True Love’s Falling

In the midst of cold, wet, dreary weather, I spent most of my weekend trying to console one of my characters, Cody, with his loss (by working diligently to finally put a large portion of this manuscript together). Meanwhile – in the real world – one of my best friends spent the weekend caring for her elderly aunt in her final hours while trying to console her family over the loss she was sharing.

I came into work this morning feeling particularly melancholy (probably because it’s still cold and wet and especially dreary, being a Monday and all). I had (took?) a few spare moments to pen these thoughts as they came to mind.

I’m sure my poem could use some work, but I hope it brings comforting thoughts to those who need them today. Blessings. -j

True Love’s Falling

 

Here is it in print form only, for those who might have trouble reading it in its “artsy-fartsy” form:

 

True Love’s Falling

 

Don’t let the sun set on your tomorrows

Though darkness may cloud your todays

Our falls always take us to sorrows

In due course,

Cold months surrender to Mays

 

The day’s sun approaching future horizons

You haven’t yet stepped out to greet

All of life’s best and mesmerizing surprises

In God’s time,

Will remove your false sense of incomplete

 

Breathe deeply the crisp wind that’s blowing

Take hope in all future renewals

Cleanse your heart in solely knowing…

Set love shines more brightly

Than all polished jewels

 

 

Related Link:  Rolling River

Refocusing on Perfection (and other less haughty goals)

Knowing how inconsistent I’ve been in the blogging community this year, I thought I’d better try to get my creative cap back on – even if I’ve managed to lose all of my writing communities and what little bit of interest I might have gained from blogging friends that I appear to have “dumped.”

I had gotten so deep into an intense scientific style of writing, in finishing out my dissertation, that my creativity (and time) felt otherwise pushed to the edge. So, here’s a warm up, as I’m hoping to get back to my other writing projects soon that have gathered lots of dust on the shelf.

I’m including a poem of dichotomy that played through my mind this morning, as well as a couple of images that were sitting on my iPhone (since I haven’t had time to get out and explore the trails with a decent camera in hand lately).

Okay, enough with the excuses…

dichotomous blaze

Dichotomous Blaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refocusing on Perfection
© jody love, 2014

My head rolled up slowly, my focus adjusting on you.
You were close – so very close.
You took my breath.
Our legs circled and entwined.
Your head turned away.
You sighed in contentment.
I closed my eyes and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized how perfect this all was.

 

My head snapped up sharply, my focus adjusting on you.
You were down the aisle – so far away.
You took my breath.
Our legs rotated in double-time.
Your head turned away.
I sighed in anguish.
I changed my path and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized this was all just…Perfect.

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Recesses

Had I but known it was the last time I would look
Upon your face, into your eyes…
I would have lingered there.

Had I but known it was the last time I would feel
Your very presence, next to mine…
I would not dare have let go.

Yet now, they’re only memories, barely kept
In the recesses of my mind,
Threatening to tell me you never were

As you said, forever mine.
Then you were gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would breathe
Your very essence, take in your scent…
I would never have exhaled.

Had I but known it was the last time I would taste
Your tender lips, with honeyed kisses…
I could not have pulled away.

Yet now, they’re only demons, taunting me
Within the dreams of restless sleep,
Making me believe you have returned

To be, forever mine.
Then you are gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would hear
Your words so tender, full of love…
I would have blocked all else out.

Had I but known it was the last time I could sense
The bond between us, sworn eternal…
I would have prayed for its recapture.

Yet now, they’re almost gone, departing me
As if you never were, or did not care,
Beseeching me, forget the love we shared.

An empty space, forever mine –
For you are gone.

© 2012 Jody Love

Recesses. Published in World Poetry Movement (compiler), Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month. ISBN: 978-1-61936-035-8.

(Author’s note: I’m sure the loss of someone we love, under whatever circumstance, resonates deep within our souls. I term it “the without within.” As 9-1-1 poignantly calls upon us again today to remember loss in conglomeration, it amplifies that empty space for many, individually and as a nation – and even as a world desperately in need of love, forgiveness, and understanding.)

My Chief Lesson

For any additional lightness in my pocketbook today, my heart is feeling many more times heavy.

I lost a best friend last night. A loyal companion. An intense playmate.

He was the one who loved it whenever I put my feet all over him.

He was the one who looked most forward to taking long evening walks with me next to his side.

He was the one who would chase me around our couches, then turn the other direction and run from me – always keeping me rolling in giggles.

And he was the one who would chase his tail just to entertain everyone else.

