Friday, March 23, 2012

Even Grief is a Fractal


Photo by Anna Reavis

What does it cost to lose those weeks, that light, the very nights in the year preferred over all others?  Can you evade the dying of the brightness? Or do you evade only its warning? Where are you left if you miss the message the blue nights bring?  Joan Didion in Blue Nights
            Discussing Blue Nights by Joan Didion is difficult for me.  This post will probably seem disjointed and unpolished.  I have found that Didion, in her two books about the deaths of her husband and daughter, has been able to express, clearly and beautifully, feelings and thoughts I have had in my own life that I have been unable even to think clearly, much less express.  I still find my thoughts here to be a seemingly endless jumble of roots and branches that overwhelm me, so I will note only two concepts that occurred to me as I read.
Most people, people who have lived normal lives, often can have no real idea why another person cries or grieves, and to try to name it is to disrespect and diminish it.  Sometimes the roots of grief are so spread out, so long, so wide, so all-encompassing that to try to use language to address or explain it is impossible.  It would be like trying to use music to pitch a baseball.
And sometimes, it seems almost as if the moments of wholeness and sweetness in our lives are too fleeting to be worth all the other moments of brokenness and emptiness.   But in those moments of perfection and wholeness that randomly flicker through my life, I think that the people I love are as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen, and I am healed by that beauty.

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