Empty and Full

July 18 8:11am – It is very quiet in the house except for the memories that clang around most all of the time. We have lived in this house for over 25 years. What seemed small years ago when it was filled with kids and a few animals and the phone ringing and the music turned on – now seems almost mansion or cavern size. I can slowly walk from one room to the other looking around – the rooms, of course, are filled to the brim with the past but they also seem quite empty, too.

Empty and full – full and empty. Loud and quiet – quiet and loud. Big and small – small and big. It seems this is where I am right now. Things are nothing and things are everything. Whereas I used to not even think twice about doing something as mundane as taking out the trash, taking the trash out now is almost a sacrament of some kind – a holy thing, a thing that has great significance. Checking the mail, paying the bills, washing the dishes, making a bed, straightening up. These all have taken on some kind of almost religious significance. I do them because I want to do them but I also do them because they seem now to be a matter of existing, living, surviving. These activities are no longer just duties or responsibilities but they seem to be milestones or markers in some kind of eternal journey way. Big stuff, I know, and it sounds maybe a bit silly but I can’t get rid of the idea that these things all now contribute to something bigger and I need to do them well or else somehow the balance will even further be knocked out of kilter.

I find I always like music playing in the background. And I like to always have a candle burning. The different music sounds and the dancing flames – at least – are something that beat and move in an otherwise very static environment. And I like to hear the dishwasher washer dryer running – they offer some familiar companionship but also some activity around the house, I suppose.

There is like this big bubble that I am in. When I look out, everything is distorted and wobbly and seems to fade in and fade out. I float around in my bubble to take care of things but I do them in something of a distracted or disconnected way. Have you ever driven to work in something of a daze for one reason or another and gotten to work and then wondered if you had run any stop signs or ran over any small animals or cut anyone off in traffic? Then maybe you know what I mean – but this is mostly what my days are like right now. I can’t say it is all bad – just floating around. It gives me a different perspective on things and it isn’t too demanding, for sure. It is just that I do not feel in control of anything – it is all just at the end of my fingertips.

There is no fear or serious concern in where I am. I believe this is the path that I will be following for awhile. It’s the calm after the gale, the ebbing of the storm tide, the falling flood levels. And there is always light – I can see the path forward a few days at a time – that I follow. I’m not in despair – I’m just in a different place now. A place I never imagined – a place of some fulfillment and comfort but also a place of the unknown and untested. Opportunities are everywhere about me, but so many of them almost take my breath away. I don’t think I like this many choices – at least, not yet.

Even as I write this, I have to be on a scheduled telephone conversation with a nice lady from the Social Security Administration who works here at the local SSA office. Apparently, I am eligible to claim some death benefits (death benefits?). So, like I have had to do so many times before in the past month, I had to give all of Regina’s vital information – full name, social security number, DOB, DOD, wedding date, where she was born, where she passed, etc., etc., etc. It’s like picking a scab – I don’t mean to do it but I have to cry with the nice lady from Social Security on the phone. It is so raw.

A close friend sent me this – it’s from her heart, I know. I like it. It’s from Enya.

let the rain fall down
everywhere around you
give into it now
let the day surround you
you don’t need a reason
let the rain go on and on

David wrote: I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

It just is what it is – life is all around me moving busy hurried and I am somewhat separated from it for awhile – it just hurts some here in my floating bubble. It will be alright – in a strange, new way – and we will all get along fine. But, for now, there is a disjointed element in all of this – it seems to be something about being loud but quiet, big but small, full but empty.

The best thing you can do for me and for yourself is to love someone – take them and tell them you love them, show them, be honest, and be kind.

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