|from my art journal, 9.28.16 (acrylic paint, pan pastel, marker, stabilo pencil)|
"...weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
"Would you have a silver Sharpie?" a friend of my son's asks this morning. It's not quite 7:30 and soon Devon and some friends will be off to Brooklyn for a gaming tournament. Apparently silver Sharpies work best for signing the oversized badge each wears.
"Silver? I'm not sure," I say as I head downstairs to check a supply of materials we have for workshops. Instead of heading into the garage though, for reasons I don't know, I stop at Rob's desk. And there, right in view, is an oversized pencil case--unzipped--and I can see it is stuffed with Sharpies. Just Sharpies. I carry it upstairs and as I do I begin to look through, finding the silver-inked pen.
Early in the summer, I began to go through some of Rob's things in his office and so overwhelmed, I stopped. It simply was too hard to do. So much of our lives were entwined and work was certainly not an exception. His desk is largely as he left it nearly 14 months ago and now I'm grateful that I waited--for finding the pens this morning was a small, pleasant gift--almost as if he had been here, helping out.
Today is a better day and I'm not sure why. Today, reminders of Rob don't blindside me, but rather offer comfort. I wish I knew how this all works--how one day's reminder is a wave that nearly drowns me and the next may be nothing more than a slight pull, an undertow that reveals what I did not know had been hidden years before. A love note unexpectedly found on a rainy afternoon.
Perhaps sorrow and grace are more kin than not--allowing what is deep in us to rise up, seek its name. And naming is what these last 14 months have largely been. A rising up of that which I did not know, but intuited.
And I do know things now. Dark things and light. Each present in the breath I take and exhale, in the memories that undulate shaped by tremor and joy. I know what comes only when the heart is shattered, when loss is bone deep, when you are compelled to watch your own son's delicate heart take shape. And what I am learning is not mired in grief and sorrow, even if these sourced it, even if these seem to have replace the very blood in my veins.
On that last day, I grasped Rob's right hand between both of mine, watching as his jaw unhinged, grew slack. He was a too wild bird seeking flight, finding it in that last moment of breath, defining wholeness in a way I simply had not known.
"There is in all things...a hidden wholeness," Thomas Merton tells us and that is what I am learning this last year--how to discern that hidden wholeness within. Nothing has been as profound. Even in, or perhaps especially in the mundaneness of our common lives, we too are wild birds seeking flight, compelled to live, to seek a wholeness to heal our divided selves.
Yeats was right. Things do fall apart; centers do not hold and out of that "twenty centuries of stony sleep" are loss and an occasion to seek wholeness.