Saturday, January 19, 2019




January is a quiet, cold business. there's a pair of Common Golden Eyes that have taken up home in our river. Just two-a mating pair- very shy, they fly down or upstream the moment we go outside. I am so grateful that our place is their place, too. It makes me feel a bit of life is back.

Almost every day the dogs and I walk downstream to the dam, through the overgrown briers and tufted tall grass. It is unexpectedly lovely. You and I probably walked this way some, but mainly I remember, we took the dry road of the river bed. Past boulders and along rock shelves, within the lap of the river's absent course. 

I remember your feet dangling as you sat on the shelf, dirty Velcro-closing shoes swinging back and forth as you examined some treasure found. We would walk along the bank and peak into big and small holes searching for the toad or such that lived there.  We would go as far as the secret hole in the dam and look in, or we would rescue minnows from the puddles before making our way back home. Always there were the treasures bunched in sweaty little hands. The dry river was a blessing, a womb of life for you and I.

The river is full now, so Phoebe and Henry and I walk above in the tall grass. It has become my meditation place. Water has returned. 

I read the word "winnowing" this morning....its all about getting rid of what you do not need. Throwing seeds in the air to let the wind take what I cannot use, or what sticks in my throat. Paring things down to the most essential, the most true. Yes, I am winnowing as I walk the grassy path, thinking of the things in my life that are of no use; not authentic, not real enough. It is a sort of fasting-not letting so much as one inauthentic word take root in me....I walk and pray for only the real and true in this life to find me. I bat the lies and untrue ways of this broken world aside as I go. Get simpler, get away from anything and anyone who adds weight that I cannot carry.

This means that people are few in my life now. I find that I avoid them more, except when desperate grief consumes me and I just have to talk. So much that comes out of everyone's mouth no longer fits....seems almost as if they are speaking a foreign tongue. 

Words of chaff.

Solitude seems to be a strange and necessary condition for my winnowing. The only time I feel more lonely than in my solitude is when I am with others. It is an odd business, grief.  I find that the different language my heart is speaking makes me more alone. Almost no one is able to translate my desperate grief into words they can take in and hold. 

Summarizing and translating my pain to people is exhausting. They ask how I am doing or make small talk, but I find I struggle to try to capture the authentic way this feels. So I push away, or I pretend, or I step into the vault.

It's a problem, Ian. I don't know how to tackle it, but my walks through the fields and woods brings me closer to Source and closer to you. It comforts me.

 I wonder
 all this solitude

I am not really lonely for more people, I am lonely for someone human to love; someone to give love to. My deep need to love has been slammed to the ground. Fate has his boot on my throat and will not let me up again to love someone. I am like a Border Collie, bred to herd, bred to work, to be busy moving sheep from here to there. Then put in a yard alone and I feel I am going crazy....digging up shrubs and chewing at the fence, running in circles and generally going crazy at the maddening denial of instinct. 

I met your friend Izzy. She was crying as she served me a Dr. Pepper at the drive through at Dairy Queen. She said she remembered me reading to your 7th grade class, and remembered how much you loved me doing that. 

Like that dog sentenced to a caged life, 
I will never get to be that Mom again. 

The grassy fields where I walk and winnow 
help ease the pain of this damned feeling.

And at least,
 the fence is gone
 for a bit.


                                                                                                         Your Mom