The nest on Jim’s twig wreath, just outside my window, is gathering more cornflower blue denizens. The parents are on high alert: one frequently mans the nearby pathway against intrusion, while one sits on the nest and swoops violently upwards if someone dares open the forest-green door to conduct human business.
In Gathering Blue, the young heroine has a magical artistic gift: her hands infuse colors into dye, which she spins into threads which memorialize a story through uncannily beautiful embroidery.
I think, very much due to my husband’s influence and outlook, that every one of us is blessed with some kind of magic–something only we can do.
It is not difficult to be overcome by the feeling that a crushing loss will forever outweigh such blessings and all that accompany them.
After the Service of Remembrance I attended with a daughter, I walked down to her dorm with her.
Knowing me as she does, I’m sure that I needlessly added to my appreciation of the ceremony, “But I don’t think I can handle the ‘letting go’ part.”
I referred to the rabbi’s reading from Mary Oliver:
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
I told my daughter I could go two-for-three on that one.
From writing this blog I have heard from many people, some of whom I did not know and some of whom I met long ago. One of my best friends from high school once introduced me to a college friend of hers who is among those who have experienced a devastating loss of someone loved so much as to have been held “against your bones knowing your own life depends on it.” What she told me reminded me to consider what I have been lucky enough to find in life.
One easily could go Shakespearean or Tennysonian here, but I’d rather return to A. A. Milne and the bear of little brain and no small heart: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon