Sometime around the time that I became an Elderly, I shut down the conduits of emotional weeps. I decided it was all for aught. And granted, although I still might get watering eyes when in severe physical pain, through some process outside of my control, I decided that emotional weeps help nothing, cure nothing, do nothing, so why bother. So I’ll not do that anymore.
And, surprisingly, with that avowal, I’m managed to keep my emotional weeps in check. When I have lost dear ones, I have simply stated, within my mind, ‘This is the way of life. This is it’s cycle and this is what is to be expected.’
Now prior to this time, I used to go out on my deck in the cool of the eve and contemplate constellations, wondering how amongst a limited number of misaligned stars in the heavens, I was supposed to see a helmeted warrior with a novelty belt and sword strapped thereto, and a bear, and God knows what else. I am imaginative. I have always been imaginative, but really. How could anyone see these exotic impressions in a very few star-to-star dotted designs?
But I digress. What I wanted to tell you is that of late, I have lost many dear friends and many dear neighbours. It’s what happens when you live in a small community. I somehow think there wouldn’t be so many if I lived in a large metropolis. I would only be aware of so few. But here, even those I don’t know intimately, or even conversationally, I still know. People say to me, “Did you hear so and so passed away?”
I say, “I don’t think I know that person.”
And they say, “Of course you do. She is the red-haired lady that always grocery shops late on Friday nights, and is in the beauty salon every Wednesday.”
And then of course, I realize that I do know her, have occasionally spoke with her, and she is like so many others, except the odd newcomers, that are an integral part of the familiar landscape in a small town. In a small town there are few that one doesn’t know, albeit in a casual way, enough to feel a vacancy when they are gone. And lately there are many. So very many.
Anyway, this among other emotional traumas, are things I no longer weep about having matured enough to fully understand we all come the same way and leave the same way.
But out on my deck in the cool of the evening, something is happening that I really don’t like one little bit. I don’t like crowds but when I sit on the deck after nightfall it seems so crowded. With a silent crowd. Yet a crowd that is wanting something from me in a restless kind of anxious way.
And though I vow not to feel bad enough to weep, I sit out on my deck in the evening and find myself thinking, with much loneliness, of the many I once knew that were such brave souls, such fine people, such lovers of life, so sturdy and brave and kind; but now they are gone. Yet I feel their presence out on the deck.
A restless kind of presence. They touch me not, but they harass my mind and they are as clearly present as the pictures the constellations hold in such an oblique way.
And finally, finally, I realize I cannot deal with their ghosts any longer although I am glad they are there, but at the same time would rather just sit there mindlessly on my deck for an hour or so before turning in for the night. Does it make sense? Me wanting them there, but yet wanting them to be calmer, quieter, more transparent, more settled.
And finally, I give up. I open up the conduits of salt and water mix and let it flow. I think it is such a stupid exercise. It changes nothing. It alters none of the hard cold and grey facts of what life and death is about. But yet, amazingly, the crowd on my deck slips into a happier venue and they do become warm and transparent and okay as if bathed by my emotions.
Why, or how, I have no idea. Cause despite what I have done, that great big weep didn’t change anything in a concrete way, but in the world of abstraction, it did a beautiful, healing thing.