Massive Attack is playing, see, low and dreamy and then gone. Last night I got the news that another friend died, and sometimes it feels like that’s all this world is. People leaving.
The tulips are forcing their way out of their bulbs though, and this is supposed to be a great metaphor, isn’t it — proof that despite winter (was there ever such a thing), life goes on.
However. The past two years, the tulips have come early, and have lacked blooms. They are empty stems, crushed under the inevitable spring ice storm that will come. They should bloom pink.
The garden should riot from pink tulips into purple vinca and back into pink peonies. But these years, it’s a smudge of green and then a mash of brown because the ice carries the color away. There was purple the year Prince died — it felt like the vinca bloomed solely for him.
I’m reading A Journal of Solitude by May Sarton; it is a journal she kept over the course of a year, detailing the challenges and pleasures of solitude, of gardening and animals and yes, grief.
In the last section I read, a friend of hers had died; he’d been old and fading for a while. My friend was not so fading; her death was unexpected. When I heard of it, I wanted to cry, wanted to feel something more than the soft “oh” that came from me.
It feels like —
There’s nothing, really, I guess? It happens so regularly now — they say this is how it goes, one day you wake up and everyone is dying, everyone has discovered exactly how borrowed all this time is, everyone must be off, even if (especially if) unexpectedly. You can’t help but think if only the people who needed to die would die.
And does that feel like anything?
Last week, I found unexpected common ground with a friend and it felt like exhaling. That is the last thing I clearly remember feeling. Then work packed itself back in and it was just time to get stuff done.
Black is the color of my true love’s hair comes on the playlist next — oh, tiny knife in the heart. Is that when I stopped feeling anything? When he left not once but three times. (But then, I do feel a thing, a secret thing that I cannot say, and they say this is how it goes too, that you can’t own up to the truth, because doing that often means devastation. How vague and coy you are, walking around the thing you want to say.)
Today, I hope to return to the novel. The novel is the place where all things can be said, because it’s not me saying them. It’s someone else entirely. It’s a shape-shifting jackal who has this conflict and absolutely not me.
The tulips are pushing their way into the world. They will get half way there, and the ice will come.
They say this is how it goes.