One of the things I find most difficult about writing is sorting out the thoughts in my head. Blogging is a different sort of beast. With blogging, it’s a freer flowing median, more forgiving, more spontaneous. Throughout my days, thoughts are constantly filling my mind with images that want words. Most days my vocabulary is limited in describing the images, the feelings, the expressions that linger. The thoughts that are fleeting are so quick sometimes that I don’t have enough time to experience them and to put words with them.
The image lingering lately is about being in the dark. Not being dim, mind you, but experiencing true darkness. An image of someone experiencing such darkness that they cannot see their own hand only inches in front of their face. This not seeing, this complete darkness makes this person question the very existence of their hand at all. There are more images present. There is a cool, chilly, gentle breeze that sparks the feelings of sensitivity to the skin. There is coldness beneath the person, like lying on cool concrete. In this darkness, the person begins question their own existence. If I am not seen and cannot see, am I still here? If I can’t see my hand, am I still here? Is the cool air that surrounds me really surrounding me or is it the absence of my presence?
Today, I started thinking about the New Year. I am reluctant to say good bye to 2012 because of the unexpected gifts it brought to me. It brought me warmth, meaning, and joy in ways I haven’t felt in years. I found piece of me left behind so long ago. I remembered things about me that had vanished with Dave when he died. I surrendered to some of my own needs and wants. I surrendered to not being able to see what would happen next. It took me to places I thought I had to always see before I got there.
When I mixed my experience and the images that have been lingering and really pestering me to write them down, the word resolve surfaced.
In the complete darkness of my grief, I could never see my hand only inches from my face. I could not see the moment to come. This darkness was so complete that I only wanted to stay frozen within it. I questioned my own existence…who would I be without him? The chill of sadness completely surrounded me only to let me know that I was barely there…I could feel the gentleness of life around me, but I couldn’t participate in it. I could only watch, trapped in the complete darkness. I built the darkness around me and it became a protection from the light around me. If I surrendered to the light, the warmth, the joy…well, I wasn’t sure how that would turn out…so, I was happy to lie in the complete darkness.
So, if I can’t even see my hand in the darkness, how do I see tomorrow? I think this is one of my greatest lessons from my grief…are you ready? I don’t have to see it! I don’t have to plan happiness, the future…it will still come to me. I think the key is just not giving up, having just enough resolve to wait in the darkness…it will all make its way to me whether I’m ready or not. Did I only lie around and wait? Well, no. I waited for stirrings, maybe those cool, gentle breezes to move me toward something. I trusted my intuition, my soul and I kept my heart open and tried to keep it warm even when it felt like it would turn to stone. Resolve kept me present even when I felt invisible.
I have always been responsible. At first glance, the survival of losing Dave looks much like the fulfillment of the responsibilities I had. It may have been just that. I think it was more about resolve though. I knew he trusted me to find my way again and I resolved to do that…at first for him and for the boys, but eventually for me. I look around in amazement some moments and am not sure how, why or when I got to where I am today. As 2013 approaches, I may not be able to see where it will take me or what will be, but I do know that resolve will keep me moving toward the happiness and joy that I will know with even more depth than I know today. I was able to lie in the complete darkness and I know it makes me more grateful for the experience of the light, the warmth and joy in every unplanned moment I am given.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before…
~Edgar Allan Poe