Life as Lessons, Life as Loss, Life as Love, My Short Stories, My Writing LIfe

The Fall of Camelot…est. 1978

Monday, February 21, 2011, was to be simply another bright and brisk morning that began with no signs nor warning of the destruction that was on a collision course aimed at all I ever knew.

No alarm bells sounding to alert me of the unthinkable that was to become my forever truth… that lie in wait.

At times, I often wonder lost in reflection of those early days, how? How is it possible that a day seemingly as ordinary as any other, can transform itself into the day that stops time?

How can so much pain be inflicted by a single unwanted and undeserving minute ? Giving the next fourteen hundred and thirty-nine minutes the power to sear an unwanted fate?

For once death had my brother in its sights, and Joe and his life began to slip away into darkness so did mine. As he was letting go of living with his unnoticed and increasingly labored gasps. Death simultaneously began scribbling erratically upon my life.  It used an ink laced with agony, torment and tragedy and stained the pages of my history, for never can they be erased.

An ordinary Monday became infamously the day that changed me forever and cast me into a role I never wanted to play. A sister without her brother, her life’s witness and constant companion, trapped now perpetually between tears and pain.

I grew up with my family intact while so many of my friend’s parents had divorced. I had always known I was loved and in turn I truly loved my parents. My two brothers and I grew up the best of friends and although I know better, our childhood seemed almost enchanted.

We had a wonderful home, which provided a foundation of love and laughter, one others seemed to envy. However, we saw ourselves as an ordinary family with an ordinary and most common life.  Yet, having been the one who lived it and lost it, I assure anyone of this, what made it magical was the two young boys I shared it with. For we lived and laughed together in a life untouched by hardship, oblivious to sadness and ignorantly unaware of loss.

In those days life was a pond smooth and stagnant, and flawless as that of glass. Until without warning and in an instant boring and normal were gone. The day had come without reason or warning. The day in which the universe cruelly tossed a stone, haphazardly landing in our quite pond and destroying the gift of it stillness forever.

A gift I never fully had time to feel, to cherish, to be grateful for, and its absence has left me treading water and drowning daily in its unforgiving relentless wake.

The continual disruption comes and goes in waves. Ring after ring rippling outwardly from the first moment of impact  and shakes my soul to its core and alters me and carries me slightly further. Further, from what once was and all that now will never be.

For the shore, I long to reach, allowing me to emerge from the sea of my despair and return “home” no longer exists. There is no map, no directions in which will ever lead me to finding my way back.

Imagine a snow globe and what is within can be described as perfectly imperfect. Our family’s Camelot. However, for the past two years, six months, and nineteen days the ground has not stopped shaking in my upside down world. The snow continues to flurry and fall without any signs of stopping, concealing our Camelot not only from the outside but from inside as well.

Snowflakes like daggers chip away at my heart, flashbacks of our life together. Who were we when we woke all under the same roof to each new sunrise and the limitless possibilities that were ours for the taking?  Longing to scream through the thick and tempered glass, yet my voice won’t carry, and the people living their Camelot, the one we once were, have no way of knowing that each morning we all woke up together, we had more than anything we will ever know again.

I can no longer remember the way I felt when I was the young girl playing with the little blonde haired boy, connected to him at the hip. For those children live now only within memories. Memories that no longer feel like mine. I play them over and over and yet try as I may I fear I have lost my connection to past, severed by the truth of my present.

I become ill when I admit the ease in which I was able to take that life for granted . How could I have ever known that boring and normal were anything and everything, I would one day spend my eternity now wishing for.

Why did we not drift off to dream under each starry night sky deliriously grateful for the absolute perfection of that quiet house?  Why were we not more aware of the love we shared, built intricately upon and around each of us? The foundation of all we ever knew sleeping peacefully, tucked within the four bedrooms of our home. When the life I was naive enough to take for granted was mine.

I panicked in the days immediately following the death of my brother. Living in a perpetual state of heart-wrenching panic. For my life and my family had become unrecognizable. The only certainty was the continually snow storm that showed no sign of letting up, distorting the view of our Camelot. A storm I feared would never stop and the beauty of our life would never be clearly seen again.

Life as Loss

The Moon and Death….

