Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Brrrrrrrrrr. It is much cooler today than it has been for the last couple of days. Still, it is above freezing and we have lost much of the snow pack that seemed so deep just last week. The “pond” out behind the house has gone from a clean expanse of white two days ago to a mostly liquid mix the color of light caramel. There are still large areas of ice, but it has that “given up” look that ice gets when it knows its last days have come.

The world I look out on is in transition. White giving way to shades of brown – from the light tan of last year’s cattail rushes, to the caramel of the melting pond, to the reddish brown of the fallen oak leaves that make up the forest floor duff that is appearing on the south facing slopes, to the dark, almost black, bark of the trees, still sleeping, dreaming their dreams of awakening.

When we go on our walk today, I will bring gloves and a warmer hat. Yesterday, we saw deer and wild turkeys. Today, who knows.

Next week the kids have spring break. We hope to go north to see family for a few days, but I am holding off on making final plans to wait and see how I feel after Friday’s treatment. I hope that we can go.

Yesterday I finished with the hanging clothes in the closet off of my bedroom. This was a milestone of sorts. I think that everyone who loses a lover reacts differently in how they approach going forward. Some move to a new location, some cannot change anything, creating a shrine to the lost love. I fall somewhere in between as I believe most do.

In her book, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” Joan Didion talks about how she could not part, or even move for that matter, her late husbands shoes. To do so would be to finally admit that the lost person was truly gone for ever.

For a long time, I was unable to deal with all of C’s things in our closet. I knew she was gone, but like Joan Didion, I needed parts of her to remain. I couldn’t immediately sever the link I had to her, no matter how tenuous. I believed that the time would come when it would feel right and so I waited.

That time did come. I invited family to come and help me begin by first taking what they wanted. Later, a couple of C’s workmates came and did the same. Then it was up to me, so every couple of days, I would fill up some 30 gallon heavy duty leaf bags with shirts and sweaters, suits and slacks, socks and undies, belts and shoes, and deliver them to the goodwill main store down in the big city. Yesterday, I put the last of her clothes from this closet in the bag and made the familiar trip.

As you might expect, there were some difficult moments, as I would handle each piece of clothing, checking the pockets for the inevitable wad of Kleenex stuffed there for whenever it was needed. Each article of clothing carried its own set of memories, culled from the recesses of my mind where they had been laid down over the last twenty plus years. A bittersweet time.

Still, it is a start more than it is an end. Of course, those two words are inseparable when one looks at the larger picture. It is only when myopia claims us that we see only one or the other.

I have much to do yet. Many decisions to make – keep or not, if not, give to whom? It is a good thing to thin our lives out once and a while. Long before I met C, I moved often enough that this was enforced through a process of natural selection – my friends would only help me with so much, so I had to limit my possessions. Now, those limits have been considerably loosened, the result of home ownership and relative stability. Storerooms are enablers. Garages are not your friend in this matter. So, it is not just C’s stuff I need to dispose of, but my own as well. Yes, I have much to do.


Blogger Sister Spikey Mace of Desirable Mindfulness said...

Still, it is a start more than it is an end. Of course, those two words are inseparable when one looks at the larger picture. It is only when myopia claims us that we see only one or the other.

Brilliant. And amen.

10:20 AM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger Tiffanie said...

This comment is in response to your Flicr account.

First of all, I want to say that I can see kindness in your eyes, it goes along perfectly with what I've read of you.

Secondly, thank you for the beautiful pictures from San Francisco. It's such a pretty place and you have some good shots there.

11:50 AM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger lime said...

it is astonishing how 'stuff' expands exponentially to fill whatever space is available....

i must also agree with sister up there. i need to remind myself of that too often.... thank you.

finally, how did you get that wild effect on day 3's picture? very cool.

4:15 PM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger Phaedrous said...

Dear Sister, you know more than most.

Dear Tiffanie, you are most welcome and thank you.

Dear Lime, the "effect" is one of the standard features of my new laptop. There is a little porthole at the top edge of the screen about 1/8" square. That is the camera. One just selects the Photobooth app, selects an effect and viola ( you have it.

4:31 PM, March 14, 2007  

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