Monday, October 25, 2010

all the things I'll never tell you now

 While Fritz' dad was dying I didn't post. 

Which is different than saying I didn't sit down to my desk at scattered hours and think about posting. 

And is also different than saying I didn't plan to post, take pictures thinking I would post, sit in parking lots, walk up the hill, dig out walkways all the while musing over possible posts.

So many posts that will never now be told.  Because when I came to sit down at the desk, finally, late in the evening, I just could never see my way to words.

Too slight a post (such as, say, encouraging letters my old bike wrote me via the freezer and the answering machine, or disquisitions on the proper place of chocolate cake in the Grand Scheme of Things) and I'd be playing the fool at the edges of my dear ones' grief.  A grief that touched me only glancingly while they were principal mourners.  I only cleaned up around it and supplied the necessary groceries. 

Too heavy,  I risked swamping this rackety lifeboat I paddle in.  Because my life at sea has taught me I can't afford the interest on borrowed sorrow.  Grief has had an over-sticky quality for my psyche - it must be that my cells have an overabundance of receptor sites.  And I don't know how to do other than keep the deal I've made with MORTALITY - that if need be I will hold hands and dance with that Sovereign Somberness, but nevermore entertain His Grave Solemnity in state.

So now, coming back online, I feel this backlog of the things I'll never say. 

The deliciously guilty pleasure, for example, of the first day I didn't have to stay all day, making breakfast, washing bedding, and trying to come up with something Dad would/ could eat. 

The first day when all I had to do was check in first thing in the morning and do the shopping, and then I was free -- because Fritz' brother (whom I've never before appreciated to his full deserving) had swooped into town to take over the front-line care. 

That day - when for once I didn't have anyone in the car too tired from doctor's appointments.  That day - when for once, once more I could go all the way to the Island to Krueger's Farm for my fruit and veg.

Maybe I would've written more if I had had only small pleasures like these to celebrate. 

Plans for a new herb garden in the place of what is right now just mud.
A bike ride I took full of sunshine and changing leaves. 

Shell beans and concord grapes, fresh figs, gleaming purpleblack huckleberries, glowing honey, golden beets  - I could've just posted pictures without words and let the shapes and colors and visible light make its own significance. 

But there were also so many, many posts that were, frankly, Whines and Eye-rollings.  Sourly amusing to myself but not too sweet for anyone else to suffer through.

Not to mention the posts of pure misanthropy.  (My working title at one point: "Card Carrying, Dues-Paying  Non-Member of the Universal Misanthropic Anti-Society for Even-Handedly Inclusive Despising"). 

Which title I stuck together, like an ugly awkward lego clump, the day I sat in the WalMart parking lot (never a great spot for seeing humanity in a better light) before carrying in an armload of packages of wrong-sized adult diapers and watched two unwashed men trying unsuccessfully to jump start their clunker. 

I wished for my camera  - for just a moment - the perfect illustration of all I was going to tell you.  Then thought, really?  I was so tired of trying to imagine other people's stories, trying to see anything at all redeeming beyond the ugly and obvious - beyond what was so very there - in this case, a fat man's bottom cleavage.

You and I are both better off by far not to have had to wade through all that. 

Well, you are. 

I did wade through - or paddle past.  And of course, there were sweet moments, too quiet and small to say much about now.

But all of it, now, paddled past.  And that's the point.

It's past. 

And it wasn't so bad, now, looking back. 

It never is, is it?


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

"Because my life at sea has taught me I can't afford the interest on borrowed sorrow" -- that is a classic line. That is full of wisdom.

You've had a heavy, heavy few months. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. And when you're through breathing, are you going back to working on your novel?

Lisa B. said...

thank you so much for sharing this--even telling the story of the stories you won't/can't tell. it's important to hear, for me anyway. kisses to you all. I am thinking of you.

suzanne said...

Gorgeous photos, darlin'.
Good to hear your words, again, the ones you're choosing to give.
Not always a bad thing, heavy screens imposed on what we would have said.
I'm often glad I have no 'publish' button inside my head.

Mrs. Organic said...

I miss those in between words, the from here to there journeys, but I understand that rickety life rafts are perilous. I wish you well and peace. And many more lovely photographs and rides.

Linnea said...

I think we all have things we wade through. I like the image of paddling past. It's reassuring to know that in time this too shall pass.

Melissa said...

I think you chose wisely, your blog could not have been improved by a picture of "a fat man's bottom cleavage", though that description alone brought the image clearly. And I certainly would not have wanted to wade through that, thank you for sparing me.

I love the spattering of bright vegetation through this post, like a reminder of goodness, wholeness always on the periphery.

Melody said...

Yes, there is always the harvest. . .

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