You are the sort of woman who could wear silk stockings, seams as straight as a plumbline, feet tucked into heels that emphasize the shape of your leg. Elegant and approachable at once. A pearls and black dress sort of woman, social, but saving personal things for privacy. I can see who you are and wonder at those who can’t or won’t.
And so, a year has passed. One would think that in 365.25 days even the deepest wound would be more or less healed. I think that I may have been locked in the denial phase for the entire year. I never saw an obituary, though I searched often for one, and still do. No closure, just a note that said “this morning she lost her brave battle”. Moments shared confined now to the hall of memories, which even though pleasant, are yet painful. So, on with year two.
What is The Camino de Santiago de Compostela? The Camino means many things to those who ‘do’ it, and everybody has their own reasons for doing it, as well as their own way of doing it. …
Source: Camino Blog – Reflections
So, it’s eight months now. I still feel as if I am the victim of the worst sort of theft. The theft of time. The time for being maudlin and melancholy has passed and certainly, the good memories make me smile, though wistfully. There is always the question of whether the fantasy made anything better or worse. Was it distracting enough or fanciful enough that any comfort was brought by it, or was it all the more painful knowing that those things spoken of would never come to pass. It never is *just words on a page. The other person is real, with real thoughts, feelings, hopes and plans that are impacted by everyone’s words, good, bad or indifferent. Did my words make a difference? Were my thoughts become words lending any encouragement or comfort? I think in song lyrics many times and the lyric “any love is good love” comes to mind, but is it really? How harsh to be both empathetic and analytic. To know one’s motive and intent is not to know the result, more especially when the person toward whom the thoughts and words were directed is no longer able to comment upon them. Was the reception given to them gracious to spare the feelings of the writer? And the platitudes, dear God, the platitudes. My doubts will not be quelled by them. Temporal matters. All of them. Measured in the balance of the eternal, the sublime, likely of such small importance as to be negligible. Even so the hamster wheel of thought goes round and round and I see no respite. Fate in this instance, both cruel and kind. Always the paradox. Always.
It was almost a year to the day after a friendship restored that my friend Cydara died. We were reconciled on 22nd July last year and she died on 28th July this year. It was a year of victory after victory as she endured the ravages of chemotherapy and then the rigours of radiation therapy only to discover that the cancer had spread into her brain and lungs. Afer we were reconciled I promised her that nothing would part us ever again and that I would love her through the treatment until all was done. There were few days in which I did not say I love you to her, via email, Twitter, Audioboo or some fashion and yet in the end, love was not enough, nor was prayer. Near the end came the statement that she had been transferred to hospice, a hammerblow that could not be softened. She knew that she was terminally ill, but did not surrender and fought to the very end, slipping quietly into eternity that July morning. Though we had never met face to face, we had shared such a wonderul friendship over the 4 years that I was on Twitter. When I read the post from her daughter that morning, it was as if the universe itself tilted out of synch. Even now, more than a month later, I still find myself waiting to share something with her. So young, her birthday just past in May, now gone. I dont do goodbyes well, and I am not a good mourner. I internalize. Today I got an email from a friend in Kentucky saying, “my time here is short, this will be the last goodbye”, and I lost it. One death after another and another. I just dont know. And so, as I move from one death to the next, I wonder if there will ever be closure or if it will take my own to close the chapter and the book.
For a little over a year now, I’ve averaged a funeral per month for someone with whom I was close. I had hoped that 2015 would be different, but, of course not. The saying of goodbye has never been a strong suit to me as I tend to be overattached to folk that I love and have been friends with for quite a long time. The latest was a brilliant woman who was so filled with joy and interest in all of the arts that I was in awe of her. She had many talents and was unafraid to use them wherever she could. Her life was about friends and the students in the school system that was her career most of her life. Dead at 53. There appears to be no one at present ready to even begin to fill her shoes. This little corner of the mudball planet we call Earth is lessened by her absence and the emptiness of a pair of shoes I’m not sure that another can fill.
I’ve not written in quite some little while. It seemed as if all the desire had been flushed from me as leaves down a storm drain after a torrential downpour. Not that life got suddenly better or that any dream had come true, but simply to be devoid of any expressive bent whatsoever. A broken relationship restored and joyfully so. Still the same uncertainty over the primary relationship in my life as if I picked petals from a flower, “she loves me, she loves me not”. I’ve found new friends this past 6 months or so, along with a handful that I brought along from before. It is freeing to be able to say, “I love you” to someone and not have to worry that they think you are attempting to initiate a romantic liason. It is uplifting to have those who are interested in how *I* am doing. It feels good to have intimate platonic relationships.
