|from my art journal: 6.3.16, (gesso, acrylic and gouache paint)|
“Absence is a house so vast that inside you will pass through its walls and hang pictures on the air.”
― Pablo Neruda
Most days I try to remember what Rob and I were doing a year ago. I try to call up a day prior to Rob's diagnosis of cancer as if calling up such a memory might restore a bit of what has been lost.
How were we living our lives? With what intensity did we greet life? Were we as complacent as Emily from Our Town says all humans are? Did I make time to show Rob how much I love him?
I check the calendar and note that a year ago, Rob and I were at a school in Newark. More than likely we drove together as we did most days, stopping on the way in for a cup of coffee and to drop Devon off at school. Last June was a super busy time for both of us as we were completing work for three clients that involved lots of teaching and curriculum planning sessions. We were in a rhythm and looking forward to the long stretch of summer ahead.
A year later and Rob is gone and in that immense absence I am weakened, unsteady, broken. I have bargained with God until I'm mostly mute and I see now that the passage of time does not ease the pain, does not make the loss of Rob any easier.
Sorrow remains. Well planted. Vocal.
Keep busy I've been told, but know this: No series of activities can fill the gap his absence leaves. Rob is the missing weight from my life, the familiar love I turned to over and over again across the last three decades.
The weight of the paint on the brush, the word on the page, the voice of a friend--these sometimes anchor me to this earth, this life, this unknown place that I now reside.