Is it possible to love someone and when they die, we do as well? Then I ask, is it a worst fate to die in reality or figuratively , as dead is the only word strong enough to accurately depict the hollows of one’s heart after knowing true loss. For it is those of us that are forced to be both living without life and dying without death. For in the moment the one we have loved all our lives leaves we became shattered. The only comfort I am convinced I may ever know again is by breaking all the pieces of life that within me remain?

Shards of dreams, splinters of love, remnants of hope, and of unraveled  threads of faith, all unrecognizable. For without my brother nothing appears to resemble its previous form.

For the morning I learned Joe was gone, I could no longer relate to another living person. I could not speak nor have compassion  for those who didn’t sit as I sat, and even if they had known grief I judged that as well. Unable to relate to anyone or anything I had always known as my truth.  So I  identified only with the destruction, despair and devastation. I was safe within the disheveled life that had become my existence and I was constantly seeking new avenues in which I could perpetuate my time there, to avoid the inevitable.

To put away my sadness and let him go was an idea for too long I was simply unwilling to entertain. However, the risk of putting it back together, knowing it at anytime could once again break. That has been a fate for me worse than death.

I don’t profess to have any answers anymore to things I once knew or even wanted to learn, but I am certain another loss would be more than my heart could bear.

So I sit, content within, alongside and drowning in my sorrow, I relish the tears I still cry for him, For although gone now, they prove yes, yes, see, see he once was here!

I have refused to accept my brother’s death so rather I  accepted and found my only comfort and connection to him in the massive pile of broken stagnate life . Heart-wrenching has become my identity and one I cannot let go of. Perhaps, it is the last one I will have in which he will still be a part of rather than a memory or picture in a frame.

So for three years I have sat, up alone almost every night. For endless hours I sit clutching on to my pile of pain. Sickly almost enjoying it more when the world is quiet and asleep dreaming of things I confess no longer matter to me and I can cry and scream and hurt without reveling my pain, and causing others to feel helpless for no one could fix this. No one but Joe.

One night I asked Joe just as the loneliness I craved began to take over after I had put the children to bed. I asked him why night had such an almost magical way about it. Able to amplify the deepest of our scars, Scars that in the sunshine we can not see but at night the pleasure of their pain becomes an almost secret longing.  I purposed a foolish question out loud. Joe does there exist a secret agreement between the moon and death? Did they make a pact unknown to the living?

The moon promising some nights to stay hidden as if lost from the sky, giving death the ability to quietly, under the veil of night creep in through the window and rob from the world a soul. In my case a soul who’s equal I will never find again. Then once death has taken what he had no right touch, it would be the moon’s turn to take the stage. For the moon knows as best that inconsolable pain doesn’t not allow the grieving to sleep.

Rising with purpose directly over my house of sorrow. Shining so brightly, another reminder one in a sea of millions of what I once saw as something beautiful matters no more. For everything including the moon is but another way in which the world cruelly mocks me as it spins on and on. Forgetting or simply refusing to acknowledge my pain, I no longer care which. Yet every rotation ensures the moon will come once again to play its part.

Magnifying and illuminating the million prisms caused from the broken pieces of my life and my pain. Dancing and floating. Dancing without care or concern, all over my heap of hurt, that I have for so long refused to hurdle.

Mesmerized by the reflections of such carefree movement. Captivated I sit alone, and stare, I forget about the moon and death and the question I have asked. All I can do is sit. Sit and think…repeating over and over within my head, screams  of the ache in my resentment… believing ….. I will never dance again.

A heart is made from two angels working together

Two facing mirrors crabb Robinson love true human love ie two hearts like two correspondent concave mirrors having a common focus. By sweet thoughts & sympathies

Two mirrors imply mutual influence contributing and accepting love

Interchange of energies a cycle of influence

From sun to moon to earth and back again to the moon

Stuck on the moon

A communion of energies each serving to evoke a response in the other

The ability of the moonlight to cast a sudden charm over a known and familiar landscape

The minds ability to exert its own influence

A balance Bayern activity and passivity receiving and giving.

