Sunday, May 15, 2016

#SOL16: Longing


Happiness is the Longing for Repetition (M.A. Reilly, 2009)



In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. 
      -- Led Zeppelin
I.

Lately, the birds gathered by the front door seem mostly crazed. New neighbors, who moved in the day after Rob died, cut down two old growth trees--home to any number of birds. Now they who are without a home are trying to make something new.

Most days, birds swoop in and out of the yard, gather on wires that criss-cross the street, and land on and alight from branches of the hemlocks that line our front yard, while others--far more audacious--gather on the front stoop, refusing to leave regardless of who approaches. My friend, Christine, insists that one bird, the one who does not leave, is some spirit of Rob.

The light leaves later each day. And all around me life pulses. Most days I notice. I watch.


II.

Tonight the wind came out of the west with a sudden fierceness and tree limbs broke and fell landing with a loud enough crash to startle both of my brothers and me. A few minutes later, a rainbow briefly appeared in the southern sky and on the back deck, Jack pointed to a small piece of blue shell. Above it the nest remains, empty now.

Sometimes, I think we all are seeking what we might call home. It is all so temporary though.


III.

Each day, I listen for Rob as I walk--noting with a certain curiosity the sudden whistle of the wind, the drone of a distant leaf blower, the call of birds and neighbors as I walk by.

Each night I look for my husband as if he might be playing a bit of hide and seek alongside the clouds that obscure and reveal the moon.


Like Whitman, I know Rob stops somewhere waiting for me.


IV.

This is how it is.
For now.

14 comments:

  1. This line resonates with me so much: "Sometimes, I think we all are seeking what we might call home. It is all so temporary though." There is no such thing as absolute permanence, however much we long for this.

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    1. The illusion of permanence accompanies a happy marriage.

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  2. I came here from the SOL link-up. Knowing nothing about you or your situation, I am sitting in tears now. Your comment above, that "the illusion of permanence accompanies a happy marriage" is the secret we try to hide from ourselves. My husband and I have lost three of our parents, so we are a bit more aware of the impermanence of all good things.

    The quality of your writing is beautiful. I can't imagine being so eloquent in the face of new grief.

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    1. Yet, I just read the poem you posted so I know that you are no stranger to eloquence, Wendy. Grief is its own language. Bereavement an odd form of breath.

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  3. Mary Ann, this is a beautiful excerpt: "And all around me life pulses. Most days I notice. I watch." Noticing and watching for signs of Rob are probably comforting for you at this time. He is there in your brilliant memories.

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    1. Yes, I see more of him now. More than just the last 6 months of his life.

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  4. I just love this piece today, Mary Ann. I love the format you chose to write in. I love the way your grief manifests itself in your words-much different from the way my grief pushes out of me. I wrote about a similar thing today, using a different format. But the waiting to hear and see, the purposeful searching, looking and listening all ring true here too. Life pulses. It's all temporary. Empty nest. Wonderful. Thank you. maribeth Batcho

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    1. Thanks Maribeth for taking time to read and respond. I rad your poem about your mother's death, or perhaps your loss. Grief is its own language.

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  5. For now. Yes. Where you are. This is a beautiful piece of writing as always Mary Ann

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  6. Mary Ann this is so beautiful. I'm connecting to so much you write here. Lines others before me have referred to, but what resonates most is this sense of watching and just being here in the now. Since my mom died, I've found comfort in just watching the world continue to go on in all it's messy glory, no matter how temporary bits and pieces of it are. Thank you so much.

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    1. Everything moves, including us. Sometimes that is what is so difficult. The decision to live. Live deliberately without the person we love.

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