Wednesday, May 6, 2009

balancing. . .


when death nudges you, all sorts of things warp into shape. very clearly. things shift and click quite suddenly into place. the final piece of the puzzle. there it is. a complete picture. 

Immediate Things are terribly important. don't do anything carelessly. without thought and intention. and attention. and humour. yes. humour. i want to laugh. when i laugh i feel so alive. almost as much as when i cry. 

i laughed when i read:

"...a  husband is what is left of a lover after the nerve has been extracted..." Helen Rowland. i read it to a teacher at school this morning. she smiled and she said, " my husband is like an antique cartridge. the bullets are all spent."

on sunday i looked at my crumpled bed upstairs and it was suddenly completely imperative that i made it perfectly. no creases. primped up the pillows.  hospital corners. it's not that i don't make my bed, but usually i throw it together...because there's always more important and inspiring things to get on with.

at school everything seems so bright. the children walking calmly through the rain. i watched the rain falling. for a long time. i laugh more now like when alfin burst into You Make Me Feel a line too soon..and everyone sniggered and i laughed until i had tears. yes. a little OTT but still. until everyone was laughing, rolling about the hall. 

i never drink Bacardi. last night i had three with orange juice. (ok. it was the only thing left in the cupboard). but it calmed the edges. these last few days i have wrapped myself in a mist so i don't come too close to the ones i love most. like the children. the thought of losing them i cannot bear right now. i always manage to push this, my deepest fear, far over the horizon. i feel off kilter yet i feel i see things so clearly. like tam said, the veil is very thin right now. my invisible tentacles are stretched far beyond, over the hills, the vallies, the oceans. i feel. i see. 

my ears are filled with music. my nose is buried in books. my eyes are glittering, taking in the world. with very clear and sharp, blindingly bright edges. nothing is going unnoticed. but it's the smallest things. who said god is in the details? an architect, i think. i am measuring every word ever uttered by myself and others - their meanings like tinkling bells around my heart. 

i have felt an even bigger shift this time round. more than ever. it's like a trembling energy. a quavering note. perhaps because i am older. perhaps my awareness has increased.  my skin feels so thin. my heart is loud. my hunger has gone. the physicality is in balance - on a tight rope. and i am poised with no safety net. it's like something could explode out my chest....

memories of the past are like movies flickering in my head. possibilities loom. 

all i know is that in the end it's really only ever about Love. 

as Jacque Prevert so simply wrote (and perhaps not really understanding the absoluteness of his words at the time) 

"...C'est tellement simple, l'amour."

20 comments:

family affairs said...

beautiful, crystal clear lyrical words as ever L x

mighty jo said...

my whole world became re-defined when my brother was killed last december. in horrible & wonderful ways my life was changed by his death. the best thing i can take from a death is to live my life more fully & truly.
& i drank whiskey for about 4 months straight.

Mud in the City said...

Beautifully sharp and painful. Take heart dear one - hold onto the smiles and the sunlight - and the memories.
x

P. said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing. I send many hugs from New York to help you regain your equilibrium. xoxoox

Miranda said...

that damn Bacardi! Always the last thing in the booze cupboard. When you left Luangwa all those years ago you gave us your leftover bottle of Bacardi. And when WE left a year and a half ago, we passed it on to some other poor unsuspecting...heh heh.

Its all so true what you say. And yes. You have it. Its all about Love. Everything.

Tessa said...

Janelle. I think you have the soul of an angel.

Take care as you heal.

Elizabeth said...

So hard to know what to say when one feels as if all one's outer layers are stripped off.
I know exactly why the bed had to be perfect.

Butternut Squash said...

Love, like music plays endlessly through time and space gently touching everthing in its path. Peace.

Nao said...

You write like a poet, from the very depths~
There is nothing more courageous than living from this place of honesty and soulfulness.

Lover of Life said...

Beautiful writing from the heart. Nothing brings us so into focus than the death of someone we care about.

family affairs said...

You look like Madonna in that photo - in answer to your question I have no idea how I got picked - there are a couple of PR lists floating around that I'm on so maybe from that and also a Digital PR company that had asked me to review DVD's from time to time - Disney paid for the whole thing - I think in the US that "mommy bloggers" are a huge influence so they thought they'd try the same with us - disaster - we were so not uber and kept forgetting that we had children at all!! Had such a laugh Lx

g. said...

Bacradi is no pal of mine. We severed ties years ago!

Bee said...

The impermanence of things (people) always shocks. I suppose that is why Carpe Diem is pretty much the only Latin I can ever remember.

Beautiful writing . . . and I appreciate the humour about husbands!

Janelle said...

thanks you all for your very kind comments.
actually lulu, that ISN:T me...its my beautiful friend...was going to let it slip but then felt bad. i'll tell her though that you think she looks like madonna!
lots love to everyone.
x
j

Reya Mellicker said...

Janelle I am so sorry for your loss, and so grateful for your ability to write about grief so clearly and beautifully.

Grief is a shape changing experience, turns a person inside out, rips off the skin, makes it impossible to take anything for granted.

But then a new skin grows.

You are so human and luminous and so very lovely. Thank you for this. Thank you.

Bill Stankus said...

The details of life often get in the way, but yes, love works... and received love keeps me sane and going.

PurestGreen said...

I remember feeling this way after my first love died when I was 19. Sometimes it hits me again - that feeling of being new again, of all my preconceptions being wiped away. I can even make it happen at will - I call it my "screen-like vision." Most of the time though, a strange animal numbness - a vague functionality - just takes over when I am not looking.

But it is so good to remember - to let myself remember.

Big hug from Scotland. Sophia xx

alex said...

I'm so sorry you have lost your friend Janelle. I remember you telling me about Corbett. He sounded like a wild one, a handful....and that you thought we would get on! I would have loved to have met him and heard him play.
take care and play on angel XX

SafariB said...

yes.. thats exactly it. completely. i've been struck dumb these past 9 months... but those feelings you describe are just how it is.

death changes one's space in life. vividly.

is he there on the wind? i often wonder that.

Hugs J xxx your writing is truly beautiful.

Dick said...

'What will survive of us is love'. Larkin pinned it down too.