“And, at such a time, for a few of us there will always be a tugging at the heart—knowing a precious moment had gone and we not there. We can ask and ask but we can’t have again what once seemed ours for ever—the way things looked, that church alone in the fields, a bed on belfry floor, a remembered voice, a loved face. They’ve gone and you can only wait for the pain to pass. ”
J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country
I hit a wall yesterday. I never even saw it coming. I’d had such a good four-day stretch too. And it was such a beautiful day yesterday. I had made up my mind to take a drive up to Keene, NH to acquire a pound of exquisite coffee at Prime Roasters. When I woke up Sunday morning I was squirrely about it. Couldn’t decide if that was what I really wanted to do, or not.
I thought that since I would be heading up through Winchendon it would be a good time to stop at Silver Hawk – a native American shop – and check out the place. I had not been there in a long, long time and I had some pretty good memories of the place, including doing several workshops with Blackwolf Jones and with owner, Lynn Bessette. I decided to Google the store and see what the Sunday hours were. I did not expect to see what I saw.
Apparently the owner, Lynn, passed away in February of 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Wow! That just took the wind out of my sails. It was like a veil of darkness just immediately wrapped itself around me as the meaning settled in.
Another one gone. Another part of my past. . . gone. Man, I’m beginning to feel a bit like Job here. Is this a test of my faith? Of how determined I am to walk my path? I immediately slipped into a melancholy. And for better or worse, I decided to go up to Keene anyhow as sitting at home in the house on a beautiful day did not seem like a good idea either.
The ride up was fraught with sadness mixed with a bit of anxiety. I drove right by Silver Hawk, slowing down to remember the days spent there as I drove by. My own personal salute and acknowledgement of Lynn. And then, onwards up to Keene. My new Samsung phone proved quite unreliable in mapping my route and so I got a little lost for a bit. Wandering around in a Wal-Mart, trying to connect to their network, it hit me that I am alone. Like, how the fuck did that happen? Well, actually, I know how it happened. Laureen developed cancer and died. And then I was alone. It’s pretty simple really. Man – I just never saw that coming. I had the old age thing all laid out. Laureen and I just hanging out, laughing at our infirmities. Even in our darkest hours, we could always manage a laugh and a smile – reflective, I think, of the acknowledgement of how lucky we had been to find each other so that no matter what the world threw at us, we weren’t alone with it. We had each other and somehow that made it seem just a little less.
Keene was dense for me. The air had gone out of my sails upon learning of Lynn’s passing. Another one gone. I said that already, right? I got my coffee, realized I forgot my journal so no writing today. Just sitting and staring out onto the street and wondering how I’d gotten here. Afterwards, went to an antique shop – a shop that Laureen and I had once visited during our many treasure-hunting explorations. It seems so long ago now – almost a dream, really. I poked around half-heartedly, or more in truth, empty of heart. Found a book. Who cares?
I had a little better luck down in Toadstool Bookstore where I found a plethora of greeting cards. Little bits of positivity and validation to send out to friends and acquaintances in time. And now it is today. Monday. It is raining. I am raining too. Inside. I like the picture of the cat. I wanted something that was gentle and living to represent my melancholy. Not something bleak and dark. I don’t feel bleak and dark. Just kind of empty and sad, but alive. I don’t know exactly what that means but the cat seemed to be a good representation of it. It’s all in the eyes.
I’m glad no one is in the office this morning. I need space. And then, I realize I have more space then I need. Cruel irony.