Eleven months. [335]

(Embodying our experiences. Our pasts. Our tragedies, [somehow] lived through. "You're gonna lose what you love the most." -B.E.)
("Two sisters." All I overhear on the plane from Newfoundland. And sisters being everywhere these days.  Except for mine.)
(What's the use in feeling inadequate, except to waste time? As if it makes sense to save it.)

Four days after arriving in Costa Rica, we were on our way home. Besides the glaring omens, unknown to be so at the time (as most are), there's very little I remember about that brief trip Now. All I know is that we made it way too far from the airport, and getting back was the longest, blankest, most joyless journey of my life. I don't doubt it will remain so. The boat ride, bus ride, plane ride - all gone Now, like curses etched into ancient stone, dictating or directing the inevitable. Already damned, this sudden role as one of your "survived by"s.

But I ask you, what else is there to talk about? To think about? Damned be damned - it's the only thing I don't Now have trouble giving a damn about.

I don't Now nor do I expect to ever believe in the prospect of "getting over" this. All is Now wrong with the world that we lived in before - though I don't notice so starkly nor think of it as steadily. And yet I'll never feel right about fully abandoning our former world only to fake faith in this new one. All the same I'd like to learn to sand down the sharp edges of this naturally-occurring Self-Pity, which flows freely from the fact of having lost the irreplaceable. If not individual self-pity merely, than universally-affirmed; a collective self-mourning.

Having just finished "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, I Now have this word in my vocabulary, with its usual sense of derogation wiped clean from this context. That is, the context of grief. Of mourning. Indeed, if one cannot allow these feelings of self-pity in the face of monumental and foundational Loss, even as it strikes out at one's recognition of Life, then when can this be possible? I do believe it to be the most appropriate of long-term responses, insofar as the alternative is accepting this loss as 'okay'.

And of course it's not.
Nor will it ever be.
As for the magnitude of your presence Now lost to us, self-pity is all that remains to acknowledge its gravity. To bear witness and pay tribute to its not-'okay'-ness.

And yet. The days do pass. The experiences of the day still require energy, focus, attention. And my eyes have learned to blur; to stay drier, longer Now than ever since. (For the most part.)

(The thought of fiction - how it sounds - presents as pointless to my mind's internal ears. Even though I know it's not.)
("My thoughts were so loud I couldn't hear my mouth..." -M.M.)
(I'm sorry. I can't care about description any longer. The very idea of describing a room I've been in, or a person or house I've seen, seems tedious to the point of desperate and tearful, bewildered exhaustion. Though I know why, I can't say how it happened. Or how long it will persist in being true.)

But the ball is Now set to rolling resolutely, toward the end of Year One. It will be good to be with our family. Necessary. And to see the faces of your friends reflecting their most cherished memories of you, putting the sun to shame.

-L (9/10/11)

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