That Ancientrail

Beltane and the Island Moon

Sunday gratefuls: The Ancient Ones. At the Wooden Boat School. At an artist’s retreat along the St. Croix. In a 55 plus apartment complex. Near The Lake. On Oahu. With each other across time and distance and life circumstance. Seoah. A delight. Joe. An avatar of Vishnu and Arjuna. Mary. Buffeted by covid and international law.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: the trip to the Wooden Boat School. Eliani, 15 months old. New life. Always.

Coming home from Joe’s buddy’s last night. Rock and roll loud. The energy, the clash, the noise. Off at 9. On the parking lot of the Bx.

Kristian has the Australia desk. Joe went over to his place yesterday to help him move and assemble his new Kamadojoe grill. Red, ceramic. Fancy. Shrimp on the barbee. Lamb on skewers with peppers and onion. Like a telescope’s first light, this was first fire. An honor.

Nice folks. Cute little girl. Two old dogs, kind and loving. Eliani, his wife, is Okinawan, American father and Okinawan mother. Beautiful and gracious.

Walking back to rock and roll I looked up and there was the Island Moon, waxing gibbous, 87% full. In the starry sky, center of the sky’s dome. The temperature was around 75, houses mostly quiet though at one with a Go, Michigan sign, folks sat out around a mobile fire pit in their driveway.

Hard not to love the temperature, the clear sky, the companionship of Joe and Seoah.

Today is Mary’s last day of quarantine. Then we can bust loose, see us some island.

Slowly, slowly. Grief. Mourning. Still,  yes. But different. Not less exactly, but perhaps less intense, less painful. I know there are waves and differences. No one grieves the same, sorry, Elizabeth Khubler-Ross. No stages for me. Just blind alleys, narrow paths, some stormy weather. The occasional sun lit scene.

An article in the Atlantic talked about the Dunbar number(s). It’s about our relationships, from intimate to folks whose name we may know, if we think about it. The center relationship, a circle for each level from intimate to close friends to best friends to acquaintances, so on, is two. In my case Kate and me. This central relationship takes the most time, resources, energy.

It occurred to me as I read the article that grief is about reordering those circles, especially hard when it’s the central one. So many links, lines of force, memory fraught. Somehow I have to undo most of them, unhook from the physical presence of Kate, of her place in my life. Then, I  have to reconsider, redraw those links and lines without abandoning the memories. Without Kate here.

Later, after that, a new person for me since we define and are defined by those who know us and love us. And after that, a new life, a new shape to daily existence, to hopes and dreams. Hard. But necessary. Inevitable.

Being loved while in this process makes it so much less difficult though it doesn’t attenuate the pain. Living in the grief, like living in the move. Like the move someday I’ll arrive at a new place, a destination whose name I do not know, whose shape I cannot imagine. Someday.




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