For the past 22 years, early January, the malaise hits without warning and settles upon me. It’s a heavy fog that cloaks my body, then swirls around and inside, weighing me down. It’s a physical ache that I shall carry through to the 18th. I don’t understand, why I am always surprised by its arrival.
When the malaise hit this time, I was heading south to Ventura along the 101. That early morning, the temperature was still in the upper 30’s, a brisk drive along the coast as I settled into familiar sorrows. Then, Sirius Radio belts out three in a row: “A Bushel and A Peck” (Doris Day); followed by “Tell Me Why” (The Rob Roys); followed by “My Angel Baby” (Rosie and the Originals). And for the encore: Ferlin Huskey’s “On the Wings of a Snow White Dove.” The last, its lyrics will have me on auto-drive turning the volume up, leaving the engine running through to the song’s completion. For those few minutes, precious joy!
I think I finally get it. This foggy heaviness that overwhelms me, it’s the grief that makes possible your presence, touched by you again. (Sorrow’s absence would be what then?) So here I sit at the keyboard, you and I together, making our way to the 17th , and then the 18th , when the malaise dissipates as suddenly as it had appeared 2 weeks previous. Meantime, I am embraced by you. Love, Celeste