Destiny of nations lines 16-17

Avoid mere painful copying

Would produce masks only not forms breathing life

The idea that puts the form together cannot itself be the form

It is above form and is its essence

The glance the exponents of the indwelling power

Abstract notions into a picture language

Which is itself nothing but an abstraction from objects Of the sense

Symbol is characterized by a translucence of the special in the individual of of the general in the especial if the universal in the general

the eternal through and in the temporal

The other are empty echoes sloping orchard or hill side pasture field seen in transparent lake below

Veils the blaze of the sun. Apt emblem so ritual reality that shines through all created things

Invisible realities or spiritual objects

A world of reflective resonances

Endless reduplication

God whose eternal language is audible not to the corporeal ear but to our inner sense of reason

The divine voice speaking through natural forms

If the child becomes attuned to spiritual reality inherent in the physical world he she needs will be moulded by the universal teacher

By giving to the child’s spirit god will also make it ask

Silent icicles quietly shinning to the quiet moon

Opens with a muted motionless balmy atmosphere

Be loved like nature

Lines 49 -86. A harmonious world of resonances and reverberations

Gentle Maid who likes to roam there

Imitative lisp natures play mate

Did glitter in the yellow moon beam

In silence listening like a devout child

Now beneath the stars

With momentary stars of my own birth

Fair constellated foam now a tranquil sea

Life as Lessons, Life as Loss, Life as Love

Flip it and Reverse it….

“It is not the messenger, nor their words…its the meaning of the collective without the influence of our subconscious mind.” seh

This morning I woke up to a message sent through Facebook in an attempt to hurt me, written by someone who needed to inflict that pain as she foolishly trying to make herself hurt less. I must admit at first I was hurt, I felt defensive and the angry desire to fire back. In most situations I try daily to live my life without ego or the need to be right and prove another wrong and, well you get the idea. However, this particular girl is to me as Kryptonite is to Superman. Every interaction is a fight to the hurt the other more to prove things that in reality and in my soul never needed to be addressed in the first place. So after the last play is made from both sides, regardless of the win…I feel almost dirty and ashamed for having even engaged in the battle. Ultimately, I end up “pissed that I am pissed.”

That being told, this morning was no different for as I read her words and the fight began to grow within. I immediately shut out the world . I can no longer feel the sunshine coming in through the curtains. I no longer see the sweet two-year old peacefully dreaming, curled up alongside me. I no longer smell the coffee, which serves as my daily dose each morning of hope and faith of all that lies ahead. I can no longer hear the faint buzz of my husband as he sands his most recent labor of love, restoring an old desk for me to write upon. No! In as instant all the love and light that surrounds me and flows through me is locked up and turned off. I am consumed with the negative energy that has crept inside my room as I slept and lay waiting for me to wake. Energy I have to admit I provided the medium for it to find me.

The next twenty minutes play out as they always do, the same emotions, the same tears the same disgusting casting of stones and wicked words thrown as daggers to each of our hearts. It is while I am in the heat of this most recent war that the sleeping baby awakes, bounds off the bed and while I am to preoccupied with writing words reflecting my heart’s pain to fire back, my daughter grabs my coffee cup from yesterday.  A cup left from my sheer exhaustion and consumption of the writing I have as of late been trying to get done, that I had lazily left upon my nightstand. What does she do? What any two-year old who trying to direct the attention of her mom to her rather than her cellphone, and with purpose and intent slowly dumps the coffee onto the bedroom carpet.

To me in this moment I feel depleted of everything. I have begun another day fighting a war that doesn’t need to be fought but I can’t stop. I have allowed my daughter to wake up not to kisses and smiles but my tears and frustration and her offense being two and loving me.

It is just after I ran downstairs, handing off my daughter to my husband who is in the midst of his own project ( for me) and run out the back door that my phone rings.

I don’t answer because I particularly want to talk to anyone in that moment but because I know in doing so, I will somehow fix the mess of the morning and find the beauty to begin the day again and stay the course. I answer and from the first exchange of words, as I am asked, “what are you doing?” I confess and admit the silly toxic behavior that I had moments before been a willing participant of and admit all that I should be doing.  I reply, “I am in a war of words with Lindsey and overwhelmed with Calley and I am already over this day.”

