Nov 16, 2015


All through the night, your glorious eyes 
Were gazing down in mine,
And with a full heart's thankful sighs,
I blessed that watch divine
Why did the morning dawn to break
So great, so pure a spell;
And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek,
Where your cool radiance fell?
Oh stars, and dreams, and gentle night;
Oh night and stars, return!
And hide me from the hostile light
That does not warm, but burn;

~ excerpts of "Stars" by Emily Bronte

The sky fell today, and it was a stunning show. When I went to sleep last night, with a smile on my lips, the stars were with me. But shortly after I woke, they all began to fall.

I surprised myself with the intensity of my sorrow. A human can make all sorts of noises, but the sounds we make during sex and grief are to me, the most profound. Laughter is delicious - very little tops it - but there is such depth in a scream. As the heavens crashed down around me, I had almost no words (which for me, is terribly rare). I managed to slip a few out, each one so much less than I wanted to say, but I can't even be sure that they were heard. Instead my voice was reserved for the most beautiful keening sounds. I have never been able to sing a note, but gods I could be a banshee without trying.

I have, in the past few years, begun to marvel daily at life. I seek joy, and I find it nearly everywhere. But life isn't all joy. It is the neighbour-friend who is lingering in an in-between state, somehow still holding on even though she is riddled with cancer. It is the niece who stepped in with both feet to the kind of muck you can't save her from. It is people going out to a concert in Paris, and never coming home again.

That we keep attempting to walk, or drag ourselves along, under a firmament that is collapsing around us, is how we shape our worlds. It's not so easy to just dust yourself off and keep going. We bring our wounds with us. Our heartbreak. Our scars. They can be a heavy weight. But for me, there is no other choice than to keep crawling forward. Fortunately I have friends that don't ask questions, but simply turn up the Fleetwood Mac and pour half a bottle of red wine in a glass for me. They sit me down, and tell me it will all be alright, even though they know I don't believe them, and they tell me ridiculous stories until I am laughing through my tears. I have wise friends, and friends who are great seers, who believe in me, even when I have no faith in myself.

The moon still hangs in the sky tonight and that's something, I suppose. I am not afraid of all those falling stars. There is some strange beauty in their collision - the kind that makes you ache. I still have hope, although what that is good for, I can't be sure. More than hope, more than even the thought of the coming spring and the new life that might overtake the wildfire-scorched parts of me, I have love. There is a wild, fathomless love in me that seems to rise up, even when I feel like I'm drowning. That is what I hold on to - even when it hurts - all of that foolish love.

I hope you and yours are safe and warm tonight. I hope your friends treat you half as well as mine treat me. I hope you find love, have love, remember love. Find something to hold on to. The sky may not be finished falling yet, but keep your eyes on the moon and don't stop moving, breathing, loving. Don't stop.

Two small notes:

- There is, in fact, a falling star situation happening in the heavens, if you are interested. The Leonids will peak on November 17th and 18th for your viewing pleasure. Read more here.

- I would like to ask, so kindly, that if you feel you would like to leave a comment on this post, please don't send condolences. I don't know that I particularly deserve them, and that is not why I offered this up today. I know that not everyone has a group of friends like mine, or is able to find some soul-deep love to tap into to keep going. I would be so much more grateful for any sharing you might want to do in regards to how you find your way through those times when the sky falls. Thank you for understanding.

*Photographs are courtesy of creative commons and linked back to source


Jen Lawrence said...

i've been having my own dark nights. I've found solace through reading, writing, finding pretty things on Pinterest, and honest conversations. During my down days, I let a precious few in my life: only the empathetic (sympathizers need not apply.) Thank you for your honest sharing.

Linda Wildenstein said...

I am profoundly moved by your words. They seem so close and familiar. That is because you and I have shared hope, understanding and mutual respect. I honor your spirit and hope your hope grows expedentially. You are loved dear one. xoxo Oma Linda

Aidan Wachter said...

My dear girl, you are so unbelievably beautiful. In my life, I break. That's all. And that break is a permanent thing. It never un-breaks. Sometimes it heals up stronger and tougher than before, sometimes it's delicate and fragile ever after. All I know to do is push on through with everything else, and try to be down with being a bit broken, a bit (or a bunch!) of a mess for however long that goes on. To not try and protect that break too much. To let it heal, but soon enough to start putting weight on it again. It's just who and how we are, I think. Nothing, really to be done. <3

Debra Nehring said...

I go inward, seeking answers, or at least some comfort, in meditation and in speaking to All That Is.
I write, I read, I cry. Sending you love to sweeten your journey a wee tad.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Sharing this dark time with you. I am not sure why but its heavy. Much love from the middle of the Prairies.

HappyCrone said...

Jen, if you ever get a chance read The Smell of Rain on Dust by Martin Prechtel. It is a wonderful work on grieving.
Much love little Sister.

Jennifer said...

You're such a beautiful soul and your words never fail to move me. I consider you a friend. I'm holding you close in my thoughts during your dark days--hang in there and know you are loved.

sarah said...

Such gorgeously beautiful, soulful writing. Thank you for the blessing it gives all of us who read it. Thank you for sharing the beauty and love that can grow up from the dark.

Anonymous said...

Mmm... How do I find my way when the sky is falling... It's situational, I suppose. Often I find myself abiding by the adage about how you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. I have to remind and remind and remind myself that I am only in charge of *my* decisions, *my* consequences. Sometimes all we can do is offer our love from afar and hope that the horses finally realise that water is good for thirst. Other times I have to do something more concrete. When my Grandfather was dying I put in 3 new (large) garden beds in 2 days. Digging sod, cutting edges, transplanting, watering, mulching. Exhausting work, but still not enough so I dyed my hair for the first time since my 20s- screaming hot red (but the underlayer, y'know, so I wouldn't get too much heat from work). Recently, I've been struggling with letting the emotion- specifically the tears- out. I keep holding it in because I don't want others to be uncomfortable, or to have to explain myself. Pretty sure that's where this week's sinus issues originated. Letting it out is so important for me, so clearly it's time for a little internal excavation to see what the holdup (haha) is.

Anyway. I hope you don't mind that my reply got so long. I hope whatever skyfall you are experiencing now... strengthens you. Passes soon. Doesn't end badly. Thank you for sharing you. For writing things that make me think more deeply.

Take care.