January 29, 2012
Good Sunday Morning Andrea—
A shear veil of rain surrounds Steve’s house. The lake is full, overflowing, creating a small pond, its surface echoing falling raindrops.
The trees, stripped of all pretenses, stand bare. Broken limbs, some big around as my waist, lay everywhere, a testament to forces beyond my control.
Since you died I have been searching for order. For a way to explain your death in a way that makes sense to me. For a way to incorporate the incorporatable.
I am giving up my search for order.
Surrendering it to forces beyond my control.
I do not need to understand, explain, rationalize, apologize .
I can just be.
Except your death surrounds me like the dome of stars I laid under last Sunday at the dark beach at Barking Sands.
Oh my Gosh—you would be so amazed at what you can do with a phone now. You can take your I Phone, or your Droid—did you die before or after the I Phone or the Droid? I cannot remember.
Anyway, there are apps for the I Phone, the Droid that you can download. If you have that app, you point your phone at the light shining in the night sky and it will tell you the name of the planet or the star you are facing. The map outlines constellations. Names stars and planets. I never have to stand on a dark night and wonder, what is that shining in the distance. Now, I can know.
Knowledge is a choice.
Holding the phone up to the night sky, I am at the center of my universe.
I am one small speck on a slightly tilted turning globe of land and water.
A satellite can track my existence. My presence in physical relation to everything else on this planet.
Every choice, every act, is significant.
I start each day now, expecting nothing. The anticipation of surprise propels me forward. Enough, I am rewarded.
Days run together, undefined. I find myself sometimes in unexpected places. I am changed when I become aware.
Like the pond rippled with raindrops, everything around me changes until it dissipates.
When I surrender, I am strongest. Only then am I aware of all my weaknesses, those things I must protect.
The memories of you.
It is essential that I cry out.
I am in the process of delivery.
Delivering myself from the weight of grief so I can cradle it in my arms.
She who has gone before, my new friend, midwife’s me in my grief.
We talk about you, her son, knowing everything the heart cannot speak and how delicious it is to wrap your names around our tongues like the first time we named you. Barry. Andrea. We taste the vowels and consonants sitting on the beach together sifting sand.
Love, loss, memory.
Shells, no bigger than a figment of my imagination, collected, will transport me back to this moment from some future point in time.
Last Sunday night Steve and I took our Droid’s, two pillows, beach towels and a blanket. Barefooted, I followed him out to the shore. We wanted to lay flat, explore the universe above us, around us as the day and tide retreated.
On the bed we made on sand and lumps of vegetation, we held our phones above naming stars, constellations, planets. Jupiter was following Venus who had just passed below the western horizon.
I laid as perfectly still as I could, held my breath, opened my eyes as wide as I could, focused on nothing. It was then I could see myself in the middle of a 360 degree circle –a horizon encircling me. The darkness, punctuated with specks of light varying in intensity.
Each light has a name. Its name has been spoken back to the first awareness of its meaningful existence. A place to navigate from, to. Passed from tongue to tongue in breath, in sound, in song, in kiss.
My birth sign, Gemini, is above us.
I move my phone. Find Mars.
Saturn. Spica, the star.
I do not trust my eyes.
Me, pressed against the earth by the centrifugal force of movement. The earth spins on its axis. The sky appears to be moving.
Directionally confused here, I cannot feel north, south, east, west. I am at an intersection where earth meets water, meets air. A cool breeze blows over me.
I count five falling stars. Five falling stars for this woman born in the 5th month of 1955.
Five secret wishes only my heart knows.
And you, Andrea--Saturn and the Spica. Two ships, whose helms you stood at out at sea.
At breakfast my friend Jean, her husband, tell me “Oh that was an ‘oh hi mom’.”
You are so much more than just a memory.
I see ripples of that everywhere.
Sadie says to tell you hi.
I love you.