I hear nothing, so I then say, “what I should be doing is greeting the day with a quiet cup of coffee, kissing and loving on my daughter, tell my husband how thankful I am for his all his hard work he has put into my desk. I should be beyond excited  and feel accomplished about the daily writing and steps I have taken in the past weeks towards my life’s biggest dream. I should be smiling and grateful for it all, for all of it is love and all of it reaffirms the blessings of my life.

The conversation continues and like a tennis match and inspiration and truth is the ball we volley back and forth for the next thirty minutes and at the end she thanks me for always knowing and showing her what is important and how to find and hold on to her inner peace and live from love and not fear and insecurity. I think wow, she gives me more credit than perhaps I deserve for the person I was acting as from the time I got up to the moment I answered the phone was certainly not inspirational, knowledgeable, or enlightening.  Yet, after our conversation and the peace of speaking to a common soul who not with words spoken with the authority of I know better, or for the purpose to correct or redirect. Rather words that reflect the goodness within us individually radiating off our true souls and like a diamond when it catches the sun’s rays it created prisms of light casting off in all directions.

I hang up the phone and I feel remorse for the moment of weakness when I allowed negative energy to take over the day and forsake the beauty of its potential for things I know better and things I can not change regardless of the fight. Reminding myself sometimes fighting the good fight is most successful when we refuse to fight at all. For some wars are require our attention and are  won when we take action, however we must always be equally aware that some are won by refusing to give an issue or a person attention and despite our ego and our pain refraining from any action at all.

I am not perfect nor ever strive to be, but I do try to learn from mistakes and from the situations that don’t feel authentic to my soul or cause me to give in to behaviors I have learned are not conducive to  a healthy, happy or loving life. Each day is a lesson and some days are lessons testing the ones we deem ourselves to have already passed. Sometimes we show ourselves we truly have grown and sometimes we must accept that we still have some work to do.

I hope to have many days filled with many lessons always aware of them all, willingly and readily seeking them and humbly accepting of who I have always been, and who I want to become. Always searching for the inspirations, personal growth and the accumulation of knowledge understanding something have to be learned the hard way. However, there is good in every bad and bad in every good the trick to sort it all out from a place of love and you’ll see your world and yourself in it with all the purpose and beauty that is intended for and is within us all.

“If A,B,C, and D don’t work flip and reverse it!” GAW

Life as Lessons, Life as Loss, My Writing LIfe

Death is to Writing as…..

I have noticed over my life that just as any dream gets closer to a real possibility, moving ever so slightly from the far away place I store them neatly…I panic! This is nothing new to myself and the recognition of the behavior, that to my closest friends and family is less than shocking, I am sure. However, what does seem to growing  in intensity are the extremes in which I am willing to participate in and create. Knowing each task and battle are merely the result of the procrastination and  distraction I have always used as my safety net put off the “work”.

The “prologue” to my most recent delay of all I should have done yesterday is as follows and the catalyst my brother Joe. More accurately the death of Joe.  He was seventeen months younger and we were best friends from the word go. He died two and a half years ago at the age of thirty and the continual waves of emotion have yet to cease in their constant crashing  upon the shores of my life. The ebb and flow of loss and the repeated reminders of loss.  Death I assume in general serves many with the perfected excuse to retreat from life with a validity no one can question.  I am also sure everyone would have to feel their loss  as greatly as I do Joe’s.  He has in death become the perfect tangled and tormented web that in hindsight seems almost needed for any writing life.

Death is my excuse to write, as how can the world expect me to function without first writing pages and pages of suffering all the while cursing the universe for all it seems to have unfairly cast upon my life and what will serve as the greatest tale of love and loss that was ever done.  Words that I must compose. A tangible representation of my desperate need to release the angst waging war upon my creative soul.

After hours that feel like days when my mind and my heart are able if no other reason the for the sake of exhaustion call a temporary truce. Finding a momentary peace that brings me to take surveillance of my disheveled office. Coffee cups, Kleenex, an overflowing ashtray, jelly beans and papers, papers everywhere. I try to focus and take account of the time that is now lost on what I am not sure? Startling through the kaleidoscope of my grief, my gift, my bad habits and my fragmented dreams.  I am  then once again forced to take into account the nothingness I have accomplished yet unexplainable seems necessary to write “my book”.