I guess you’d call him our “pack clown.”

Through highly intelligent eyes, he anticipated what I wanted from him.

Through a curious and loving heart, he didn’t always do what I asked him not to do.

And with that ridiculous tongue hanging out, his humor came through in his big canine smile.

***

Last night, as we were walking home with some of the rest of our pack, he began to wheeze. He veered from a well-known path, desperately trying to remain upright. Within seconds, he was retching and trying to regain his uprightness where he had collapsed. Our 2 T’s headed off to get the car, as I sat helplessly in an unknown neighbor’s yard, watching my buddy’s gums and tongue turn gray, as he strained to squeeze anything through his air passage.

We never saw it coming.

Forty minutes earlier, he and I had been doing the happy dance together. (I had come in from work and asked if he wanted to go on a W-A-L-K, which was my joke with my family – that he was so smart he could spell.)

Chief – that was our sweet boy’s name – ran to the rack where his collar and lead were hanging, jumped around in circles, then came back smacking his long tail into everything that managed to horizontally get in his way. As he saw me grab up my tennis shoes, he impatiently danced around some more, finally unable to contain his excitement, jumping up to “hug” me – just before he turned back and waited to be fitted into his own “sports gear.” He always got so excited about our family walks. He loved to explore, and he loved doing it as a family unit – a pack.

It seemed like it took years to get to the emergency clinic after the incident (since his vet was already closed by then). My oldest son left his ballgame to meet us there, instinctively understanding this would be the last chance he’d have for loving on his pup.

Although they intubated Chief the minute we arrived, that wasn’t going to get rid of the clot in his lung. We were told that he could remain on a mechanical respirator for $1,000 per day, but even if we could afford that, his life would no longer be his own.

Though we got to be with him as he was euthanized, he was already on so much medication to ease his stress, only we were the ones who were aware. Despite our prayer over him, it was a distressful departing. No sooner had we stepped out of one room, after saying our unworthy good-byes, than we were presented with a $400 bill, immediately due. Was that the closure then?

We’re all numb today – traumatized. We brought Chief home, so his remains can at least be close by. But that’s never enough, is it?

I want my friend back. Waking up this morning without him on his bed was disorienting. Driving through my neighborhood this morning, passing the sidewalk of our final journey together, was excruciating. I dread going home this afternoon, to abide in the obvious emptiness without his presence to greet me. My grief feels immense.

Yet, there is a Chief lesson that I’ve learned in this.

Grieving is important. It reminds us of the immense capability we have to love; the importance of sharing in that love as part of living. What would a relationship be worth if there were no pain in its loss?

Chief holds a special place in our hearts. I can’t imagine going on without him to brighten our days.

But I can’t imagine how much less our lives would be had we never had him to love in the first place.

A friend loves at all times…
Proverbs 17:17a

 

 

 

 

Eclipsed

Eclipse Anular

Eclipse Anular (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That day in September would appear shadowed by a solar eclipse…a massive one…probably the longest on record, maybe lasting an entire year or more. You likely don’t remember that event though. That’s because it probably only took place in my world. It specifically coincided with my mother’s death. You see, she was my sunshine; and my world revolved around her.

That same year, I was enlisted as a soldier. It’s true. I remember my basic training well. There I stood at attention, in the funeral home, over my mother’s coffin.  My sergeant hovered over me, offering specific directives for our upcoming battle and my survival tactics. I felt so unprepared for my mission – palms sweaty, knees knocking. Despite any lack of experience or stature on my part, Sgt. Joe took his job to prepare me very seriously.

Directives for my mission?

Smile when people speak to you. Let them tell you their memories of your mother. They don’t want to see you cry.

Stand tall and be brave. You’re my little soldier now.

One clasp of a heavy hand on my shoulder with a quick squeeze of reassurance, and I was unwillingly recruited into my new role. One big swallow to push back the tears that were burning in my eyes and throat, and I picked up my assigned weapon and wielded it. Most soldiers give their weapon a nickname. I’d give one to mine later in life – I’d call it denial.

I smiled. I listened. I nodded. I went numb. People told me things about my mother – like she was the prettiest corpse they’d ever seen; she was going to be an angel watching over me. ‘That’s just ridiculous,’ I thought bitterly (to myself, of course, since I was obediently smiling and nodding at them on the outside). Still, even today – as I come upon her age of death – I wonder if people will think I appear that pretty when I’m in my coffin. Oh, the vanity of life!

