Ten Years: A Decade of Love

September 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

It’s strange.

I would die alone; yet it’s the others who would live my death.

– Simone De Beauvoir

On a forgotten notecard tacked to my art board are the hastily written words from sometime early this spring. Jon, this year has been about love. Types of love, types of men. Strangely, it’s already September, and I have taken down the notecard. The weather this year is more manic than usual, summer one day and fall the next, but it’s fitting for a rocky year of struggle, rejection and realization. The loneliness is ever-present, and death feels cruel again for the first time in almost a decade: maybe even grief is cyclical. Tonight, I’m listening to Nick Cave’s new album Skeleton Tree, of which I’m sure you’d approve, drinking a glass or two of rosé, of which I’m sure you wouldn’t, and thinking of you.

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9 Years: The Anatomy of Fear

September 17th, 2015 § 0 comments

Lying in bed, restlessly sleeping beside an unfamiliar form, through the open window and into the quiet darkness of the early AM hours in Queens, gunshots rang out. No shouts or scuffle followed the cracking sound that reverberated like echoes, sending waves anxiety and terror shooting through my body. By the time sirens could be heard they were distant and far away. Fear, that emotion we can’t control any more than love, longing and grief, has defined a certain part of my year since I last wrote. I hated playing what if games as a child, a pointless and speculative exercise, and yet this type of thinking has come to define too many of my decisions.

The weather over the last week has turned predictably cool. It’s fall, and as usual, I miss you. Another breakup, another loss, the lingering sense of loneness and that overwhelming desire to talk to you make it undeniably September. Understanding, I sometimes think, died with you, and if I am feeling particularly childish and romantic, as I rarely am these days, I wonder if you can feel the cool, exciting wind of fall, if you can remember me, if you know how much joy you gave in such a short period of time. It’s been a long while, Jon, since I knew belonging, understanding and innocence. I can remember with sharp detail the aspirations of the childish girl who loved you, and yet a friend of mine said recently, “I have seen changes in you, but somehow they seemed part of the maturing process, under it all you were still there. Now I am reassessing.”

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7 Years: Dreaming of Ghosts

September 16th, 2013 § 1 comment

I always thought dreaming of the deceased would be wonderful, and there was a substantial period of time, many years ago, when I used to wish for it. For those dream moments I wouldn’t realize it wasn’t real, my mind would recreate you as I remember, just as it would formulate entirely new memories. We’d be talking about something we’d never discussed, or be someplace we never went. For that alone, any disappointment suffered upon waking would be worth the moments of ignorance and indulgence. In all the years that you’ve been gone, however, I’ve never been able to force a single dream. Now that I don’t wish for it, now that it’s no longer on my conscience mind, you seem to have slipped through into the cracks of my subconscious, and not too long ago I did dream of you.

musician-montpellier

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6 Years: Death & Objecthood

September 17th, 2012 § 0 comments

With every year that passes I try my best to negotiate a new kind of truce with your death, to find peace in the lingering and everlasting grief, and each year it’s a different kind of truce. Six years now—I can hardly believe it—since you shattered my 22-year-old world, one that was cozily wrapped up in a kind of childish innocence about what life could, would, or should be. My childhood ended, and all things associated with it, mainly my youthful marriage, that lonely day years ago when you left. It’s not the immediate heartbreak of grief that scars us, but living with it year after year that leaves traces we can’t erase. Like the slow process of aging, the subtle shifts in our body’s abilities, loss etches lines that are just as permanent.

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In Memory: Five Years Since

September 17th, 2011 § 2 comments

Did you see our brother
He was here the other day
But he only came to say that he was leaving

Who writes to dead people? Poets, artists, daydreamers, perhaps Emily Dickinson, and certainly those who miss someone lost. Five years you’ve been dead, and only one year has gone by that I didn’t acknowledge it. It reminds me of a scene from a very beautiful French movie called Il y a Longtemps que Je T’aime (I’ve Loved you so Long), about a woman coming to live with her sister after spending fifteen years in prison. In a dramatic scene she accuses her sister of forgetting her, at which point the younger sister shows her day planner after day planner where her name is written at the top of each page. Hemmed within thousands of little boxes dictating the day of the week, the month of the year, or scheduled daily obligations, were 5,475 remembrances. Though writing a name everyday is a simple task, it takes great deal of effort, like putting a penny in a jar at the same time every morning as my brother did as a teenager, to remember someone gone.

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