Thursday, May 21, 2015

Where The Words Went

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Anaïs Nin

It’s been a while since you’ve been gone. The ache remains, a festering raw wound that I imagine will never fully heal. I can’t help but rake nails across my heart, ripping scabs and bleeding all over everything. Some days it’s the only way I know I’m still alive, the wound weeps. I feel so damn guilty sometimes because I’m still here and you… were far more worthy of this life than I.

You taught me better than that.

Dejan Stojanovic wrote, “There are no clear borders, only merging invisible to the sight.” Life and death overlap and in-between are those who love. I’m stronger now. Do you know the words went away with you? Guilt may be to blame in part. Why breathe life into words, bereft of you? Hell, I made my therapist cry. I had sufficient words for sorrow, absence, loss, and so much raw sewage of hatred, but I felt with such an intensity, he couldn’t escape the emotional seepage.

You know all this, how could you not. I buried it so deep inside that cartilage I called a heart; forgetting for a time I was drowning you. Time is an awkward teacher beating around the bush, until an opening presents room for a lesson. Time…three years later and I get it. The words will keep you and I alive. Even when the silence is so freaking loud without you here.

I owe you my life, a life I was willing to forfeit in lieu of this mute stillness. Because of you I learned calm existed in the gathering quiet of my deaf psyche. I miss you, there are no words for that kind of absence. You were spiritual, beyond understanding, a being of grace wrapped in the fur of a dog. I saw a picture of a man holding his beloved pup today, wailing, so much anguish on his face. His friend died in his arms. I recognized myself and bled a thousand more tears.

Alive is a state of self, soul, a spiral in continuous movement. During the winter snow piled on the head of your statue and I smiled for in some form you were there, along with a barking Bjarki and Yazhi. They both share parts of you. Bjarki is the protector, the one who feels everything with his whole being, the klutz, and the giant lap sitter. Yazhi has your gentle disposition, the feral cat whisperer, the hand (paw) holder, and long ear indignity. Life gives me small windows of you in the most unlikely places.

I’m okay. I’ve learned to stand up for myself against indifference toward my deafness. In those moments, I feel you beside me leaning in close as if my four legged side-kick were still there lending encouragement. I learned strength and perseverance from you and I couldn’t care less if anyone knows what that construes, outside you and I.

The words keep you alive, as long as I write there you are.

*For those who may not know, Pickles was my working dog for the deaf. She was also a Katrina survivor. The only reason I survived those first few years of my deafness was because of her unfailing guidance and love.  She did more for me than any human being possibly could have. Pickles passed away without warning from Acute Leukemia three years ago. My words went with her…

“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
 John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


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3 comments:

  1. I was meant to read this tonight, dear Indigo. It has been so long since I was at your blog. So long, in fact, that I did not know of Pickles' passing. With apologies I send my deepest sympathy. I know how you loved Pickles and cannot imagine the hole left in your life and your heart (and now I read that your words also were silenced).

    I cannot begin to understand the depth of a relationship such as yours and Pickles because of the life-saving aspects of it. But I, too, had a dog who meant the world-and-beyond to me, my loyal companion and happy sidekick for 13-1/2 years, my beautiful chocolate Standard Poodle, Bonbon. She was there with me as I mourned the loss of my favorite-ever cat, and during the years of miserable decline in my marriage (ongoing). I did not work for the last 15 years, so Bonbon knew nothing but my being there with her for all those years, and we did enjoy each day. And when the days became especially stressful she and I would escape to the Oregon coast together for a night or two. What treasured times. Last October we had one of our best times there, and I got one of my favorite pictures of her, and only weeks afterward she grew sick from liver failure and, on December 18th, she left me. Indigo, I am crying as I write this to a kindred spirit: I am suffering so much from her loss! I returned to work in February--part time--because I did not know what to do with myself here. My husband does not want another dog and the cats have their interior lives as much as they love me. I walk my neighborhood and stop to pet every dog I see. Bonbon's bed is still in its corner in the living room and I go there every night to curl up and hold her favorite toy and just cry and cry.

    Partly because of my work schedule, but mostly because of a lack of words, I have not written much in my blog lately. I wrote one short poem in my blog after Bonbon's death but do not remember the date. Then, Monday, on the fifth-month-anniversary of her death, I wrote another. Perhaps you will stop by to read it. If you search under her name at my blog perhaps you will also be able to see a picture of my "puppy."

    In the meantime, I am here looking into Pickles' soulful eyes and asking her to stay very close nearby you, for always and forever.

    Much love to you.

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  2. I remember Pickles and I know how much you loved her and her you. I don't know any words that would help. Just enjoy your memories as much as you can.

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  3. Hi Indigo, sorry to hear about Pickles.

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Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.