Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When I Forget

I have a bookmark that says:

"My friend is one who knows my song and sings it to me when I forget."

The month of May has been hard. Loss of a friendship. Loss of a neighbor. Loss of a grumpy old man.  All of whom I came to love.

And therapy. Opening up those long ago sealed and buried boxes of memories and emotion has been soul shredding.

Lately I feel like I am crawling naked through glass.

On Monday I walked out to my car after my therapy session and just started to cry.  One of those long, cathartic sobbing sessions.  Then, too exhausted to drive home, I went to a nearby friend’s house.  There, I spit out that not only was I losing too many people I care about but I was also losing myself.  A serious pity party followed.

Yesterday I received this email from my friend:

Take the advice of Wendell Berry -

“When despair for the world grows in you and you wake in the night at the least sound, in fear of what your life and your children’s lives may be, go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. Come into the peace of wild things that do not trouble their lives with forethought of grief. Come into the presence of still water and feel above you the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, rest in the grace of the world.”

You are safe. You are loved. And because you are currently lame and cannot go backpacking, I have rented a cabin deep in the woods for a weekend to find peace among the wild things.

And once again I find myself in deep gratitude for the friends, seen and unseen, who know my song and sing it to me when I forget.

*** I realize that I will be extremely isolated, in a very remote location if the rapture comes Saturday evening. I am pretty sure that I don’t qualify, but if any of you go, could you please leave a note? I really hate losing people.


  1. What a beautiful saying about friendship. And what a beautiful, thoughtful friend.

    I hope your weekend is peaceful and restorative. . .

    . . . and if the Rapture happens, that the devil can't find you.

  2. Don't judge yourself for the breakdown. Sometimes crumbling in tears is just the thing you should do to acknowledge and validate your frustration. Now is when the real work takes place. Let the anger/disappointment/irritation out, rest and restore, and then decide what's the next first small step to take.

    You can do this!

  3. That's a beautiful note and a beautiful gesture from your friend. You are blessed, my friend.

    PS, I thought of you on Mother's Day and wanted to reach out, but was buried in my own well of sadness and wasn't able to find my way to do so. I say this often, but you are surrounded by many people who care very much about you and send you loving, healing thoughts when you least expect them.

  4. What a great friend! What a wonderful weekend. I'll be thinking of you surrounded by natural beauty, calm and at peace.

    "... forethought of grief ... " That is an interesting perspective. I'm going to think about that. I'll be thinking about it while I sing your song.


  5. I have a personal connection to Wendell Berry, seeing as how he and I share a birthday. :-)

    I have a collection of poems that got me through the darkest days of my life, and "The Peace of Wild Things" was one of them. Here's another:

    The Real Work
    It may be that when we no longer know what to do
    We have come to our real work.
    And that when we no longer know which way to go
    We have come to our real journey.
    The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
    The impeded stream is the one that sings.
    ---Wendell Berry

    Hope you had a wonderful, restorative weekend among the wild things...


  6. Doxy - thank you for this poem. I obviously have to get better acquainted with Mr. Berry. It's nice to think that being so screwed up is a positive thing : )