Saturday, September 24, 2016

#SOL16: A Labor

from my art journal, 9.23.16 (gesso, acrylic paint, ink, pan pastel, stabilo pencil)

Before Rob died, living life was rather effortless, easy even. Of course, there were sad moments. Disappointments, for sure that might shift my attention, raise some tensions. But underneath the day-to-day happenings was a smoothness to life. The pledge my husband and I inspired in one another was a bridge that joined us, creating a location that was our life.


Now the bridge is gone.


Some years ago I was reading an essay by Heidegger, "Building Dwelling Thinking" and a line midway through the text caught my attention and I noted it--largely because it baffled me.

"The bridge gathers the earth as landscape around the stream."


What is foregrounded and backgrounded is conditioned by what gets joined and where one stands. For Rob and me, our bridge that gathered landscape and river, husband and wife was nothing more than love.

We flowed in the surety of marriage.


What we made across those decades became the location where banks and river flowed into focus. Whatever came our way, did so. We stood well as we had a space to stand in. I could have lived alongside my husband for a thousand more years, nay, a hundred thousand years and the easiness between us and the larger world would have remained.


Now my days have a labor to them. I am at times more self-conscious and lonely than I can recall being before. More than anything else, to be a widow is to know that living is a labor. It is a weight too hard to lift--a weight that presses body to earth and there is no bridge now that can gather all that has been lost.

What has been lost is its own weight.


Some days there is a desire that rises up within me in a fierce manner.  I hear that frantic animal want sound come from me and I know it is Rob I am seeking.  But he has been lost.  And it is not death I court, but rather a miracle. For surely I have hurt every bit as much as Lazarus's two sister did all those years ago. And my God, am I not a Mary too?

I want a miracle--my husband to come back to me--whole and healed.

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