I woke up this morning freezing! The wind had blown a window open. The blustering wind sent a deep sad chill winding through me. Memories of fall. Sad memories of my lost brother. The never-ending longing that lingers..still. It is a burning loneliness. This business of loving the dead.
I got out of bed almost giddy. It was cold and the wind made blankets of amber gold and rust colored leaves swirl over our lawn. They made a crackling sound as they swept past me. I step out onto the street bundled in a sweater and scarf. This is as fall as it gets here and I better enjoy it.
But my heart kept getting snagged and caught on memories. I kept smiling at everything.Like it was a normal day. I felt happy. The colors. The crisp air. The people darting here and there. The smell of coffee, bacon, bread and wet leaves. I felt peace. But then the peace turned into longing and then...
I see a window with the title of the Beatles song "Hey Jude" (my brother's favorite song) and "snag":.Boom! It is October 20th 1973:a crisp fall morning. I am going to high school as usual,but something has changed.I can feel it. Something is different and later that day, sick with fever, I come home and my mother tells me:my brother is dead. Her voice rings in my head. Stills everything. Stops everything. I hear no sound, no word:for days. I never see the world the same again. I never feel normal. I am now and forever "strange". When this longing sets up inside you,it is not something you can wish away. It is something ...a feeling so strong it will stop you mid-step,mid-sentence...mid anything. It stays and you simply learn to carry it with you. Like a pocketful of lavender.
It is a rememberance.
As I walked down State Street this morning the movement on the street separated and gathered. Like breathing. The fabric of movement on the street created a sort of quilt. This quilt built from the day-to-day movement of life. People laughed and fought and smiled and kissed. Like watching a pulse in someone's wrist or neck. Life goes on. And I am connected to that pulse.
I bought fresh bread at D'Angelo's and looked forward to cooking my collection of fall vegetables from the farmers market. Small white turnips rolling in a pan of bacon drippings and then adding the turnips tops. Stewing fresh black-eyed peas. Roasting teeny potatoes in butter and course salt. It is fall and I love to pull out the La Creuset cookware and cook.
At 2 o'clock I head to the Granada to See "Seance On A Wet Afternoon":the serendipitous logic did not strike until about 10 minutes into the show:the lightening pierced deep and tore my swollen heart. This love we have. This love for the dead.
There are those of us who walk this planet with this deep gaping gashious wound of loss. Always the ever present voice in the head.."Why?"
"Why not me?"
And then the eyes-wide-open reality that I will soon be with that love. For it is love we journey toward. At the end of this day or the next:.there is love:always.
And I know in my heart and head, we will all go where they go.
Maybe that is the blessing of carrying someone. You have a glimpse of what is next.
All the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandmas, grandpas and best friends we have lost will be there in the end. You can call it whatever you want. Heaven, Nirvana, Atlantis:it is all the same. "It" is love. The life force that is "us" is encased for a while in a "mortal coil" and once the life force has done its job:it moves on. It is happy, at peace and in love.
I miss my brother as much today as I did when he first left this planet. I used to wake up every morning and for a second and I would think he was still here. Then fifteen seconds later the ice-cold reality slapped my brain:he is dead. He is no longer there to talk to or learn from. Your big brother:your protector:your "First Knight":is no more. And you are alone.
So what is that? The intense burning in my heart and gut that says, "I am still here:I am still a part of you:and I love you:no matter what:I love you because you and I are love:and love never dies."
Life goes on. I get a little pissy about having to hang around sometimes. I have to stay and work and finish what my soul started. What it came here to do. I feel like I am in constant rehearsal sometimes. Then someone will say, "performance level please:this is NOT a rehearsal!" No rest for the weary. No flies on this girl. Just the non-stop circus of "being human" and staying in the game.
I watched while my sister's let a kind of cob-web-of-defeat descend on their light and passion. I watched while my parents took a step back, onto the curb, where the harsh traffic of life could not knock them down again. And then there is me. I am either as dumb as a short curb or I am just enamored with all that is possible. I keep stepping off the curb and just learning more and more about when to dodge traffic and when to stand still.
"Seance On A Wet Afternoon" held my heart in a kind of weary-limbo. Like bathing in the precious pain of love and loss. I felt like my soul was purging off some long hidden scare tissue. A build up of lost hope and sacrificed dreams. I loved the show and felt myself entranced by the movement of the sets. The rattle of chain curtains as they ascended and created the sound and visual texture of rain. Rain was a constant and apparent through the entire piece. Like a mirage of grey. Rain and a romance with the dead.
I remembered seeing John Huston's, "The Dead."
"Seance" evoked the same melancholy sweetness of loss. Bittersweet arias : a mothers helpless cries to heaven. And then:at last: heaven answered.
In the end, after all: heaven is what we make of it.
Heaven is the love we have had and held in our life and then it transcends into all the love there is in the world. Sometimes love makes no sense. You really cannot help who you love. So you just love.
Tonight I am a cozy girl typing next to firelight, soft blues and the sound of my children's voices. Maybe this is heaven? Because my heart got cut wide open today. And then it filled right back up again. It does that. The heart breaks:so it can open:once open:love falls in:like a well swells with rain.A heart fills with love and there is no limit.
Today I fell in love: all over again.
So be brave: kiss someone, hug someone, tell someone you care, listen, say:
"I am sorry and I love you!"
Show your heart.
Touch, feel and be: