Loss and that common refrain

July 26, 2013 § 2 Comments

clown feelings

If I had lost a leg… instead of a boy, no one would ever ask me if I was ‘over’ it. They would ask me how I was doing learning to walk without my leg. I was learning to walk and to breathe and to live… And what I was learning is that it was never going to be the life I had before.

–Elizabeth Edward

Those words snatched a covered thing and shook it so hard that my breath caught. I thought about the various aspects of loss and how people react differently based on the reason a person is in mourning. When a loved one dies either of old age, illness, or tragically, most people are willing to mourn with that person for as long as they are grieving. If a member of their body is amputated, there is concern for that lost limb and the individual’s well-being until they have come to grips, gotten over, and/or learned to live beyond the pain. But when a woman miscarries, there is a brief understanding, then an almost sudden growing impatience for her to hurry up and get over it.

“You can always have another,” is a common refrain. She is expected to mourn quickly as if a family member didn’t die, or as if she hasn’t lost a member of her body. Most times, even those closest to her fail to understand the depth of her despair; the many ‘firsts’ she thinks of that will never be, and the hurt that looms thick like fog. Or worse, as she vainly laments the changes her body has made that were bound to be buffered by that bundle. More so, the violent ways the body reminds her that it was made for this; breasts that fail to realize that there is no baby in need of nourishment. Surely, she will get over it, will lose the weight and her mammary glands will stop lactating. Maybe she will have another, but like the family member or that arm or leg, from time to time, she’ll have bouts of lows. But above all else, she will appreciate your consolation, some space, a tremendous amount of understanding, and definitely no deadline on her mourning process/period.

*Sadly, I don’t remember who did the painting; apologies to the artist.

Imbibing

May 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home. –E. W. Howe

It is weird the unrelenting ache and longing for a place you’re very much in, more so than when you were not there. Ever since my return home, I’ve been missing it. Some days I look out the back window of what used to be my grandmother’s bedroom before she died. I do this for no other reason than the fact that it and I happen to be here and that simple reality is a buoy. Sometimes I’m drawn to the mundane; the tamarind tree I religiously visualized while living in New York for fear that I would forget how many yards to the right of the cherry tree it was, and how many to the left of the lemon & lime trees that are no more. A lot of things are as such and yet so much are as my memory clutched for. My German Shepherds are gone while my mother’s puppy is now an adult Pitt who has mistaken me for chow and the birds he keeps trying to catch in the backyard. This is not how I envisioned my first piece of writing about this visit. I thought it would explore the emotions of coming home after a long time, followed by a series of exciting snippets about a fun-filled vacation, and punctuated with a satiated piece about returning to the US. And even with a cache of amazing, fun-filled memories, sun stained skin, a few extra pounds and a new trajectory to explore, I’m not quite satiated.

Mind you, there is much to return to the United States for. A whole life; wonderful and round in the truest and most literal sense, and it calls me, but an indescribable sadness begs for more days, moments for more memories, and time here. Almost a decade after my previous visit, everything floods into me; the heat whose harshness is rivaled by the cool of the winds that consistently blow from the Atlantic, experiences that either bowled me over with laughter or were so perfectly serendipitous that they will stick for a lifetime, along with the beautiful people who either etched or shared in those moments. And of course, foods that are constantly on repeat that had the circumstances been different, I would have been sick of by now. I’ve been imbibing all that wasn’t but now are, and doing a lot of it.

Before I left JFK, several promises were made; for the next 35 days I’ll do only what I want to and exactly as I want every single day, I’ll be present in every moment, I’ll have fun, and will write about it daily. The latter I’ve failed to accomplish mostly as a result of the other three promises. After all, won’t there be enough time for writing back in the US? And who’s writing when they’re drowning in a particular moment? So like the last visit, I have no regrets but unlike then, I can hear a bell toll for the end of my vacation. The sadness is awful, coarse, somewhat bitter, and threatening to take the joy out of the remaining days of my vacation. Mostly because back then I didn’t have a personal concept of how swiftly one’s life can change. I know now that circumstance(s) can build barricades, and that particular piece of knowledge may be the root of my forlorn feelings. I’m seeking consolation in the promise of a return that won’t be as far and wide as this one is to its predecessor. Still, sometimes there is no balm for, as Maya Angelou puts it, “the ache for home [that] lives in all of us.”

a small belch

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

i’m rushing ‘cross the proturbances of calm and calamity. stopping to observe the beautiful violence that is love capsize all over itself. my skin goosebumps in awe & rebellion as i surrender in the still….the silence…the aftermath…of moving mountains….

i don’t miss the loud screech of thoughts halted when my heart stops but i miss seeing the memory replicate itself like a recurring decimal. stained like batik on plain fabric. expanding like yeast…rising like a thought. being out of breath in the moment of laying under fireworks.

still. i’m alright with right now. mostly because it is what is…

and ’cause i believe in better tomorrows. happy endings & bumpy in-betweens…

inspite of everything, the loudest thing in my head is: the universe has been kind.

and it really has…

it really has been.

working through myself

July 17, 2009 § Leave a comment

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” —Anais Nin.

On the same block that gave me a room of one’s own… a beautiful sense of space & freedom. Same block I tried to drop these ‘you-memories’ on. Some fool welcomed the idea to invade my mental perusing. Same fool decided to act upon it. Same fool came too close for comfort. Same fool said “yo ma! Whut you doin walkin up & down this like you losin yo mind?”

