15 July 2008

Love, interrupted, whole

When I was abt 16 I went through a heavily equine period. I rode horses, I breathed horses, I spoke abt horses, I cut out horses pictures from magazines to dress my bland binders. Once I had a picture of a black stallion - if you're going to be a fallic cliché you might want to do it properly - that I absolutely adored and which I painstakingly glued to the outside of the binder. I had bought some adhesive transparent plastic film to protect it, and instead of calling mother, I, who as a child had almost never managed to colour within the lines, decided to do it myself. It, of course, soon became a botched job and when I lifted it to try and correct it I brought a chunk of the horse's mane along. The grief I experienced over it was so bizarrely intense I found myself sobbing, choking, and then, abruptly, it was as though it had never mattered. I knew it had happened, it had just happened, but it seemed as though it had never happened to me, my psyche cleverly removed us from what it perceived as clear, adolescent danger. And here we are. My father brought the CD, I uploaded the pictures and sobbed and sobbed like a destroyed person and then abruptly it was gone. I don't think my psyche will ever allow me to go back to that dark crevice again, not if it can help it. Grief is a broken thing, in both meanings of the word, the annihilated and the interrupted one. You think you're mostly done, something unexpectedly happens - and it is the unexpected that unfailingly does you in - and suddenly you're having flashbacks of the flashbacks, and were it not for your fast-reacting psyche you might very well progress to the flashbacks themselves again, even if it means suddenly switching to the 3rd person voice and curiously musing Dead? Yes, I know, but...

But there is something else, something exquisite. Amidst all the pain and the grief and the anger and the longing and the need to smell him just once more please you will remember him better, and you will feel so grateful you do have a photograph of him in his work shirt doing that thing with his mouth, and you will remember how he landed on your lap a true unfinished horror of epic proportions, with hair more matted than a feral cat and you made him - for he never stood a chance - buy proper clothes and get a proper haircut and look, just look how gorgeous he looks, you remember how lovely he was, you remember how easy you two were, how comfortable, how much you laughed together and now you have proof again, see, here you both are, smiling, BOTH SMILING, and you actually look normal and happy, and you not only remember how it all feels but you feel it again, you find the way back in, and you remember, anew, that grief is ugly, ominous and bewinged but you ride the numinous and therefore, briefly, you are loved in that shy, self-conscious, serious way again and you always will be because you carry him fiercely everywhere you go, every day you breathe, and your memories will forever be greater than the bloody span of grief's wings.



Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Cat pictures here.

11 furballs:

Nancy said...

They are lovely pictures, Johnny and I'n glad tou have them.

Old Bald Helen said...

Beautiful. Both the words and the photos. Thank you for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Johnny, I'm so glad you finally developed those last ones. They are beautiful - he is beautiful - and to see the two of you and the baby cats and such a huge smile on your face is really heartbreaking. You could have called back later today, you know, I am always here when you need me (even if you wake me up first thing in the morning!).

Sending you love and many brushes of a butterfly's wings tonight.

Naomi

Boulder said...

Johnny, I thought I was done crying for the day. I love the way you looked at him, and the smile he gave in the photos. I'm so happy through the tears that you have these. I sometimes worry that the images I've burned in to my brain won't always be there for me, and I am so happy to have a photo to help remind me to remember. He was beautiful, Johnny. He IS beautiful.

Kristin said...

Johnny...although I never knew him, these photos of him give me a sense of the beautiful man he was. Through your love and the blessing of these found photos, many people will remember your Uzi for a long, long time.

Diana said...

I'm so very glad.

So very, very glad.

He is lovely and you are lovely with him and the cats are lovely as well and, and, and.

And thank you.

portuguesa nova said...

Eeesh. Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

That's sad. He was such a handsome dude and so funny. I was laughing at your story about the ripped horse but then the ending was very sad. Some things don't go away after a moment and the feeling is just as intense whether it lasts a moment or a lifetime. The point is that you still feel. So you can nver lose what you love.

Lilian said...

No words, your words are much too powerful. And exquisite is a word I almost used in my previous comment, something like "exquisitely pungent" (doesn't sound good, I know).

Bubbi said...

Lioness
I do not know whether you remember me but I need your help.

I am going to post on my blog about my 12 year old mixed breed small dog. I wonder if you could offer some advice.

Lily has lost most of her site, she is arthritic but eats and drinks well. In the past 2 weeks she has gone from sleeping a lot to pacing at night (jumping on my head) and digging or nesting--I dont know.

Carpet, the couch and a nice hole outside. I am trying to get her into the vet asap.
Any I deas?

brooksba said...

I am so happy that you found the film and got the pictures. What an amazing set of pictures. Thinking of you (even if I'm off in another world). Miss you!