Maybe I did have the KISA complex that I was accused of at a point in the past. I certainly am no knight in any sort of armor, least of which being shining. I love, indiscriminately, without regard to gender or age. This is who I am, what I do. There is no artifice or ulterior motive. It hurts me that important people in my life cant accept that for what it is, but attempt to make something ugly of it.
Then there is the fact that I am unashamedly Christian. It is not my calling to save anyone, nor to condemn them. My role is simply to love and to tell. And yes, I have more concern for your soul than I do for your body. I said on Twitter recently “I’d rather see your reading list”. That pretty much sums it up for me.
There is one consolation, I am content with me and my spirituality. I am confident that love will live on whether I do or not and I hope that is to be my legacy. He loved.
It has been a while since I wrote here. So many things have happened, so many changes have taken place, it hardly seems that I’ve turned round and yet my entire existence has been changed.
I’ve lost four friends in as many weeks. Two of whom were to cancer, another to a persistent infection secondary to diabetic neuropathy and an injury to his foot, the last to age and infirmity. Life here truly is so very fragile, and like a flower from bud to fallen bloom, the time is exceeding short. My faith sustains me in terms of the eternal, yet in the temporal I suffer many melancholy days, mourning for myself as there is no need to mourn for those departed.
Friendships that I thought stable have disintegrated and those that I had considered more superficial have proved to be deeper than I had imagined. One that I thought was lost is restored a hundred times over, for which I am justly thankful. I find it odd that I’ve come to the point that I can almost believe that I am more stable than not. It is an unusual thought/feeling, as I haven’t felt that way in more than 38 years.
I was told that I have a “knight in shining armor” complex, which may well be true. I’ve found that to be inconvenient in the world of social media. I tend to rush to the aid of others, not always the wisest of choices, but mine nonetheless. I’ve watched as drama unfolded and drove people I cared for from each of the social media to which I subscribe. I’ve seen people I care for deeply, hurt by online relationships(some of which carried over into RL). I’ve seen innocents attacked for no reason and the guilty applauded in open forum. Social media is the “Peyton Place” of the information age.
I’ve found that as time goes on, I’ve narrowed my circle, smaller than ever before. I want to hear the voices of those for whom I care, not to have them drowned out by the roar of the crowd. I want to be closer to the ones I care for, more accessible as it were. I want to see the small things, the little hurts, the daily bumps and bruises, and in seeing, offer what comfort I might.
These thoughts were the gerbils on the treadmill of my mind this evening
Today I add one more to the list of those for whom I’ve said my last goodbye. A friend of more than 20 years, dead from cancer. The killer was not so much the cancer as the Alzheimer’s that went along for the ride. As he began to realize that he was missing major parts of what was occurring around him, his will to continue simply evaporated. It was a downhill course from there and a rapid one. As I stand at the foot of his coffin today, saying those last words of farewell, I am all to aware at this juncture that my own time is far shorter than ever before. I will see the tears in the eyes of his family, see the resolve in the eyes of his club brothers, the stoicism in the eyes of his brother Veterans and understand each perspective far better than I have any desire to. I’ve stood here before. I’ve said these words before. I’ve seen these eyes before. At least, when my time comes, I will be spared all of these eyes. The ones which question, why? and I have no meaningful answer. The ones whose eyes suggest a new hero, a new someone who can be made a legend in the history of the club. The empty eyes, the ones that know death all too well, mine among them. At that time, when these eyes are closed, my hope is that all of those eyes will look elsewhere. The living to the living, for there will lay no hero, no legend, nothing extraordinary, just a simple man who lived expecting little, content with what was given, and thankful for the release from this present world.
I’m learning to bounce, not shatter
I’ve been falling for a while now.
It’s what happens after you leap.
When you are young and stupid, you leap easily.
And then it happens. You land. Ungracefully.
You smash into pieces.
And it hurts.
But you pull your pieces back together.
You stitch yourself back up.
Get a few scars.
Some places still hurt.
And then it happens again.
And then it happens again.
You crash into the rocks.
Your friends shout, “Enough!”
They don’t want you to leap, because it hurts them to see you hurt.
They don’t want you to leap, because they know how it feels to hurt.
And then what?
Well if you are me, you leap. Again.
But you try to learn.
You learn where the rocks are.
You are leaping in your mind—your mind makes the rocks.
And that’s important.
Things can go well.
You can fall…
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