Friday, April 24, 2009

A Toast to Spring

Today, my emotions were so close to the surface, I just cried and sauteed radishes. Not a sobbing, moaning, unable-to-work cry. Just a soft, tear-rolling-down-the-face cry. It was a good dinner. Radishes with sea salt and butter. Some Panamanian rice. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc. My dining room wind chimes finally moving of their own accord. I am grateful for the small treasures of spring.

I received a book of Alma Luz Villanueva's poetry today, and it is so raw and heartbreaking. Even though our lives are very different, she is clearly my manita. And that is it, somehow all the rawness of the universe is mine. I own it too, along with every other woman who suffers heartbreak, disappointment, sadness, grief, mourning...All this grief is our collective pain, and so we feel every ripple of the butterfly's wing as it desperately fights against the wind. Sure, this suffering and pain is so self-absorbing, but if we share the pain, we also disperse the joy, pride, and the happiness.

Throughout the day, when I stare into the absolute pit of despair, I wonder if this is a moment when I should call my therapist. He once told me that my homework was to call him. This was many years ago, when I had nothing but stubborn strength and solitude as my problems. He said, "Your homework is to call me when you feel sad, or lonely, or when you want to need someone." I failed my assignment. I never called him. And I wonder if he remembers telling me that all those years ago. He hasn't offered it now. The cynic in me thinks it is because he knows I would call now. The optimist in me thinks it is because he knows I would call now.

Thursday's session was good. We did a very grounding meditation on the senses. We isolated the senses, and tried to quiet the mind sense--the one that makes logical conclusions about the input of the other five. So, you see a picture, for example, but the sixth sense, the mind sense, processes that information, makes a judgment about it. Por ejemplo, you stare at the wall with a hanging object. This is the sight sense. We are seeing. Now, our mind sense steps in. That is a black rectangle with colored shapes. Further, that is a painting. Further still, that is a painting of women walking. Even further, that is a painting of Nepalese women carrying jugs of water on their head. It shows the daily life of women in Nepal. Where the meditation begins and ends is the painting. We look at it, but try not to judge it. We also try not to space out on it. It isn't like a soft-eyed meditation. It is a fully conscious meditation on sight. It is fascinating. And I felt a sort of calm emanate over me as we began this meditation, and I felt a sort of centeredness I had been lacking this week.

I wish I could say it is all better now, but it's not. Maybe my meditation is better because he's given me something to focus on instead of the mantra, "My daughter is dead. My daughter is dead."


Today I pitched tennis balls against my garage. I threw them as hard as I could, and the dog and the girl went crazy running after them. It felt good. My arm needed the workout, and those muscles, so long out of use, refound their rhythm of pitching balls. Toppling puppy and girl in a pile of giggles at my feet. I just picked up another, and they righted themselves, and I went again. And then a low pitch, right on the tip of the garden gnome's hat sent our ball flying over the garage, ending our game, but for those moments, my daughter's death wasn't all I felt.

To spring.


  1. So much love to you Angie. I think you are incredible. I love your voice in this community. I just wish you didn't have to be here.
    Enjoy the sun on your skin this spring. Things are starting to get bleak over here....

  2. So glad to hear that you're making room for life- even if the radishes wind up a bit salty from something other than the sea salt.

    Trying your meditation- it's damned hard.

  3. Really so beautiful: in writing, in thought, in feeling.

  4. I was going to write everything that Sally wrote :)

    All my love to you beautiful Angie


  5. Beautiful, Angie. Much love to you.

  6. I'm thinking of you and praying for you, in my state of insomnia. :) I'm wishing you more peace.

    I'll have to try the radish concoction. :)

  7. Glad to have found your writing. Thanks for sharing your journey. I found your comment to resonate so deeply--- "but if we share the pain, we also disperse the joy, pride, and the happiness."

  8. beautiful angie...i have those sorts of tears almost daily.
    sending much love.

  9. beautiful angie.

    i love all the images you've shared with us. and i've always wondered how to eat radishes...

    and have i told you how much i love the picture of your girl at the top of your blog



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