Despite the brown dog, and the brown drink I was having a rather blackish of a day. I have been having a blackish of a month (see previous 'boy in cushion-chair' post).
This pain is mine and I own it. I know it well and have been waiting (if not begging, inviting, praying) for it to come. I have been waiting for this month for a long time, because it is a signal, it is the proverbial white flag, the last U2 album, the hand in knuckled-fist wrapping on the chinese table - "It is done". The scorching pain and the rotten fruit of this whole experience is tough and ugly, but more simple than a Japanese aesthetic. The beauty is here - it is in the end - the end doesn't belong to a love or a life. It belongs to something, to a way, to a road, to a path that could have been a forever-over-life-over kind of route. So here it is: wrapped up tightly like a bound foot, or the inside mechanism of a Christmas Cracker - it is tight, it is ready, it is popping like a mother fucker all over my ear drum.
No matter how much a Cancer patient wants to die, no matter how sweet that sleep is, do not attempt to sell me some idea that with this long desired death there isn't that feeling of sheer horror and desperate pain. Don't lie to me and try to tell me that they don't want to hold onto the side of the gapping water slide's entry point. No matter how hot the plastic feeder tunnel-tube-waiting-area is, and no matter how cold, refreshing and long-awaited that rush-you-through-the-fear-of-the-fall is, don't tell me that they want to let go. Don't tell me.
So it hurts (add a million synonymous for this emotive marker right here) and it leaves you feeling scorched inside.
BUT, than you have moments inside this pain that are really brilliant. They are usually moments of self-reflection and deep understanding. These "oh, I get it!" moments being the most logically useful kind of lightness underneath your heavy Undertaker's coat of sorrow, but that doesn' t mean that they are the only (or even the most healthy) kind of moments available to us pilgrims whose emotional feet are dripping with blood and cut to pieces that one could almost imagine were once soft, pink skin.
I had a moment such as this tonight. Having to leave a long-time desired evening of vegan Ethiopian vittles (see the post to follow tomorrow), where I was trying so hard to enjoy the company of great people and brilliant conversation I wove my way up the street that connects to Lindsey Street and upon which I currently live. This particular section of the street includes the shop of a man who has been so loving towards me and my sadness the last few weeks, and the garden plot that sold me on the neighbourhood so many years ago. I took the photo that you will see below:
The sunflowers, that represented so much meaning to me on the way between Rocco's Pit and Gudrun's Grotto, were in full bloom - as are all Ontario sunflowers right now. I let the camera look past the sunflower, including it in the view, but capturing the bring new purple flower in all its glory. A garden can be so much more than what you originally planted - thanks to bees and seeds and children with burrs attached to their fleecy jackets.
Through the park and into the next cross section of my journey I found Claire. I knew her name right away. She looked abandoned and alone, just dying to meet me. So I met her. Now: I love kitties, I love doggies, I love one legged froggies. But this girl was special. She climbed up onto my squatted legs (aka my lap) and rubbed her little skinny face all over mine. She kissed me and loved me and made me remember one of the most magical spots in China. This little cat was all that I needed to see through my pain and move to a place where I was calm enough to finish my walk to my home, to my back door, to my living room, and soon - to my bed. But of course I spent a very long time with this little girl and I took all the love I could from her. I let this little cat make me feel better and I think I scratched her up pretty good as well. A dear friend captured the picture below. Originally, Claire was looking into the camera, but we locked eyes (as she was making muffins in my arms) and shared a moment as the sun dipped down behind the houses and my tummy stopped aching.
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