Thursday, December 29, 2011


On the night you passed, leaving me behind
to wail and mourn and lose my mind
I wanted to follow, to be where you were,
but the others I love kept me here.
Now that time has swept me along
there's another parting, feels just as wrong:
as I go on into winter's days
I leave you behind in the summer haze.
Every reminder of the season past
when you drifted away as you breathed your last
can choke me up and stop me short--
this pain is not of the healing sort.

Dec 28

A tree can remind me of you,
and I, I live in a forest.
The loss of you is a gaping wound.
If I lived alone I could fill my days with grief,
probing the wound, making it bleed,
and wearing the blood because you are worthy.
But I do not live alone,
and have a duty toward my surviving loved ones.
And so I bind the wound to hide the bleeding
lest it frighten, shock or horrify.
And only in solitary moments
do I open the dressing,
with shaking fingers probe the wound,
and realize again that
jagged shards remain deep within,
complete healing will never come.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Photo: View of sunset, from the sea wall of Stanley Park, Vancouver, Dec. 1, 2011.

How strange...last night as we listened to Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performing Handel's Messiah, amid a crowd of people seeming in the spirit of the season, the words "Adrift at Christmas" came to mind when I thought of how I fear to face this first Christmas without our son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, this family-focused festive time we feel so outside of this year. Today my head was filled with images of a storm-wrecked ship adrift, and I tried to put some of the words to paper.

How swiftly change past friendly seas
to ravening waves of chaos.
Where once all hands together held
our guiding sail, our trusted wheel,
now severed lie the lines, and loosely swings the wheel.
Now the sails slap despondently.
No progress in these sluggish waters;
we are a shipwreck
from the storm that hit us unforeseen.
Weakened by that storm,
we each of us, the few now left who sail in her
are caught in coils of broken lines,
and so involved in our own web
we do neglect each other.
Other ships sail smoothly by,
bound for safe, sure harbours.
We see no reason why we should,
and couldn't find it if we did,
the night so dark and starless.

From this I turned to my reading for the day (actually I'm a little ahead, it's the December twentieth reading) in Watch For The Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas, Orbis Books, 2008. Entitled "Shipwrecked At The Stable", by Brennan Manning, (page189) it quotes José Ortega, "The man with the clear head is the man who frees himself from fantasy and looks life in the face, realizes that everything in it is problematic, and feels himself lost. And this is the simple truth--that to live is to feel oneself lost. Whoever accepts this has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around, for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order to the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked.  All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. He who does not feel himself lost, is without remission; that is to say he never finds himself, never comes up against his own reality."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photo of end of season Rudbeckia, Vancouver

Dec. 14, 2011
'Tormented' is the word that comes to mind
But I will do them a kindness
And answer, 'Okay, and how are you?'
I do not know how to live with this.

Cruel love, your loss destroys
and cripples that within us
that tries to love but understands no longer
what existence even is.

You cannot drown sorrows;
they live on and on,
surviving your burbling attempts,
your bumbling and stumbling attempts,
their horned heads rising
behind every bluff you call.

And the tears keep flowing
just like those trick candles
which, though you keep blowing,
remain aflame.

I remember a moment
not two years ago,
bending over my flowerbed
and recognizing contentment
as I gazed on my life.
Gone, now,
and the flowerbed had gone to weed
long before the first snow
mercifully covered it,
neglected and forgotten,
overshadowed by grief.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The others speak of comfort as if comfort can exist
after cataclysmic trauma, after losses such as this.
Please don't try to lift me as my heart has not yet healed
It was melted in the fire and has not yet re-congealed
It was shattered 'neath the hammer and has not yet crystallized
It was dissolved into a dew and has not yet materialized
It was torn apart in the attack and still lies strewn around
It was paralyzed and still remains so from the sudden trumpet sound
It was ground to dust and pebble between the millstones of disaster
It was tumbled off its pedestal like shattered alabaster
It was frozen when the icicle of death fell from the blue
It was tangled in grief's coiling net and has not yet struggled through
It lies beneath the waves of chaos suffering from the theft of love
Awaiting some all-healing spirit hovering above

In my pain, in my panic
I ran too far, or was I thrown?
Just can't get up, can't find my way back
to where I was, and the peace I had known.
All my past is previous lives,
all now changed beyond repair.
How to go on with awful awareness
that what I thought solid was solid as air.
What if I should loose my mind
like an arrow from a bow;
what place would it come to rest in,
how far would it fall or go?
What if I start talking hard,
saying nothing really matters.
If life's so cheap of someone you love,
what is constant? Everything shatters.
What if I scorned all claims of purpose,
seeing through all sorry games,
like working, thinking, eating, marrying,
giving, taking, what remains?