The sound was deafening. I heard it and felt it the way winds can suddenly howl like banshees and blow open weak doors. With a shudder, the stillness of the dark broke like a bomb going off during a prayer.
The dream of falling startled me awake in the strangeness of that place, on the edge of the bed. So familiar and solid, though, for such a shaky thing, that dream.
The night, it did not change. It remained, by measure of all physical senses, intact. Cars continued to pass outside, tires whispering on streets, headlights glimmering through the window and panning across the wall. The room still smelled of clean laundry and burnt coffee. The trees continued to sway in the breeze, branches dancing shadows in the light of the Moon. My hands in my hair, flat and greasy, the coiff of sleep deprivation. The seconds hand continued its barely-audible tick-tock rotation around the clock as it hung on the wall above a table overcrowded with flower arrangements, cards, and photographs.
Our Mother was gone. Slipped away in the stillness. In between moments.
Some time has passed. On April 25th, it will have been a year since her passing. Since then, we have been busy as bees, survivors rebuilding our respective hives, far-flung here and there. ‘Home’ is no longer a centralized reference point we once kept somewhere safe in a room in our minds.
Things will disperse, given enough time. Is it true to say that it is their default? Is it only by real intervention something will hold still for any time at all? Is it the nature of most things to mingle back into the fray of time and memory?
Fortunately, given enough time, the frayed can also be arranged back into some semblance of order. It is what I seem to spend my energies doing, lately. There is comfort in it, even though deep down, beneath the hidden machinery, I am aware of its temporalness. Is that even a word? Guess so.
As for me, personally, I channel the discomfort into creative endeavors. The heavy stuff of life is also the greatest muse. Having removed myself from the company of wolves in sheeps’ clothing has been a boon, too. The energy I surround myself with is just as important as the thoughts I choose. As such, things continue to reconstruct themselves, even as I rest. I daresay there are moments I am grateful for the cleanliness with which such massive life changes have conveniently happened so collectively. Such huge shifts have all been rolled into a seemingly single season. Having pulled all my wisdom teeth at once, as it were, rather than at intervals, may make the procedure more widespread and painful but the healing will be complete in shorter order.
Irony may be worth the weight of all the water coming into the boat but when the winds get wacky and seas begin to rise, the mindful survive. The panicked perish. Cooler heads clear of mistrust and open to the world will triumph over the prevailing winds of fear and doubt, no matter how loudly they howl.
There is unbelievable strength in leveraging grief in positive ways, especially as others enter the narrative and begin to make impressions on the shape and direction this boat is taking. Meanwhile: bow pointing sternly into the waves, wind packing into freshly sewn sails, mast aligned to the sky, making steady headway into what cannot be known.