44 homeless souls coughing and snoring their way through a congenial night in a cozy church basement. There is no special skill set to accompany angels, fallen and otherwise, through their dreams; no magic wand to lift their burdens and give them what they lack in this life. However, I do enjoy passing the hours — it’s like watching the sweet face of some little hellion child finally resting… seeing that innocence bared. No one decides on dysfunction and misery on purpose.
The church folk are shiny good from core to surface. One guy was chatting about going to Reno and not going skiing because it was too cold. My thoughts returned to Michael… how he would never ever miss skiing the day after a good snow dump. How he loved to turn to me when we were out alone in the woods (or wherever we had hit solitude,) and say, “Not too crowded” in his happiest voice. When I started to say my husband was an expert back country alpine skier and never missed a storm I think it was the past tense that lost me an audience. I started to think about his legacy as an outdoorsman. I know about the transects he did in winter through the Sierra , the kayak down the Inside Passage of the Queen Charlottes, his adventures in Baja and in the Hood River gorge and on the big waves of Maui, about his complete comfort in a natural environment. (Did I tell you the one where he kicked a bear in the head, from a sitting position, and turned it away from coming to our campfire for food? Or when he chased raccoons that were trying to get in our roof-vent while wearing nothing more than his birthday suit out into the night?) However, if there is only one person tooting your horn after you die and that person is trying not to feel sad, not so much about the memories as by the lack of receptivity to the telling of such tales… then what? I saw the stupid bumper sticker again that says “He who dies with the most toys wins” the other day and I knew from my experience trying to liquidate those toys how ridiculous and mundane that statement is. Our lives, once done, leave whatever physical stuff we had to the closest people and that is challenge aplenty but also the memories are piled in disorderly, often quixotic brain files that open at random under the lightest pressure or at the most inappropriate times and deserve to be celebrated and told when they are worth telling… but how if you were a mostly solitary person with a larger than life portfolio of adventures married to a less than talkative woman with mediocre story telling skills? I resist letting Michael disappear into obscurity but see no alternative….we all go there…but those church folks did help me feel bad, something they could never guess and would never have done on purpose. The embedded widow/er grief bomb.
Speaking of random and obscure… none of my photos will open for this post. Dang!
I was going to sprinkle you with photos of the adventures from this week. Breakfast this morning celebrating Deepika’s October birthday. Going up the Feather River Canyon with Joni to case out the dangers for crude oil trains ahead of a film crew. Selkie walking with Ema’s gals. Mirza seven months pregnant (she’s helping me as I reengage with trying to learn Spanish.) Not having the photos takes some of the sparkle and quip out of the post for me… I love the visual with the words… Oh well. No New Year’s Resolutions broken yet as none made.