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Another week, another Trifecta challenge (only different, as always). During the week, we’re allotted up to 333 words, so I was greedy – I used every last one of them.  I found a couple of different places to use the prompt (at the alpha and omega points – the beginning and the end), and I decided to do a little creative non-fiction writing this week – with this added thought:

“Most especially in the dark hours, when our lives appear so greatly eclipsed,

that’s when we become most aware of the slivers of abiding light

reaching forth to touch us.”

The challenge word also appears above, in my final quote – still in the Trifecta-mandated 3rd definition. So there are your clues to this week’s word (and usage). Did you get it?

***

***

APPEAR
1a : to be or come in sight <the sun appears on the horizon>
b : to show up <appears promptly at eight each day>
2: to come formally before an authoritative body <must appear in court today>
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

***

RELATED ARTICLE:

I Salute You for Your Service (humanTriumphant.wordpress.com)

Life After Death

My life began with a funeral. How strange is that? To one day wake up and come to the realization that you’ve stopped living altogether?

How many times for the past year and a half had I come out here? How many times had I walked this shoreline, stood on this dock, my eyes intently searching for something my heart didn’t want them to find? I’d been locked away in that day far too long. Each and every morning since then, I’d gotten up early and stumbled groggily into the kitchen, expecting to find him there, getting himself ready to leave for his big fishing day. I’d squeezed my eyes shut on all occasions, imagining his crooked smile as he passed me a cup of coffee and leaned in to brush back my tangled hair. I’d experienced the brush of his lips on my forehead. I’d heard his voice teasingly refer to me as “sleepy-head” while grabbing his gear and heading toward the door. Then, once more, he’d be gone.

At least three times a week, I’d frantically exit my car, sometimes forgetting my jacket, once my shoes, hands shaking as I’d close the car door and look around. When I’d been sure no one else was listening, I’d call out his name, praying this was all a huge mistake. Just because his boat was overturned, couldn’t he have come up somewhere else, on another bank? Couldn’t he have forgotten who he was if the boat bumped his head? Maybe he’d remember, and…what if I wasn’t here, the last place he recalled being, when he came back? Or what if he remembered where our home was, and then I wasn’t there when he returned? He might think he was mistaken and leave forever.

For these past 18 months, I’d not been confident of where to be…who to be…how to be. Until this past week. When a knock came at my door, my heart skipped three beats. What if it was him? By the time I got the lock undone, I received the news I’d long been waiting to hear. My beloved. He’d come home to me, after all. Except he wasn’t the same. He’d never be the same.

Part of him will remain with me always. Today, I will scatter part of him here, in the place he has been residing throughout my angst. It only seems right. He loved it here. Maybe that’s why he chose to stay so long. I watch as his ashes lift off from the dock, into the breeze, then settle back into his eternal resting place.

“I love you,” I whisper.

“I’ll come again to check on you,” I assure him.

“But not for awhile, I think. Now that I’ve found you, after all my searching, I’ve decided it’s time…time for me to go now – to go and find myself.”

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This week’s Speakeasy prompt is:

The photo you see above +
“My life began with a funeral.”
First line provided by Stephanie,
winner of the speakeasy #109.

***

For those of you holding on tightly to the past,
I would encourage you to go search out a new tomorrow.

Gray sand peas, -jody

Whistful Farewell

DSC_0022

You were a soft, whispery breeze
Blowing gently on my life;
Rising up…

But for the briefest of moments,
You billowed through –

Warm with the tenderness of your kind heart’s touch;
Cool with the refreshing welcome of a friend.
Even now I try to convince myself
Your presence I’ll feel no more.

Yet here in the place where I stand,
Among the rustling branches
Of all who embraced your being,
You still sway.

You tease the tendrils of loved ones’ hair,
Administering your sweet breathy kisses;
And caress today’s rain-filled clouds,
Stirring dew from our sorrowful souls.

© 2011 Jody Love

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Whistful farewell. Published in World Poetry Movement. Stars in our Hearts. Park City, UT: Eber & Wein.

(Author’s note:  I penned this in free verse in July 2011 to honor a precious friend whose passing into eternity came very quickly after she received a diagnosis of adult leukemia. Publishing it became a way to be triumphant over grief by sharing my sorrow with others who might have a need to relate. And, yes, when publishing, I chose to purposefully ‘mis’-spell ‘Whistful’ to achieve that whispery wind effect for the reader. I only wish all my mishaps in life were so easily explained.) ;p

The poem is a reprint from my 4th ever blog post, dated 9/9/12. The photo is one I took this past week.