the sight of anyone.....
total strangers, saying goodbye
on any corner of the world frays at my soul.
the simple gesture of the open hand
waving back and forth in the gathering sky,
like paper thin kites darting this way and that... too far above us,
or the distant cry of a summer loon....
remain so hauntingly out of reach.
the way, from this vantage point, in the autumn of life,
we know goodbyes separate us from the ones we love,
the wave of youth
is not a wave of longing, or melancholy,
it does not catch in the heart of holding on.
it is a faster, fiercer wave that throws caution to the wind;
sends its love in a furry careening off towards adventure,
rarely looking back.
(i have a young son and recognize the unencumbered velocity of youth
moving forward like a great unstoppable wheel of wanderlust
propelling him ever forward to places unknown.)
when i was sixteen my best friend moved to sinaloa, mexico.
after countless months apart
i convinced my parents to place me on a tijuana southbound bus for her, and springbreak.
the two day rosary swinging on the dashboard of a treacherous ride ferried me away
to a small village where i would awaken to an exotic world
that would shatter the cookie cutter mold of
my porcelain life.
i am sure i waved goodbye
with the same wild abandon i now see in my son.
and although i jumped on the over crowed bus
with an electric sense my world was just about to burst open,
i did notice my father's eyes, his pure unguarded love
and something that seemed to catch in his throat like gathering darkness.
an unmeasurable weight on the heart i recognize now to be
the pain of letting go.
that is what i labored with all day in the studio as i let the
white hot pain that tied up my heart,
loose with every vibrant colour i fitted into the stained glass
window before me.
i chose each piece thoughtfully and imagined
the light of all seasons
crushing through with a vengeance,
as wild enormous wings unfurled before me...
(like you my dear koko, like you)
i let the spirit of my treasured friend
fly, fly, fly
out of my reluctant heart,
like a wild careening kite lifting into the measureless sky.
like the loon that will always and forever call for us on the edges of eternal longing.
like all those moments i was unwilling to let go finally rising inside of me,
into that last wave of departure.
june 26, 2008
last night we stood on the landing above the quiet ponds
the sound of our weekend laughter bowed to a thousand stars
as we began the ritual of leave taking.
we stood on the edge of darkness until the final glimpse of stephanie and greg's tail lights dimmed from view...
until we called our last farewells from the open windows of life...
until my thoughts carried me back three years
to the unexpected death of Koko.
to the one moment that practice never makes perfect,
to the art of letting go.