Sunday, June 15, 2014

mine eye is consumed: collaboration #6

august 2013


1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, 
neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 
2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: 
O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. 
3 My soul is also sore vexed: 
but thou, O LORD, how long? 
4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: 
oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. 
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: 
in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 
6 I am weary with my groaning; 
all the night make I my bed to swim; 
I water my couch with my tears. 
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; 
it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. 
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; 
for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. 
9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; 
the LORD will receive my prayer. 
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: 
let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Here was an August day nothing happened.  My daughter, unmarried then, and I drove down the coast and then back up.  I miss her.  Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak.

I keep typing and backspacing.  Unwriting what I could write here.  The same way that time itself makes and unmakes.  Sweet nothing happens over and over. And builds up to all that is and then tumbles down grain by grain into nothing once again. 

The kind of nothing that now feels almost painful to remember.   Days like phantom limbs in the body of memory.  I am weary with my groaning.

This has been happening all my life.  First I was a wide-eyed bat-blind child: 

sent to my mother january 15, 2014 -- circa summer 1969

No one remembers much what happened this day.  But my mother writes back when I show her the picture in January:  "Ahhh. I wish we could go back."  I must want to go back, too, sending her this knock-kneed Valentine of my myopic self on the same day that I wade through the flat aftermath of my daughter's wedding.  

I've never seen this side of a wedding -- having always been the oldest and the first to go -- I guessed at the first half, the uphill hoopla of the preparations but I never realized there was a downhill dragging down of all the bunting every bit as dismal as taking down the tree come January.  It's not grief exactly and I'm not in danger of drowning by night in my own tears, but I am worn out listening to my own inner mournful grumble.

 But if we could go back, what would we be going back to?  

Someday it will be today I will want to return to.  A day like any day in June.  No piquant sense of return.  Nothing would seem vintage or be remembered as particularly rare or treasurable.  Everything only ordinary.  A day not any more memorable than any other.  We eat dinner with my parents.  We clear the table.  Making and unmaking.  Before I can begin to worry where the boys have got to, Fritz has walked down to the park to call them home. 

june 15, 2014

"I am glad he is so much a hands-on father with them," I tell my mother, resting my gray head on her shoulder, "but it makes me feel somehow sad.  Before, with the girls, he never would have done that.  Then I always had to be on alert for everything.  So now I'm glad I don't have to, but also I am sad."

My soul is also vexed . . . let them return and be ashamed suddenly

She leans her white head on my gray one, chuckles and sighs, "Like who am I now if I'm not who I was?"

Return, O Lord; deliver my soul.


NWG said...

Actually, I do remember this day. Not a lot of details, but Jan and Jack at our house just before their wedding. Jack asking your dad what it was like being married to a W** girl. Dad responding, "that's something best learned for yourself."

Emma J said...

I love that, Mom!

Related Posts