I know that those who have alighted here in the past may have read similar words from me. Sometimes it seems I get stuck in a loop in my cabeza. And sometimes that seems to happen cyclically, seasonally. If you come here in the fall, specifically September and October, I’ll be writing about chilly fall mornings and bright blue September skies. If you’re here in the dead of winter I’m waxing poetic about snowfall and peppermint hot chocolate. If you’re here during election times, I’m banging away at the keyboard, forever acting the political pundit.
I get stuck in ruts. What can I say. But something happened during the last four years and my brain has short-circuited I think. It’s a jumble up there…a dangerous neighborhood that one shouldn’t be in alone. I feel there is so much I need to write, so many words I need to throw down. But at the same time, I can’t seem to form a cogent point. Could be a lot of irons in the fire. Could be a need to clear out the cobwebs. I truly do not know.
I do have the sense of the inexorable march of time. This irks me to no end. It always has and it always will. I know I’m supposed to accept those things I cannot change. But this is something I’ll fight, kicking and screaming, to the end of my days. I do not appreciate how fast everything is going. I do not like feeling as if I can’t catch my breath from running to keep up. I want to draw out each and every moment of each and every precious day. If I could live in slow motion I would. And then I would carve out enough brain space to store each kodachrome slide of all of those precious moments.
I finally finished hanging up pictures and paintings. I completed the photo wall. Not that it matters to anyone but the three of us, since not a single other soul has set foot in our house in the last year. It’s been over a year since we had a friend sitting at the table, enjoying dinner and then coffee and dessert. All of us laughing as Gracelyn entertained us with a magic show. We’ve gone without the Winter Solstice/Birthday Bonfire Extravaganza, Fourth of July festivities, morning get togethers for coffee cake and fresh brewed coffee just cause the cowboy showed up on his horse. (Aengus thought that was pretty dang cool.)
Back to the photo wall. It’s a collage of photos…some professionally taken, most simply snapshots of those precious moments. It’s a small sprinkling of the last 14 years captured in time, preserved on the wall. It’s beautiful and endearing and funny and breathtaking and all in all damn bittersweet. I find myself just standing in front of the wall, staring.
Trying to soak in the contents held within each frame, I also hold myself in tight. I hold in the tears. I hold back the sadness that threatens to overwhelm me. For the lost time. For the lost days, the lost moments. The glimpses of the memories, wispy at the edges of my consciousness—the ones I so desperately try to grasp. They always seem just out of reach.
My head and my heart have a finite amount of space. I remember when Gracelyn was born trying to imprint on my being the exact smell of her, the feel of her smooth forehead when I kissed it. The little sigh/squeal/giggle she made when it was time to nurse or she’d just woken up from her nap. I never wanted to forget those things. I wanted to feel them forever. My heart breaks now when I reach for those memories. They are, as so many others, just out of reach, dancing on the edges of my consciousness.
The only thing permanent in life is impermanence. This vexes me. I would have made a terrible Buddhist.
I imagine I am not alone in feeling melancholy about lost moments. All of us have lived this last year suspended in time. Yet time did not stop. It moved on, as it does. Without us.
What do we do with that? Where do we put this lost year? Do we just ignore it? Pretend it didn’t happen and pick up where we left off in February 2020? Whenever it is that we can pick it all up. And what about our children? All the things they’re missing….no summer camp, no skiing (for us anyway as #ScienceMatters in this household and we will not be venturing out needlessly in the middle of a pandemic of epic proportions), no sleepovers with friends, no hugging grandparents.
Again with the impermanence of life. Irksome.
May you find a modicum of equanimity somewhere in your life space today.