|A road in Tuscany, Rob and I walked (2013)|
One learns a landscape finally not by knowing the name or identity of everything in it, but by perceiving the relationships in it... Barry Lopez, Crossing Open Ground
It is nearly a year after Rob's death. It is nearly a year and I struggle to accept how someone who lived so wide awake is no more. His was an animated life--no standing on the sidelines for my husband. He laughed often and told stories continuously--lapsing into any number of voices while doing so and gesturing with his hands.
He was a full-body storyteller who was often the center of a gathering. His was a gregarious life. Rob loved people, and derived energy by being among others. And now all that liveliness is gone.
And though I have more memories than minutes, I still feel an absence as if the Law of Conservation of Energy was wrong. I too have read the first law of thermodynamics and understand (somewhat) that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but rather is transformed. Isn't that what Whitman was all about at the end of "Song of Myself?" Look for me under your boot heels, he told us. But that knowledge offers the widow cool comfort.
It is the large, yawning space that has opened this last year between my husband's animated life and his death, that is so hard to cross, so hard to give a name to that sticks.
A million times I have turned to say something to him these last twelve months. A million times I have turned and remembered he is no longer here.