I genuinely did not think this was going to be about death.
I suppose it doesn’t have to be, but it’s on my mind this morning.
I woke up thinking about it, unable to remember my dreams so I have no idea If there is some correlation there.
There is this new awareness of it as I get older,
this pervasive presence which swirls like winter wind getting into the cracks and spaces I never noticed before.
It always seemed such a far away thing
Like something on the list I’d get around to one of these days.
But I am, for all intents and purposes, more than likely middle aged-ish.
My intention is to be a moderately functional eleventy-one year old but who knows, really?
I have so much resistance to even writing this as though talking about it brings it closer.
But I wish I’d been less resistant to talking about it
when I found out dad was sick
when mum was called on January 13 of last year with the news that she’d be going soon.
I wish I had left the cozy confines of my ‘it’s far away’ perspective and raced across the mountains to have as much time with them as possible before they went.
Some of this is guilt, surely.
Some of it is nostalgia due to the time of year, and missing them.
But some of it is the realization that time is the greatest gift one can give.
And it goes so fast.
I woke up this morning wondering when it’s prudent to make a will.
Wondering what happens to my stuff if I die without one
(I say if because there is a part of me that still considers I might be immortal, you never know)
Wondering how I got so much stuff but I wonder that even when I’m not thinking about death.
And then I look over at my plethora of tarot decks,
And I think about what death means within the cycle of major arcana cards
How it comes smack in the middle of the story
reconfiguration is something that happens consistently
over the course of both long and short lives.
I’m desperately trying to spin this as I write,
into something positive and uplifting,
not wanting to dwell in the dour
but dang it!
It’s not always good or happy
and that doesn’t mean it’s bad or even really dark.
Even now my brain is insisting I turn this poem into a proclamation it’s
not long now
until I become the person that I’m destined to be (already her)
that I’m going to move next year and buy a townhouse with a teeny yard (hopefully)
and foster cats and dogs, (or any other animals who need it)
make local crow friends (reciprocally)
and have a garden for the 4 months of the year it’s not winter here. (food and flowers yes please!)
And that I’m going to travel the world and visit my friends (i miss you)
And that I’m going to publish novels and short stories and poems (definitely)
And that I’m going to stop getting in my own way (ideally)
And let go of all the bad habits (unlikely)
And the reality is, I have no idea what is going to happen.
I’ve lived my life with this willfully blind insistence that I have time,
that I can put things off because they’ll be there later,
that opportunities will come around even if I do relatively little to encourage them.
Every year I used to make lists of all the things I wanted to do in the following year.
Not intentions so much, as just stuff I wanted to do.
And I wanted to do them because there was this idea in my head of who I was
And the type of person I was or thought I should be
Was someone who would do things like those on my list.
These intangible goals I set
Without any sort of timeline or plan or even specific locations
Were just a list of items which would let me gauge I was existing properly or something.
That I was achieving, winning at life.
I mean, they were all really cool things
But I think there was this motivation to have good stories to tell.
I knew that I wanted a life filled with stories.
But there was this belief that I had to go and collect them, in order for them to be valid.
I’ve spent decades running amok, trying to get somewhere, to have some sense of purpose
Without considering what I wanted the result of that purpose to be.
And here is one benefit to getting older that I’ve noticed
It’s easier to listen when it’s quiet.
And the more I listen,
the more I am aware
Of the words, ideas, and stories
Which were probably always there.
There is a vibrancy to exuberance, and a creativity that goes with it which is lovely.
It bursts into the world with unapologetic brashness and deserves to be celebrated.
But I’m finding there are depths which are easier to achieve through stillness.
It feels akin to encouraging a timid creature to come closer
to trust that they won’t be harmed
that they’ll be safe here,
Hilariously, it sounds as though I’ve gone from being mildly morose about mortality
to a lesson on how to make friends with fuzzy forest creatures.
But perhaps that’s just the nature of existence.
The pendulum swings and what started as melancholic musings
pivots in perspective
to encompass a clarity that comes of knowing more than I did yesterday
and slightly less than tomorrow.
It seems that I unintentionally ended up writing something uplifting and hopeful.
I guess that’s the nature of my existence.
How long before Trish turns a poem she thought was about death into something soft and snuggly?
Not long now.