Labor Day Trail

My thoughts have skipped and skimmed since I woke this morning. We are stardust, we are golden… how can we organize the people to make peace with justice a priority? What about this and that and that? Not exactly shot out of a canon but definitely ADD. Two friends on their last hoorah with prostate cancer. Pinched by the upcoming anniversary of M’s death and all the little things– like car complications, cost of dental work, what the city and PGE are up to. Aughhh!

I want to get my thoughts to focus on Michael… see, that is the difference… other things are intruding on my relationship with his memory and my grief. That is good?

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Anyway, this time last year, (and I won’t be saying that for too much longer…) we went to Tahoe then up the Rubicon (you can’t imagine doing this drive in a cab over camper if you knew the rock strewn road—it was crazy,) to a beautiful little lake known only to the ORV folks. After we got back down off that treacherous drive we camped at the Gold Lakes Basin on the way home and that was our Last Hike. Michael tired easily but walked with his usual grace, the relaxed walk of someone built to travel indefinitely by foot power. I have been experiencing his body as it was again in my mind’s eye. His long hands and feet, his back, making love and intimate stuff, his face. Just as I put the photos away before I left on my Amtrak loop and haven’t put them back out again, perhaps I’m putting some more of him away inside myself. I still feel so imploded by his loss when I allow myself to acknowledge it.

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A young woman who grew up here at Riparia is getting married soon and I’m getting a card signed, collecting money and getting her gifts together from us… in the doing of that I pulled out the album from our wedding and read what Michael wrote to me with today’s eyes. He loved me. I am just stalled in my tracks to think that someone loved me, someone I loved too. What are the odds? Maybe we just bend in toward love and willed ourselves to be beloveds.. We often disagreed and felt like the other was far away but I think that love remains and is still out there somewhere carried in the vessel of the universe… subatomic particles of love and longing bumping up into my conscious mind or being sent out by me. Marriage, on one level, isn’t just til death do us part.

The Labor of living, marrying, the loved one dying, then coming back round again to examine it all from a lens clouded by forgetfulness and only the singular focus… what will it be like in a year or five and will I be alive in ten? A subtle current flows through all this, of anticipation and a creaky sort of tender emotion, like fear but more like surrender and even a touch of hope.

Trails continue without the footfalls.

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2 thoughts on “Labor Day Trail

  1. This brought me to tears. I can relate to what you’re saying. I’ve always thought that the “life after death” that people yearn for, is that the person lives forever in our hearts and minds.

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