Hope at the Violet Hour of My Despair

Royalty-free Image: Girl with arms outstretched at sunset on the…

My mother spoke comforting words into the pre-dawn night’s – her voice steady and calming through the phone, soothing my rampant, dark panic.

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” My mother said.

“But it’s been a twelve-year dawn, Mom,” I would counter, smoking, nerves frayed.  Then…

“Even for us there will be a softening in the wind.”  She said, wisely, like a prayer.

And my spirit took comfort.  She, I believe, has found a softening in the wind, through death, though my spirit dwells with her still.  But at last, after a year of praying, meditating, howling, roiling, and raging at my destiny, I have three job offers on the table.  As the strain drains from my body, I find a softened, tired, grateful shadow, hands raised in a boxing position, still battering at windmills.

God came through at precisely the moment when I was drained, wondering how and if I could reinvent myself, fashion my being into something and someone that was marketable in this changing labor landscape.  I’ve sold 25k worth of jewelry and had about two months of liquidity left before hammering my meager stock portfolio.  A long over due bank loan against my apartment was the last resort and that’s scheduled to come through, though they are rechecking my loan since I am in Zone A – high risk area – post hurricane Sandy.

I need time to process the offers and to at last choose the one that is best for me.  I will take time to find gratitude in a battle wearied spirit.  I will thank the friends who have stood as encouraging banners against the winds of my despair.  At the violet hour of my discontent, there is relief.  I can rest without thinking that I may need to move, without dreading the next day.  Now I have to reapply myself to work.  This vast expanse of time has also given me some space to heal and pursue other hobbies, jewelry-making, boxing, writing….late nights and early afternoon mornings. http://tinyurl.com/a7m5ras

I no longer have an excuse to indulge in self sabotaging behaviors like refusing to eat because I can’t afford decent restaurants now; gnawing my cuticles thinking that is nourishment and protein; dating men who don’t interest me because I’ve lost interest in my tired story; driving through the hurricane soaked streets of New York with no gas left in the tank; waiting on gas lines during a blizzard; obsessively watching Rock of Ages because I find Tom Cruise unbelievable sexy in the role; waiting until dawn before trying to sleep.

My cats cuddle next to me in winter’s awakening dawn, fur-thickened Persian bodies comforting me and telling me that they knew all would be well.  I feel their silky purring reassurances and close my eyes – tonight there will be rest.

When you’ve walked the last mile on your road and can no longer see a clear path before you, believe in yourself and a higher power who holds you steady against the bruising winds.  A friend recently wrote that I should “keep knocking on those doors” and that “kindness rebounds.”

Thanks for the reminder.

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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.