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