Updated: Jun 11
Came up to the house we made ours 13 years ago.
I woke up to mist across the river-it’s blanketing Peter and Beth’s field-stumbled upon it as I sat up in bed- the mist! We loved it. We'd lie in this beautiful bed and this view, surrounded by trees- who puts windows, almost floor to ceiling, on all three sides of a room?
It feels like we are in a tree!
The way the room juts out from the house, like a branch.
The house is perched on a hill over a field, facing a mountain, the sun comes up over every morning at 7 am and squints in your eyes.
We built it to be a sanctuary.
It is a sanctuary.
It is one of the most peaceful places on earth: I recall thinking that when we moved in, and getting to know what mornings were like here.
This pocket, nestled between these junior mountains; feels like being held in a giant palm of green and grass with gentle mountains all around, the sound of rushing river water nearby- no wonder it feels healing.
You loved it here; whenever I'd simply take it for granted-you'd remind me.
The way you’d say beautiful?
Like the way you’d say, “Of course”
With the same stress, a simple statement.
Beautiful held many things in its palm when you’d say it.
You aren’t one to get in down into the nitty gritty of adjectives as I.
I loved that-
How can this be a nightmare when the lilac trees we planted are blooming?
Pink and white and purple.
As planted. As planned.
If it is, and,
yes, it is,
it is the most unrecognizable nightmare;
The mist! The clear rush of the river.
The soft morning-a little bird has made a nest just above our porch, in the eave-as usual- seems the same bird returns to the same nest every year to have her babies.
It chirped at me yesterday.
How can all this remain for me? What do I do, alone with it?
Except sit and rock myself, cross-legged on the deck, next to the grill I don’t know how to turn on- where you’d cook for twelve or more, so happy, so precise, master of your ship, feeding all of us on time, with such generosity and skill.
Like Jesus. Turning empty baskets of fish into a feast with lots left over - enough for all and then some.
I can't ever cook like that.
Surely Andy you are progeny of Dinoynsus, the God of wine and food and laughter.
Makes sense the alcohol killed you, attacked your liver, genetically intolerant.
In the end.
Got dark there. Sorry.
Part of me wants to stay here forever, in this morning, in this hour, pre 6 am, knowing a sun is coming up over the mountain on time,
the palm time to think and feel and not worry about money or my single life ahead,
where Abadi will go to school,
surrounded by the beauty we noticed, saw possibility in, and chose to inhabit.
You were last here-we took you from here to the ER.
I ought to be traumatized.
I ought to be adverse to Bennington; to hospitals;
I ought to be filled with dread and foreboding stepping into this house-
I ought to be triggered.
These terms we all use now, we bandy about like badminton balls.
Trauma. Traumatized. Triggered.
Sometimes I think?
To avoid the simple fact of being human
Full of sorrow and loss
Those terms don’t make the feeling happen, in me.
I’m not avoiding feelings;
I did go to Walmart.
I needed tubs to store your things. To rent our little bit of Heaven.
It is beautiful!
It is heavenly!
It is God's palm!
Maybe I should advertise as such;
Would certainly weed out a certain type of renter
Just place a large crucifix on the wall;
people will pay a lot for God's house;
I’m going to charge a lot.
when I first mentioned coming back up here would be so hard-
hard to face without you;
Maybe it will be comforting.
This nightmare is comforting-
What is my life now anyway except constantly saying goodbye to who I was
What I had
How good I had it
How innocent I was
Of how good.
Have I been flicked out of God's great palm?
Or have you?
Or both of us?
Maybe we are like Adam and Eve-
Banished from the garden
the true hell,
Banished from each other.
Looking for you everywhere
(I don't realize I’m doing it)
Looking looking looking.
Expecting you to be walking toward me down the River road, arms outstretched to Oreo, who dashes ahead of me, bounds into your arms, tail wagging itself almost clear off of him, whining with delight;
Your duck boots seem to be expecting you, too.
Lined up neatly along the row of all our crusty footwear at our Treehouse’s entrance.
Neat, expectant, steadily waiting to be stepped into.
I bought the bins to put them in.
I contemplate doing so for a second-then-
Sharply-something stops me,
a hard invisible rope jerks me back,
around my waist- whenever my mind attempts to do things my body is not on board with.
NOPE, it commands.
What if you need them? What if you can't walk down the road without them- and that is why I never see you?
Because you can't find your boots?
The LL Bean basic duck boots you wore everywhere up here.
You might need them
They’ve molded to your foot
I can almost see your foot in them
The shape of them
Is the shape of your foot
Which I will never see nor hold nor rub again.
This is why I can’t move your boots yet- you might need them.
Irrational, illogical, unfounded thought.
But that's grief for ya.
[Habitual care doesn't die so easily. It lives on in my cells, pre-thought.]
I’m still taking care of you, You might need them.
I will move them.
This morning, I will.
And I did. I put them in one of the plastic bins, but could not put the lid on.
I left all the lids in my shopping cart at Walmart.
I bought them, they came out to the car with me, in the cart,
and I forgot them
on the curb.
Forgot all the lids! Left them- how could I have missed them?
Metaphorical, for sure.
Intention versus inability to actually complete a task.
The road to hell is paved with half-done acts.
Heroic acts intended - unfinished, undone, uncreated.
That gives a chill, doesn’t it.
Have I ever regretted completing any task? Doing the dishes fully, then mopping down the crust and crumbs from the counters with lavender-scented spray, including the stove top grates and the steel underneath;
Feels good, doesn't it?
Have I ever regretted doing the dishes?
I’ll go back and get them;
Five lids, please.
Already purchased, see?
I saved the receipt.
Just the lids.
I will get the lids.