Location: Newcastle, Ontario, Canada

Born in Toronto, a degree in Psychology at Carleton in Ottawa, ran a photography business for 10 years from a studio in Parkdale, Toronto, apprenticed with a stained glass artist, and, and, and...

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Present day, so out of context with the nature of this blog but I've been stymied with updating this blog so maybe its ok to break from tradition.

I'm driving home tonite, from work, its raining and the road has been graded so there's the thrum, thrum of the tires over the uneven surface. I'm listening to CBC's Tapestry where a man with the nicest calmest voice is taking about a book tour he's on, I guess about meditation as he's talking about that. In fact he's trying to cajole all the listeners into a meditative state and he's doing one of the best jobs of it I've heard so far. I think its kind of funny, as I'm driving and need to kind of pay attention although he says driving can be a form of meditation. I get that. I like driving. Alot. But tonite, at this time, this man's wisdom is a backdrop to my thoughts of two of my dearest friends. Both are hurting and making my heart bleed with a desire to just fix their worlds.

Just before I left work I was talking on the phone to one of my oldest friends. One that will always be part of my soul. She is stretched so thin with her baby toe in a date a couple of years ago when her relationship with her husband soured and her fingertips in a date not too far in the future where courts will have a say in her life and how it continues and her children and her house and her dignity and her pennies and her everything. It is too much for her tonite. She has so much she has to do but she has no faith right now that everything will be ok. As much as I try to tell her what I TRULY, truly think will be the outcome she comes back as if I am a child not listening. Can't I get that her life is going to be levelled that she will have nothing? I don't. I do get how much she would like to stop this, stop finding the strength, stop fighting altogether and just sleep with her children tucked tightly beside her, for two years and a day.

While I am talking to her, trying to calm her so that she can sleep and I can not worry about her for the rest of the night, I see the light come on the phone. A message. After I get off the phone, having heard the pitch of my friend's voice not quite so feverish, I check the other message. This time from an equally dear and important friend. One who goes back a time as well. He is reeling in the pain of loss. He is so strong and brave but the wound is so fresh that he cannot keep the bits all neat inside him. He has heard a DVD that my husband Tim has put together of images I took at the wake of his mother. The most beautiful of music to accompany it, the Stabat Mater. To hear this music is to feel an epiphany everytime. Too gorgeous to be merely instruments beautifully played, there is also some internal instrument that is strummed perfectly. But although the images are of largely smiling people the mere fact that so many of them came to pay tribute makes this a tough watch for the family. I feel a wrench when I think of my friend and his family and what eloquent sadness they must be feeling.
Earlier, crossing the road to get to her, I had run the DVDs to his wife while she sits in traffic that is stalled, while it rained. No chance to talk just a transfer. She is most likely the absorber and echoer of his thoughts and feelings at this time. Careful to not intrude or need much but having to be wary of his needs. Really to just be there. Tricky position.

I can't help but also think of them at the hospital on two occasions for the births of their children. I can't help but think that to think of those most impossibly wonderful occurences must put some perspective on the sadness. I also think that you can't battle to reduce the sadness, merely walk through it and perhaps be consumed for a bit is all he can do. But it seems so well, achy, to have two of my friends going so intensely through two of the tougher of life's lessons. I cannot fix them, as I'd like, I cannot really even help much, perhaps like my friend's perceptive wife, only be there and hold fast to the world that spins them so tremendously roughly. I cannot but notice that, ironically, the intensity of their difficulties seems inextricably connected to a very vibrant awareness that they are living, unavoidably.

My heart goes out to them tonite. They will be ok, I believe, I hope.


Anonymous hilary-in-law said...

thank you for your feelings. It is not easy to write about the sadness of others, feeling I think, all the while so helpless. But being there is what they need and what you gave them.

6:56 p.m., May 21, 2006  

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