it started with moons
the time-punched paperwork of the stars
the back-logged records of a sound from long ago
night pushed through tunnels of illumination
racing on tastes, an indigo harvest of ideas
questions around corners cut and unfolded into banners
of reasons you lost in cartons of exported blueberries
the rollcall of orbits
the comrade breeze of summer
the honeycomb of gratitude for you
immeasurably close, relatively far
like seasons poured into a jar
(revisions on lines for Sheridan on his birthday)
Dear February 2014,
You’re a short and sharp month, dear Feb. A twist of lemon. A stab of eyeliner. A staple punched through two thin sheets straight through to your finger. You pop, shed, bloom too quickly and at the end I am left with the feeling that everything I can remember, I remember wrong. My month was a customary flash of pink through my little town’s annual Cherry tree blossom festival and into Valentine’s day. A deeper blush followed with NY Fashion Week and various high-impact hues of all-weather wear Wittengenstein. The former contending with truth, the latter with the ageless terms and trends of beauty. Or was it the other way around? I happen to think some lipstick shade of Wittgenstein’s ‘sheer brilliance’ would be a joy forever. Yes. We are all still trying to make a bold statement. We could all use another tool to draw a line between things. And what about Chinese New Year? Someone told me it was the year of the wooden horse. This immediately makes me think of a wooden rocking horse with a thick yarn mane. I think it means it’s okay to feel like a child and keep things simple this year. I have no idea what it actually symbolizes and refuse to research it, as I prefer to think of it this way.
Moving on, I came across someone’s post with lines attributed to Aristotle> No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. Well, I’m not sure any mind at all exists without a touch of madness. We’re human, we go mad every now and then, we let our emotions get the best of us (the very best) and maybe, we are all great sometimes. I am still trying to sort through the greatness and the madness of my mother’s life. I think it’s safe to say I am taking her death very hard. I had a lot of time before she passed to come to terms with the fact that she was dying. Somehow though, I am still trudging through definitions and struggling with perspectives that promise to take some lengthy employment. Is it my job to sort out life and death now? When someone dies, I think that inevitably becomes your job for a while.
Living through someone else’s death makes life ______ . Living on its own was never that easy for me. Much as playing table tennis for someone who has no hand/eye coordination is never easy and cannot always be deemed fun. Though, I have never played table tennis in my life. I may not be qualified to be so carelessly batting these statements around.
It’s hard to see February in the same town- to remember myself and my mother a year ago. I don’t know. Something in me was breaking this time last February. I know that. I remember it well. Actually, it’s one of the last things I really remember as my old self. It was pretty bad, but still somehow before things got ‘pretty bad’. I spent most of last February in the hospital with her. I remember grasping at straws of poetry splintering into my mind amidst bandages and needles and moans and dropping vitals and crazed blue eyes. I thought to myself, it’s not just a story or a turn of phrase- this is really breaking me. I am breaking and I’m not going to be the same vase, the same windshield, the same cathedral afterwards. Now, the fight is over and I can inspect the worst of it- like a broken nose from the hardest hit. But I tell myself I am more and more like Campbell’s hero. The hero with a thousand faces.
You hear a lot about the toll on caregivers. I guess that’s what I’ve been for years. It sounds strange when I say it though, a label on the wrong container. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and I know when a word is not quite right. Or maybe that’s just how all caregivers feel at the end of it- that there never was a word for it while it was happening, and there can’t be a word to bear the weight of so many years of your life. Besides, I think I was just trying to be a good daughter.
February. Not a bad time to take a look around and find the many faces of love. Most of all, February is still for lovers. Recently, I had the chance to see an old picture of my best friend’s parents. It may be one of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen. Perhaps beacuse I know the love caught in this moment is real. This is what real love looks like. Yes, it kinda looks like a magazine ad or a freeze frame at the end of a movie. It looks like something you’ve seen before and had in your heart at some point. I’m sharing it with you, because after everything that has happened, I like to think you will forget most of the nonsense you’ve read here. I still believe there’s nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. And this- is all you really need.
Living through someone else’s death makes life ______ . How do I finish that sentence? Maybe that is also why getting through this death is hard for me. I hate blank spaces. I keep trying to fill them in. What word? What truth? Harder. Sweeter. Weighty. A dizzy thing. Mundane. Poetry. Real. More of a mystery.
love & wide open spaces,