Your Souls Are WIth Me Tonight

I was born with an ebullient soul believing that life was joyous, happy and free.  I believed that, at all costs, I needed to remain faithful to my blueprint.  I believed that life was kind.  But the ghosts are hammering and pounding at my soul’s door tonight. And may I say that I miss you?  My life has irrevocably changed since your passing and I’ve lost my bearings and parameters.

There is the brilliant flame who was my sister that I lost at 19.  Her soul and fire taunts me as I tread through a gray, misty landscape, bereft of her laughter and endless compassion.  There is the lover whom I have never forgotten whose heart failed in 2000, the year that I divorced.  Apparently the millennium demarcated a passage of solitude and fire that i could not escape. And of course there is my mother, a delicate soul who could not bear the burdens of her life’s journey.  She left me in 2011.

Vincent was a brilliant and poetic Emmy award winning film editor, whose soul was too sensitive to dwell within the human landscape.  Realizing his inability to cope or accept, I, seventeen years his junior, offered to take the journey before him.  So sure was I in life’s benevolent continuum, I wanted to go before him to lend a light to his journey.  But destiny dictated that he pre-decease me.  I’d had a nagging feeling each May 23 that the date had irrevocably changed my life.  When I finally had the courage to Google Vincent, I learned that his heart failed, May 23, 2000, the same year that I divorced.  Vincent understood the pilgrim soul in me and the changing sorrows of my face.  After drugs and self-destruction had claimed his essence, I left him.  I didn’t think that I would ever love again and chose a man whom I considered stable and loving.  He was a demon.  Vincent had begged me to marry him and follow his uncertain path to Australia where opportunities waited and where we would build a new life.  I didn’t believe in love.  I didn’t believe in him, or myself.  I later learned that a sycophant nurtured his nascent sobriety and folllowed him to Australia. She left, years later, saying that she could no longer live with my ghost  We inhabited each others souls in the silence and spaces that defined our destinies.

I hear you tonight, Vincent, and the cadence and familiarity of your voice and touch comforts me.  Were you my last opportunity to grasp completion’s golden ring? And years later when I met your tortured counterpart, I believed, that you’d come back to me in a healthier version. But he was as tormented and haunted as you.

Are these patterns that beg to be broken or are they remnants of past lives that beg for resolution?  I am deeply sensitive and lonely,yet, I can tolerate but a select few in the inner rooms of my life and psyche.  Still I search for you in stranger’s eye’s and hope that I will hear the melody of your voice.

And what of my mother whose gentle and innocent being was too sensitive for this world?  I wanted to parent you  I wanted to be your strength.   I understand that you didn’t want to live and you accepted the stroke that shrouded your beauty, with equanimity and peace.  Your beauty shone through a broken body that lay contorted and parlayzed, but you never complained.

You are all more real to me tonight than the shadow images and fleeting friendships that inhabit my life.  I wonder where you are and if you are faring well.  You have touched me in ways that I can not describe and your absence has defined the limits of my ability to love.

But you taught me through fire and pain, about life.  I will honor you in every encounter and say your name as a benediction, as a prayer.  You are with me always.  And I am stronger for your love.  I witnessed and treasured your lives.  And perhaps that is all that we can ask for.  Blessed be.


It’s a Dog’s Life!/post/

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Yes my therapist has oft made note of my flawed thinking.  It’s clearly ludicrous to feel that a shelter dog has a better life than I.  But tonight, the Lhasa Apso mix that I was supposed to adopt today, is living high, and I am mourning his loss, amongst others.

This dedicated cat lover has temporarily turned her affections to the canine species.  I still adore, cuddle, brush, over feed and spoil my persian cats.  But my semi-unemployed status, loss of my parents, divorced state, and impending mid-life blow-out, has left me craving something different.  How could I crave less at this point?  So my smart feet guided my addled head to the ASPCA where I fell in love with “Keith Richards”, a 10 year-old Lhasa Apso mix who coaxed immediate tears and an open, throbbing heart.  He needs a home, I thought.  Then, no one will adopt an older dog.  As a woman of a certain age seeking additional employment, and dare I voice it,….love in New York City, I identified with my canine counterpart.  I decided to take Keith Richards home.

The endless monotony of bureaucratic structures impeded my nascent love affair.  I’d gone to the ASPCA after the gym and was not carrying the proper identification, aka, photo ID, my gym picture didn’t cut the grade.  The shelter was closing in minutes and I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by asking them to wait, so I said I’d be back the next day to adopt Keith R.  He’ll further structure my life with daily walks, treats, training and love, I thought.  I walked across to my apartment imagining my better self standing in winds, rain and snow with a coat-clad Keith, oblivious to the elements, delighted only in each other.

I worked during the day waiting for the time that I’d go to adopt Keith.  Meanwhile I thought of the masculine hair ribbons and hip hair cuts that I’d use for his adornment.  At five-thirty, I entered the shelter with a fluttering heart, brandishing my driver’s license and proudly told the volunteer that I was there to adopt Keith Richards. An awkward and anguished pause ensued, while I continued to flash my photo ID.

“i’m sorry,” she said.  “Keith Richards has just been adopted.”

I felt numb as I rummaged through my bag searching for my receipt stuffed wallet to return my license to it’s rightful place.  I had fleeting images of how I’d planned to walk through Carl Schurz Park with a  perky Keith at my side.  I imagined feeding him dog treats, my cats refuse all treats just to annoy me, I think.  I’d carry him home if he got tired or place him in the fashionable zebra carrying bag that I’d picked out.

With a diminished heart and flagging feet, I took a second tour of the available dogs and there was Keith Richards, looking far happier than he had the day before.

“He’s still here.  Are you sure that he’s been adopted,” I asked reaching for my security blanket, photo ID.

“No, Keith is going to be featured on TV tonight on a segment for pets for adoption. He’s going home tomorrow.”

What beautiful words, I thought.  I wished that I were going home tomorrow.  Right now, home feels very far away.

Live a long and happy life, Keith Richards.  You will be missed.