Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sadness has a way of sneaking up on me and knocking my feet out from under me.  Today I'm having trouble moving into the day.  I sit with my coffee on the deck and think, "this is not the way my life was supposed to go."  I was supposed to be working less, not more.  Sharing dreams and work with someone, not trying to make it alone..again.  It wasn't supposed to go this way, not that thinking like that really does me any good.  But I indulge myself for awhile, feeling very very sorry for myself and crying, thinking if I sink into it deeply enough it will pass. 

In reality I don't think the sadness snuck up so quietly.  It started in church seeing two friends lean into each other and then reach to hold hands, finally filing with Social Security, talking to someone about renting out the shop space, and worrying over the garden and the weeds and the potatoes looking sickly.  Little things just pile up until I find it hard to remember to breathe.  I have to tell myself to breathe in and out, in and out.  I don't want to do anything, can I simply just stop?  Not really, but it's a tempting proposition. 

When friends find me overwhelmed with things, especially the garden; they usually tell me to let it go.  And I usually answer with something along the lines of,   "I simply can't let it all go to hell, it will be too hard to bring it back later."  This morning I realized it is more than that.  It was ours.  It is a piece of us, of him, that I simply cannot let go of yet.  I need it to be there.  I don't know why, I don't even know if it's reasonable, but if there is one thing I am learning it is that reasonable doesn't really matter.  It simply is what it is, it will change, I will change, but it all takes some kind of mysterious "it's own time."  I sometimes feel as if I am simply along for the ride.  Kind of like rafting, there is only so much you can do to master the river, at some point you are simply a part of the river, responding as best you can.

So today I am sad.  I will walk the dog, go to work, and do the best I can.  Breathe in, Breathe out.


  1. That Evening
    Ken Hada

    that evening

    after the service
    after the casket

    was lowered into red dirt
    dirt which he had plowed
    and planted

    I sat with her
    in the house

    a house that would never be
    the same, the house of grandkids
    and trophies from prize quilts
    and blue-ribbon jams from
    county fairs

    and she spoke some
    and I spoke some

    I was not yet eighteen
    He was sixty five

    so my thoughts
    too few memories

    the shotgun he bought for me
    at auction, catching a big bass
    on his cane pole, sitting on his lap
    at sunrise, hearing growls about
    harvest and calves, hay, tractors
    and fences

    now it would all change
    we both knew that

    as we sat holding our differing
    grief, it would all change

    some for the better
    but not all

    sundown and death – too obvious
    to construct – that first night
    was hard, but she was hard too

    and she teaches me
    to live on

    for thirty more years (and counting)
    that evening still alive in me –
    a lesson in grief

    believe it, bear it
    bury it

    from Spare Parts. © Mongrel Empire Press, 2010.

  2. oh kathleen, where do you find these perfect poems?