Continued from June 15 2016
EXAMINING THE CONTENTS
365 days of drawings and letters to my wife in her current incarnation, became a monument to the past. And there it sits, behind me. Some days I look back through those drawings and all I see is one immutable truth. Gone is gone, never coming back is always now.
NEVER is a short word with a long afterlife. I spent the last year worrying about that word. In fact it was plaguing me. It is slowly occurring to me I will never see my beautiful love again, never hear her voice, never take another dip together in the ocean, never sit across the table and laugh, never hold her hand, never see eye to eye, never be able to answer her questions, never nothing, no more, and that’s impossible to consider. I never thought that would happen…but it did. I would very much like to change that "never" into "sometime in the future but we just can’t say when”.
Now the drawings plague me as well, dark and lonely: a woman evaporating into thin air: another diving off the edge of a cliff: someone floating out of reach: me carrying her across a river of tears.
But nothing gets in my way of making them. I wouldn’t say they ease the pain, but they do reach down and remind me: we are capable of a great depth of feeling, dive only if you dare.
A page of thumbnails, the culled drawings here
Followed by an interpretation of some of the more important ones
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE DOOR CLOSES
A few months after she took the exit, I got a big pile of pictures off the shelf and sat myself down on the couch. I told myself stories about them. I told anyone who was brave enough to sit down with me and look at the photographs, I told them the stories too. Now I can’t stop talking. Seems like once you get started there’s and endless stream of stories one behind the other, all queued up waving their hands saying “me next me next, tell me!”
I’m pretty sure not too many people are really listening to me tell these stories. At least not with both ears, they’re not. I’m pretty sure there’s a whole bunch of people I’ve subjected to the telling and retelling of these stories, who whisper to their significant other…“can’t she just get on with this?”
The ones that can tolerate it, well they feel the impact of ‘never’ too. They feel the room fill with a thick sadness. They feel the humidity building from eyes that can’t stop raining. They feel the edges of this new reality still fragile and fluttering in the wind. The ones that get it they say I should let the river flow, don’t try and stop it. They say it’s the river that’s going to make us all feel better about that door.
Dreams, according to many psychologists, hold a lot of very interesting information. Most of us have cut ourselves off from that information, but those of us who allow it, encourage it even, well we get a feast of food for thought. I have always taken enormous pride in the fecundity of my own dreaming and the colorful content they offered. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when my love and I first got together, I noticed my dreams were fewer and farther apart. She on the other hand woke up every morning with wealth of mysterious recurring images. The longer we were together the more this happened. After a while I actually accused her of dream thievery. Which in retrospect was an inexcusable accusation. The truth may be that I felt so at home in that relationship that I closed the curtain into parts of my unconscious I no longer felt compelled to explore. In retrospect, that was probably an error in judgment on my part. But I did it, and you just can’t go backwards and undo things like that.
Formonths after the door closed behind Elizabeth, I tried so hard to dream about her. The harder I tried the further away she felt. It was like trying to make a painting, with willfulness. It can’t be done. I can’t do it that way. A painting, like a dream, or like a love has to be invited in, surrendered to. A door has to open, and wind sweeps in, you get to dance with it and when the music stops, you’ve made your masterpiece for the moment.
But finally after several more months, I quieted just enough to allow a dream to arrive. It was a small dream, but so very welcome.
i saw the crest of a hill, a country path, a mist
a light coming through the mist
dispersing the soft energy of itself
and you, in silhouette standing there on the edge
against the light your shadow was tall and lean
at the very center of my being
as you always did ….
TO BE CONTINUED