The first string of warm days finally bloomed its magnolias, and forsythia, and pansies in flower boxes all along the avenue, dogs running, hot dog carts. It starts again, this spring, winter ending–yes, please yes–end the dullness and the near-death.
Near death.. yes, I only sensed it, but looking back now at the signs, reading them now on some records in a folder, yes: someone I love could easily be gone right now. In the midst of it all, I did not feel that rush of imminent loss, only a dull numbness that must have insulated me from panic. It was survival, and then–now–that is all gone, and only a sense of sadness at loss of innocence remain. Things appear to have gone back to normal–but that normal is something new.
Desire departs in crisis–in strange ways; it comes crashing back again in strange urgent fits. Or it is need, perhaps, for a moment when the sun shines briefly, like a trick when all is still so uncertain?
And then, one day the lusty goodness returns again–joy now–on a day that death is no longer so imminent, that light returns, lightness and air, and again I am happy for it, too.
It is amazing how we can wake everyday and embrace the earth, the birds singing, the breeze, and think we are living fully as we go about the business of the day, the schedules and errands and jobs and calls. Markers of our own mortality redefine the essential.
Life has slowed in some ways now; it seems happier, less urgent–but more so, too. Urgent in the desire to love, to jump into the cold, into the fire, to fight the good fights, to feel all of this life, fully.
“Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.”… such common thoughts in times of adversity. But perhaps they are also true.
Perhaps–perhaps we are stronger with our scars and stories and strings of broken hearts and losses. We become sinewy. Tough, even…
But we eventually become more tender, too, if we let ourselves stay in the heat of life, not running from the things that might hurt us. Perhaps, in fact, the very things that can hurt us are the only things that really do matter.