Shut the fuck up!!! <– my first thought.

But as agitated as I was, self couldn’t help but recognize he was onto something. No verbal response given except the mental note; “I’m walking to restore my mind. I’m walking for a purpose”

And so I walked away from him. Away from his inquiries. Away from home. Away from the block of deliberations. Away…just away… but not from me or the memories littering my space.

At least not yet. At least not the ones that singe.

I walked. Until eventually my feet went home again. Where I busied myself with old books read. Words. Lots of words. Folding linens. Towels. Packing away dishes. Observing my skin. Anything. Everything.

Cause I was still walking in my head.

Steady losing grip on the ability to will things into being. A difficult feat for a superhero. <– my daytime realtime longtime moonlighting gig. For I am still trying to wish a litter free space into being. A place to be stationery. A domain emptied of your echo. I am willing away your indiscretion. I am willing…I am willing to admit being tired of fighting with myself.

And failing.

Last night a fellow zodiac companion of yours quoted killbill in explaining your sign. Said “we were born with the cape and the S already on our chest… our disguise is this… ((pointing to himself)) our disguise is trying to look like the average man.”

I laughed. I ought to have been disgusted with and by the arrogance. Instead I laughed. ‘Cause it is reminiscent of the garbage you’d spew.

Looking back on that reaction, I’m beginning to wonder if I should just be giving thanks for the shared experience. Ya know? At the very least, change my perspective or my position on you & then…maybe start with positively nursing the memories that refuse to subside. Until they finally do. I mean. It was a great time. Had great impact. So much joy. Endless fun. Left an indelible print. Was needed. Maybe I should see your humanity for what it is; your humanity. Stop pointing fingers. Quit the blame game. Forgive you. Mostly for myself, if not all for myself. And Admit. Yes. Admit my pride is wounded. And that my dear, is a helluva thing for me to say. Yeah. Me with wounded pride is a helluva thing to say. ((small uncomfortable snicker))

And while I am admitting things, I shouldn’t fail to mention I wish I didn’t have to be tough…and don’t tell me I don’t have to be; for anything less is synonymous with entering a room of undead vampires smelling like blood & fear. Wish I didn’t have to fight fingers. Pry them away from telephones…fight urges to rant, rave and rant & rave. Wish I didn’t have to be strong. And don’t tell me I don’t need to be. For the world makes little or no provision for anything else. Check the old, the young & the ailing; constantly preyed upon. Taken advantage of. Or simply ignored. Wish I didn’t have to Godiva my desires. Wish we didn’t play this game. This back & forth. This whole shebang…this who is the strongest. Whose ego is the largest. Who needs who the most. But if shit had wings, I’m sure it would fly. And maybe, this is the reason why I am destroying the environment with an A/C whose thermostat is set too high ‘cause the humidity of staying within the sane confines of my skin rivals that of the space outside. I’m a hell nasty have no mercy 82 degrees of clamminess.

But in the midst of it all, I recognize a good chunk is about forgiveness. Cause I’m so hard to appease. So hard to mend. So hard to soothe…so quick to forget my own humanity…failing to recognize superheroes get hurt too.

uhmmm

May 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

So I am doing a lot of writing about emotions and feelings etc etc etc. And though I get tired of writers who do a lot of it, I know the importance of just getting the crap out… brain farting, emotional laxative taking, heart defecating type of spit, spew, coughin and shhhhhh!

Anywho, was in a conversation with a sister friend discussing Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, their estrangement, children, feminism, its effects on their relationship and Alice’s role as a mom, Rebecca’s adult responsibility or lack thereof and the sum collective. Eventually, the conversation took a detour and ended up down this road:

Me: when you met your ex were you concerned that maybe you wont get pregnant?

C: not at all: although i did wonder what was taking so long…LOL

Me: how old were you when you met him?

C: it was 94…so i was….(doing the math in my head) 26…yeah i turned 26 that year but i was 25

Me: awwwwwwwww you found love in your mid twenties

C: omg… you’re a FOOL

Me: love is a b!tch!!!!

C: no, he’s a b!tch…love is beautiful…LMAO

ME: I’m not just talking about him. I’m talking ’bout lovin men period. i wish i could love a plant instead. but then that f*cker would die in the fall. hahahahahhaha..

C: lol

Me: lol…u still believe in love?

C: of course. love isn’t the problem…humans are

Me: and how the hell do we handle that? i cant be with the plant

C: just love the crazy ones from a safe distance… LOL. that’s the best advice i can offer; for instance you know i still love ((what’s his face name)) but if we lived in the same place, i’d be in jail right now from trying to kill him because his dysfunction was too close for comfort

Me: lmao…homicidal thoughts huh?

C: lots of them.

Me: you need a plant…LMAO!!!!

C: I certainly do…lol.

part of the problem

May 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

i think
his heart is a nomad
she pursues
hoping one day
it’ll stop
and break beat
with her

but moratorium is a difficult feat
for him
and that heart of his.

so i tell her:
most humans don’t deserve all of you
just bits and pieces
of your excess.

she chalks this golden penny
of thought to some sort of bitterness
on my part.
and i am willing to admit being
a part jaded, one quarter cynical
once jasmine honeysuckle & magnolia woman
now unwilling to walk through
the charade of plucking petals
chanting
he loves me he loves me not.

the thing is; we don’t agree on a lot
and i never minded that much
but this time
i really want her on this
’cause its hard to move forward
when the two sides of me
are warring about the direction.

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