Category Archives: Grief

A Wednesday in March

More light in the kitchen late afternoons. I arranged my sister’s blue bottle collection on the sill to invite that vibration and to mark my sister’s passing.* This week marked two years gone. I’ve had a lot to say about that, but for now, not here.

This lovely heart came from Hazel after Noreen’s death. She was grieving too. I looked at the stitching up close today and appreciated once again, the craft, the care. My sister and I found this Virgin at a second hand store in Salem that we enjoyed frequenting. She mounted it on wood and added eye hooks. The ceramic pentacle had been hers as well.

Editing going full throttle right now. Or at least, as full throttle as I do anything anymore. Needed a solid nap this afternoon after being awake til three am.

When I couldn’t sleep last night, I came downstairs and read a Booker Prize winning novel set in Glasgow: Shuggie Bain. Alcoholic mother, despicable father, unbearable poverty. I’m compelled to finish but it is unrelentingly grim.

Almost done reading Eliza’s letters post-1744. Those describing her husband’s death are full of anguish, full of praise for Charles’s virtue and character. They had fourteen years together. Good years. Malaria did him in.

* also prompted by chakra/color exploration on sparklinglotusink, Acey’s blog.

Dark and rainy Sunday

I fled to the basement. Power sanders, power saws, and illegal gas-powered leaf blowers were insufficiently blocked by my special head phones.

But then I had fun. I actually forgot what it’s like to get lost down there. Put together one collage — it speaks to memory and Saharan dust (even if those are Asian elephants. Are they Asian elephants?) — and added to an old crab quilt. The addition of indigo dyed moons will, I think, make it gift worthy.

Thank you for all your kind sentiments yesterday. K is writing an obituary and cleaning out the gutters and switching out the water in the fish tank and marking out the circle for our new patio. Acting like his Dad, in other words. His father cleaned the gutters well into his 80’s.

Big cloth, small glass

In progress, all over the living room: the six panels for First Born’s bed-sized quilt.

Will I finish in time for an upcoming birthday? Probably not. But finishing is the goal.

I keep finding glass from the shattered tumbler — in the dishwasher, on the floor.

I canvassed for Warren yesterday. The NV results were discouraging but here are three ideas to remember (cling to?):

  • Bill Clinton lost IA, NH, and NV;
  • the 75,000 early ballots in NV were cast before the most recent debate; and
  • Warren raised $12MM after that debate.

My last bday celebration took place across town last night with two long-time friends — one a fellow February baby, the other the host and a terrific cook. We’re all getting older. Actually, we’re all terrific cooks, too!

We sat by the fire and talked about all kinds of things, including — ESG-filtered investments, dating apps, grandchildren, Harriet Tubman, the NV caucus, butter beans, and how to survive in a wholly altered America.

“We only have each other. Small, local communities.”

I wonder: what kind of paperwork does one need to live, say, in Montreal?

We swapped inspiring links. I offered up the Future Primitive podcast link about regenerative design and B gave me (another) terrific astrology link as well as this:

Trash to Treasure

So if as Maddow says this is not the threat of dark times but the dark time themselves, it seems incumbent upon all of us to document gratitude and small miracles.

This orchid seems poised to bloom. It’s a kind of miracle if you ask me — especially because I know nothing about orchids or what they need. There’s a sky light, so maybe that?

The orchid was a long ago bday gift from D, who cooked dinner last night. From Georgia. The butter bean expert.

Friendship is a kind of miracle, too, don’t you think? Connections local and, I would add, connections, here. Much gratitude for these. For you.

 

A seed a finale

Collage month final prompt.* The “seed collage” here on the left is not a seed and not a collage either but there you have it. It’s the last page of the sketchbook.

It looks like a peaceful scene, a couple (perhaps the man has retired?) looking out over the ocean. It’s a place of repose, regeneration, and beauty. The couple comes here often in between doing other things and going other places.

So a big thank you to Acey for vibrant and energized leadership through a month of well-timed and created prompts. She made a nest we could all climb in and fly out of repeatedly. There was a lot of excitement, connection with others, and discovery.

I haven’t finished yet, though. You didn’t think I had, did you? Many blank pages remain in my sketchbook and many loosely laid images have yet to be glued. Stay tuned. Below are some of the pages I either glued up yesterday or hadn’t yet photographed.

This week I made some survival decisions: I shall resume a meditation practice. I shall get on my exercise bike frequently. I shall listen to new music (I felt unbearably OLD watching the Grammys this year).

And, as a starter activity, I resumed writing postcards. Right now: to Florida registered Dems to inform them that they can vote by mail. It’s easy, it’s concrete, and it might make a difference.

Go to postcardstovoters to sign up. There’s a little bit of a screening process mostly to do with handwriting and the ability to follow directions, but then it’s easy. I get addresses by texting.

Corrupt-genius just expanded the Muslim ban to six more countries. The first time he pulled this shit, lawyers flooded the airports. Protests broke out all over the country. I took part in a well-attended rally in Copley Square THE VERY NEXT DAY. And today?

Something like shell shock. One friend said she didn’t think she could feel worse than she did on Election Day but does. I get it.

One of the newly banned countries is Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, aka a “shithole country.”

Given the catastrophic recent events and the worse events sure to follow, how do you plan to take care of yourself? What concrete steps will you be taking to get a Democrat in the WH come fall?

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

Six months later

The sea was wild, sassy. Tide high. Moon full. We took my sister’s ashes to Loblolly Cove where the rocks offered an initial perch, the sea a final wash.

We watched and waited for the wave that would offer the last rinse. They teased us, the waves, licking one side of the rock where her ashes lay, then the other. After a while, medium-sized wave crashed and it looked like it had taken all the ashes at first. But it hadn’t.

We watched and waited some more. Finally, I approached with a plastic bin to scoop water onto the rock. And wouldn’t you know, wasn’t it just perfect, that the biggest wave of the day arrived as I stood there, drenching me head to toe and washing the last of my sister away in a dramatic rush of foam.

Of course it was her. I laughed. “Hello, Noreen!”

As we walked back to the car, I noticed how much of the sediment in the rocks looked like human cremation remains.

K: “We all come from the same stuff.”

Finn discovered how tasty crab shells left behind by gulls were and made the return slower than it might have been otherwise.

And as always, I grabbed a token.

Now the token sits where her ashes used to be, in front of one of her favorite totems.

Today, the WordPress platform resists uploads, spins its refusal in ways I’ve never seen, forcing me to insert, and then insert again, all while wondering what the f@*k is going on.

To that I also say, “Hello, sister!”

May she be at peace. May I be at peace. May we all be at peace.