so has faded from my mind. And then, there it is, and I have to stop, I have to go sit down again and rest. And miss you. And miss you. Like a high tight-rope walker, I never look down, but sometimes the view from here rushes up at me and I realize just how high this is. The reality of this circles back. And I poke, again, at what could be tender places but are not. The tender places are still in me and they are inside these boxes. The ones marked "keep this close," and the one - the other one. But there are no tender places in this house or in this yard, or in this view out these windows, or even in this state.

Today, stopped at a light coming home from one last trip to goodwill, I am behind a truck. Staring at the words, the oil company logo and then realize: oh, that is my story. The name of this particular company is Dead River. I always thought that was a stupid name, indicative of how divorced from environmental reality some people are. But now, now of course, that name is something else. It doesn't sucker punch me. Instead, I blow a deep breath out and say, outloud: man, I cannot wait to be out of this state.

Almost, almost. Almost out of this state.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

before I forget...

Ah, before I forget. When I leave here (so soon!), I will leave behind some physical memory prompts. Each morning, Boris chooses which direction we walk. When he chooses to walk up the hill past the church, I remember the whale story. And each time we walk by, I think - I should write that whale story here, before we leave, before the landscape doesn't prompt it anymore. And so, before I forget, here it is.

To get the real meaning and sense of this story, you really do need a little background. I tried to make it easier on you, to find a way to put the text right here, but all I could find was this and it won't let me copy and paste. You will need to pop over and read it. Just this brief little story of the whale, from Andrew Harvey's Hidden Journey. Read it, then come on back.


So one early morning, maybe last winter I think, Boris and I were out for a walk. I was railing at the universe, annoyed at how not clear things are. That if I were Loved, as is sometimes suggested, then it needs to be more obvious and constant, not this fickle garbage, not this obtuse sideways love.

You want to show me you love me? Give me a whale, then. Allegedly, you have done these kinds of things before. You have the universe do crazy things, beautiful waves of love via whale. So where's MY whale? You Love me? Then where's my whale? Where is my whale?

And you know what? It needs to be a CLEAR whale. Not some vague, yeah, I guess that maybe sort of is a vaguely whale shaped rock or cloud formation. You're out there? You love me? Fine. You show me my whale. A bumper-sticker shaped like a whale that says something like "Megan's whale" or "the whale of mmd" would be awesome. Clear and direct.

So I am wandering down the street like this, demanding my whale. You know where this is going, right?


Boris and I are passing the Polish Catholic church. Next to the church is a small garden where a statue of the BVM stands, her arms outstretched. ("BVM" - that's blessed virgin mary). I often nod at her as I walk by. From the opposite side of the street, I nod at the mama, direct a "you show me my whale" thought at her, and turn back to the sidewalk ahead. My eye catches something just beyond us, scooting around the corner.

It's a bird. A quite larger than song-bird bird. Boris and I approach the intersection here, just past the church and the garden, and I stand for a moment watching the bird scratch at a bare spot of grass. It's not a bird you'd see in downtown portland. Not a bird you'd see here at all, especially not in late winter, roaming around the sidewalk just after dawn. Upland ground birds just don't live around here.

I keep walking. Two steps, maybe three. And then I stand there, mouth open, eyes wide.

It's a quail. You gave me a quail. A q-whale.


I asked. No, I demanded. And three steps later, there is a quail. Love, plus comedic timing, plus a little play on words.


I saw that bird only one more time, though I have looked for it since. It was perched high in the eaves of the rectory, within the gates of the church and garden, tucked in and puffed up against the cold. Each time Boris directs our walk this way, I look up at the eaves, and I snort a little laugh at the BVM. Good morning mama. Thanks for the qwhale. Before I forget, thank you for the qwhale.


Thursday, April 4, 2013


the grief project I have been working on with my whole heart and mind for the last year just got cancelled. Permanently. Poof. All that time wasted. I worked with my editor intensely for several months creating the initial site launch content. We had moved on to recording a program. "Next step recording studio!" Then she moved to another department. I got a month of silence. And today, an email saying "project is cancelled."

I am beyond heartbroken right now. I can't even deal.

Send me some mojo, will you?

This day sucks.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

clean slate

You'd think I'd know my own process by now. I do, I mean, I am just surprised that it applied to this moving thing. Here is how I work: first, something is presented. I am adamant that I will not ever do this thing. Hours, days, weeks later, I think, well, okay, maybe it's possible. Not likely, but possible. This stage is followed by the I must do this thing right now.

And that is where I am. The scales have tipped. Realizing that it will cost nearly four thousand dollars to send my furniture, books, and belongings cross-country made it really impractical to hold on to things. That, and some powerful, emotional discussions with my widowed people, and a few unintentionally well-placed words from my neighborhood butcher tipped the balance even more. As hard as it was to think of letting go of things his hands have made, I suddenly realized that what Matt would want for me is beauty. He would want beauty in my life. There is only one thing he made for me that he would acknowledge is beautiful, and it will fit in my car. The other things are rough and functional. The furniture we own together, the family things from both of our respective lines - they are beautiful, yes. But I did not choose them. With the money I am not spending on ridiculous shipping fees, I can hunt for new things. I can choose them. I can see what this new life requests, and what it calls for, on its own.

So - in my flip-flop, adamant both ways nature, I have been on a sell-off, give-away rampage. Not much is left. The family pieces will be stored in my folks' barn. My car is small enough that there is a clear breaking point: bringing anything more than what fits means at least a few grand in costs. Maybe at some point in the future (oh widowness, you have me add "if there is a future"), maybe at some point in the future, I will have a pod of things - books and art, mostly, the bed platform we built together - shipped off to me. But for now, it has come down to what will fit in and on my car, and a few boxes of things light enough to send by post.

It is fear of losing more, losing evidence of us, that holds me back, that has held me back. I don't want to live that way, choosing out of fear. I want to choose from beauty, if I can. Show up beautifully as Cassie wrote on WV yesterday, which helped immensely too. So there is that. Clean slate.