Saturday, December 16, 2017

Schmeh: the holidays

I'm not sure when it happened, but over the years, I've come to feel nothing about the holidays. I don't care much for Thanksgiving. That American day of food and family was destroyed after my daughter's death. It's just not a time to blather about "what I'm thankful for."

And now, with the political climate, I see more clearly the oppression of the descendants of indigenous people that we (read American white settlers) destroyed so we could have what we have. I could likely make the four day weekend about family and friends and love, and sometimes I attempt it. Mostly, though, I'm apathetic. And most recently, it became the holiday I last saw my daughter's grandmother alive. So, yeah, Thanksgiving sucks.

And after the relief of going back to work, I continue to work pretty hard at just surviving the latest crazy. Like "Merry Christmas." A phrase that was nice for so so so many years. There was a time that if you wanted you could include the New Year with a "Happy Holidays."  I can't say either one of these phrases in public anymore without a store clerk or other stranger judging my political leanings despite the greeting I choose. I still say these greetings to people I know with sincerity, but out there in public, I say, "Thanks. and have a nice day."

Because that's how I really feel. That's the best I can hope for them and me. A nice day. A nice day that's not a holiday. Sometimes, I snark, "Enjoy whatever holiday you may or may not celebrate."

Perhaps, I should find a better phrase? Nope. Have a nice day is just fine.

I need to breathe in some joy. I'm empty.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Looked Up

I look up, Weeping into the sunshine
Goldfinch flit past my eyes
Flashing bits of brilliant sunlight within my reach
Gentle breezes caress my bare arms
Drying my wet and heavy tears
Coaxing me
enjoy this Day
Coldness from the rock where I am still
Seeps into me
Spreads throughout me
I take my sorrow and go inside to wait for Night
where Darkness always receives me
preventing any distractions from Grief

I look up
Turning my face to the darkness
Waiting for a familiar coldness to overtake me
I Listen for my sobs
But, I am not overcome
I marvel instead at the near moon
Light surrounded by blackness
A white curved glow piercing the expansive nothing
A hope quickens within, and a thought forms
If the moon in it's passivity can conquer the night
I can in my patience conquer this death that eats me

Today I wept in the sunshine
Tomorrow I will smile, remembering the moon

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Her Sign

This summer I taught music teaching techniques as I have done for years. The first day of teaching, I walked into a classroom to get materials ready. On the piano was a book opened to "Close to You" by the Carpenters. it made me smile. I thought of Caitlin Anne and singing this song to her everyday along with the other lullabies I sang each visit.
This was her father's song that his mother sang to him as a lullaby, and because she sang it to him, I sang it to Caitlin. The next day and the next day, the book remained opened to that song. I didn't change it and neither did anyone else. We used the piano, but never closed the book or put it away. 
I didn't want to lose the opportunity to accept the invitation to sing the song, so on Friday of the first week, I sat down and played and sang it.  Uninterrupted, I plunked through the chords and added a bit of harmony and sang the melody softly. When I finished, I left the book open. 
Saturday, we received news that the lump they found in his mother's lung was cancer. The news knocked the air out of me. I don't think that song was a sign from Caitlin to me. It seems Caitlin sent a song to her grandmother through me. Belief makes things real. 
We have become witnesses again to a family member's journey home. 
The song remained opened until the end of second week.I took a pictures of the book on the last day I taught, and shared them with Caitlin's grandmother in the hospital the following month. She smiled, and looked at her son. "That's our song." 
Music is the thread the drew that smile from her.