I hate that part, the admittance of one’s own bad behavior, for I know better but I never beat myself at the wasting time war. It is then by the routine of my clearly admitted routine, I will exhaustively wad all the scattered pages of loose paper within an arms length into a ball, a makeshift pillow providing just enough comfort to allow the timeout required to even get off the floor. All pathetic and quite dramatic when I force myself to write it out.  Yes, death is an excellent excuse to write and even a decent reason for needing to nap in the fetal position on the floor surround by chaos that  must  be the twin space of the view inside my head and heart.

Death is my excuse not write. For how could I possible feel like writing? Why would I even turn the computer on or pick up the pen? To give permission for the blank darkness swimming in the pools of sadness that supply the constant stream of tears that soak my face and stain my pillows? To allow his death to not only take his physical presence from my life, but leave me consumed with the massive “rebuild” project.  An insurmountable task I have somehow become lead foreman on in order to put the remaining players of my family’s game of “Life” back together.

Yes, death allows me to be too busy to write and clearly justified in all the words that no longer easily and fluidly flow. A direct consequence of the truth that my belief in all of humanity has been shaken to its core and what does any of it matter anyway?

Death is the most perfect “byline” we have ever been given, clearly in the worst of ways but a heart wrenching topic none the less. Death is the mask in which we can safely hide behind. Deeming no one worthy to judge our erratic behavior. Behavior that at times seems to be 80% mad, 20% brilliant the combination equaling 100% selfish abandonment and justifiable insanity.  Death gives us the reason we are different from others. We perceive ourselves to have slight advantage, for a less than desirable circumstance of course, but we are different now, we are changed.

Perhaps I imagine I have become slightly more complex, carrying now an added dimension of life, that I can call upon to as it suit my any given need.  I also believe that death adds a layer that surrounds us and we somehow become less approachable. Both notions nothing more than my perception of the wake I am left to tread within. All very self indulging, cliche and impractical to productive living. But what if ever an added “something” could truly be attested to  as the advantage of loss? Maybe its not a completely one-sided affair. What would I find upon the crumbled papers if ever I happened to look?

The original outline in my head for the context of this blog is what I now must admit nothing of what it began. My intention when I sat down was to compose an apology of sorts for the procrastination of yesterday that I transformed into another chapter of an unending story that is the perpetual heartache of loosing Joe.

However, two things are now clearer than before I began this morning. One death is really just an untouchable form of what it means to be a writer living the writing life. It is as we are…. unpredictable. Erratic emotions , thoughts and speech in which the reason and the question “why” can never really be asked nor understood.

Death is the rough draft of the soul. Both strips us down to bones and makes us examine the content locked deep within. Death is lonely and individual to us all yet can be felt and shared with many, eerily similar to the process and product of writing.

Death and writing seem to be he purest reflection of  true love, and memories. A mirror that reveals our tiniest scars and our greatest of strengths.  In death as in good writing there is nowhere to hide… all that we are, once were, will be, and never did become.

Yesterday I used Joe as an excuse to not to write. To delay the structured need to put words on paper. Refusing to rotate the key able to unlock my dreams. The key that would advance my reality one click closer to opening the door. The door containing my heart’s longing, and the only desires that never leave my thoughts.

However, from a momentary delay sparked a fire and the striking match that was my yesterday,  today I am able to use the soot  to stain the pages full of words today.  Aware now that it is the light of the flame within, that illuminates our  every aspect, ideas and realizations.  Out from the blackness of my grief that is perhaps lessening with each dying ember. Allowing me to clearly see what is and has always been salvageable starring back at me from my screen.

Yes, death and writing are more alike than just twenty minutes ago I ever paid any attention to. They are both an excuse to live deliberately. To live with an aura of intent, in which no one can question. We feel protected behind our “right” to explore, to behave and to process the minutes that make up our days.

The darkest of times leading to the eventual brightening of our world from all allowed ourselves to seek. Death and writing both give way to authentic living and reflection with perceived need for justification to anyone else.  It has been my experience that the world is for the most part misguided and fearful, as well as silently intrigued  and curious in almost the same way about both death and writers.