What do you do when your head and heart both are overfull and empty at the same time?
I’m sitting here in my car, parked in my driveway, waiting for my daughter to wake up so we can go into the house. She has spent the last few days and nights with my parents, and while I’ve enjoyed my mini-vay, I feel an urgency to get back to reading C.S. Lewis’s THE SILVER CHAIR with my kid.
A mother reading to her daughter.
Mothers and daughters have weighed heavily on my mind and heart of late.
One of the daughter’s favorite shows, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” asks the question, “What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad, you could roar?”
A similar set of questions has plagued me for the past 10 days…but mine go something like this:
What do you do with the sad that you feel?
When you feel so sad, you could soar
gently and without fuss on an updraft of foreign emotion
out of your daily life and
into some *between* state
neither dead nor truly living
simply drifting along
an automaton waltzing through life’s daily requirements
to the rhythm of
a beat as steady as a heart too calm
too deeply in repose
too distant ever to answer another call?
What do you do when you feel this grief,
this pain that underwhelms:
–i am not impressed with you
–i shall go about my life because i have such security
–oh pain, you do not own me
–i cannot begin to handle you
–i cannot anything
How do you take your next breath?
Is it even yours to begin with?
Is the beginning of a next breath. even. yours.?
I do take my next breath
and the next
and the next
But they don’t happen in some serene cocoon
of Comprehension Of Death
Oh, on a certain level
We Live In A Fallen World
Death Is Not The End
At Least She’s Not In Pain Anymore
She’s In A Better Place
The Lord Plucked Her, Beautiful Flower, From His Garden And Took Her Home
do you really think any of that shit matters to me
when i grip my kitchen counter
trying to hold on
sliding down the front of my dishwasher
oh so recently having completed its cycle
having done its job on the earth
having fulfilled its purpose
oh happy dishwasher
spewing its drying heat over me like vomit
all to the tune of
the cat’s ingurgitating her meat food
as i seek refuge with my cheek pressed against the floor
my nose in last month’s crumbs i haven’t bothered to sweep
scrubbing the cold linoleum with my tears
do you think any of your platitudes matter?
the strung-together syllables of anesthesia
that make so much sense when you’re not in agony
try listening to the rain
do you hear that hollow growling sound?
i tell you, it is Death
come too soon for her
come too soon for us all
“I needed this today,” says I. “This quiet resting, this listening to the rain. They held her funeral this morning.”
“Rain washes everything away,” answers a friend.
That is the answer to what we do. That is the Truth.
So I let the rain come.
In my kitchen, in front of the dishwasher. With the heat and the filthy tear-washed floor and my soft-howled pleas for an explanation.
I let the rain come.
(completed and posted on 06/26/2017, backdated to June 2, 2017)