Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Oasis



"I am slowly, painfully discovering that my refuge is not found in my mother, my grandmother, or even the birds of Bear River. My refuge exists in my capacity to love. If I can learn to love death then I can begin to find refuge in change." 

― Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place


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I don't have a clue what that last line means except that I am seeking a way to make peace with the fact that everything changes—everything has changed. I look in the mirror and I am not the same. The face staring back at me is older, sadder, not wiser. My mother died and I gained ten pounds and ten years in the mirror. My attention feels fractured. I cancelled my Atlanta trip. I think I need to stay close to home, gather myself, start over.


18 comments:

  1. Speaking personally, not my mother or grandmother, surely, but the birds? Well. I have to think about that.

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    1. Ms. Moon, certainly your birds are a refuge for you. It seems to me that they absolutely are. xo

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  2. Sweet lady, trust your instincts and do what feels right. And if nothing feels right, do what feels most peaceful and least anxiety-inducing. Go easiest on yourself. I have no idea what she means either, except something that seems impossible. I don't know. Sending love.

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    1. Vesuvius, I think it means a kind of surrender to what is. To life, to death, to change. Thank you for being here, dear friend. Welcome home.

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  3. I do not understand the quote at all. Isn't the refuge of love in loving her mother and grandmother? And the birds? What is love if you have nothing or no one to love?
    Maybe I am not a good person to ask. I miss my mom and my grandmothers every single day and the thought of that is causing me to cry as I write this.

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    1. Birdie, I have often thought of you and how hard it was in the days after your mother died. I understand it so much more deeply now. It doesn't go away. And yet we go on. How is that possible? xo

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  4. Refuge. Death. Big ideas there. I hear you re canceling the trip. It's so hard to know what to do in the aftermath. So hard. You're in my thoughts.
    '

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    1. Denise, there is another trip too. I started to cancel both but something told me to do the second one. Maybe my mother is whispering to me.

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  5. it's an excellent book. she knows that terrain. your instincts are right on time; i think it is critical to understand that everything you feel is the loss, and strange to say, to welcome it. let it all in, to inhabit you--and you'll let it go bit by bit. that's my experience, at any rate. love to you, my friend. and when you are not staying close to home, go walking. the birds in the park are waiting for you--and they do help.

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    1. Susan, i love your comment here. thank you dear friend. i agree with you, loss must be welcomed in the door, and befriended. Loss is there, because love is there. If we resist loss, we resist love. Yes, I will go walking and watch the birds. xo

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  6. Hugs to you and I agree with Susan.

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    1. e, hugs to you too, my friend. thank you for being here. xo

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  7. My thoughts are with you today.

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  8. Oh dear friend, you are wiser, you just can't feel it yet. Everything will feel off kilter for a while until you adapt to the new normal. Stay away from the mirror and the scale and grieve however you need to. I've written you a half dozen comments that didn't come out right and I apologize for giving up. Please know that even though I didn't publish the words, I've been thinking of you kindly and hoping for you to find your way. I felt adrift, uprooted, bereft, untethered... There weren't enough words in the dictionary to describe how I felt when I lost my rock, my father, but I know now to be grateful that I could feel. There were scary days when I didn't, but I found my way out, and my family showed me the way, with love and kindness. Sending you hugs, and believe me when I tell you that you will find yourself or make peace with your new self again, in time. xxoo

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  9. I read "Refuge" many years ago and remember enjoying it, though it's a serious and sad book. I am not speaking from a place of knowing, but I suspect you will begin to feel more like yourself as time passes. You were right to cancel your trip if you felt unable to go.

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  10. I so wish I could visit you. I know that feeling of feeling totally unhinged. The little girl in you needs her mom. The grown woman in you needs her even more. It is so hard. Almost impossible but our heart keep beating and our lungs keep filling with air and we don't have a choice about whether for not we want to keep going.

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  11. Grieving is difficult. But if we love, we inevitably face loss -- it seems like it's a package deal.

    Be gentle with yourself.

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  12. I really like her writing and have sat here for minutes, pondering that last sentence. I think I understand it, and then it eludes me. Something nearly Buddhist, I think -- the blurring of duality, perhaps? In any case, you are deep in grieving and that seems right. Be and go gentle.

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