Saturday, October 14, 2006

Witness a dam breaking. A sestina.

Our names are spelled unexpectedly

Remembering is often painful. I sit
too much, feeling my sciatic flare up when I wish
for memories to change over time.
I try to tie
my life together,
try to stitch and weave and knit and sew.

At the table, I keep knitting. When I stand every so
often, I knit. Again, sitting,
I knit. I think about when we lived together
and I don't wish
for that again. Tie
another knot. Think about a different time.

Think about harvesting the garden, hoping for thyme
but finding mint and sage instead. Your mother sewed
a costume for your son. Perhaps I could gather and tie
all the sage together to dry, and smudge this place where I sit.
You thought differently of me. I wished
you knew how I really felt. We ate together.

What you remember of me, I don't want to know. To gather
those thoughts would be a waste of time.
I wish,
I sew,
I sit,
I tie.

I do all that to remember, and forget. Tying
all those knots together,
I weave through our fights. I've been sitting
too long again. I check the time
on the big red clock above. I check myself, so
as not to store too much poison. Remedies, though, are wishful.

I will always wish
for you to understand me fully. Ties
between us were sewn
loosely, it seems. Ripping rows does not upset me anymore. Knitted together,
the paper I've twisted and now twist again around needles, I wait for time
to move faster to separate us so that it doesn't hurt when I sit.

I will never stop sewing, though I may stop wishing
for painless hours when I sit. Maybe then, my ties
to you will blend together with other knots of love. I will be patient. All in time.


  1. My somatic practitioner used to say that, when we haven't grieved, we leak. Tears come out here and there, we surprise ourselves by laughing at odd moments, we remember things when we least expect to think of theses memories. Grieving is such a big, big weight. Our bodies can only take so much and then they let out little bits of grief until we make room for more to come out.

    Letting go happens/doesn't happen depending on what our bodies need.

    I don't know why, but I wanted to write that. I've just been thinking about you and how you're revisiting a lot of grief about the loss of your friend. Please don't take it as anything but a comment on the connection between grieving and our bodies.

    I got your latest package today. I loved it. Really. Your letter made me laugh. I loved the paper (even though you didn't like it) but I don't love how painful it was for you to type the letter. Please don't make me gifts that hurt your body to make them. I only want you to do things that feel good. Cornelius loves her new toy and the sun was shining through the cut-outs and they look beautiful. Thank you.


  2. Paulettasaurus9:25 PM

    Love it.

    I can't wait until we're reunited. We'll eat lots of good food and act like lunatics.

  3. it's funny, b/c i always thought that i was fine w/the grieving. well, i am. it just surprises me sometimes. i guess i thought that b/c everything was so clean w/githa, in that we had expressed and communicated everything we needed to before she died, and that i had done everything i could to be a good friend and help in the ways i could, that the grieving would be clean.

    whatever THAT means.

    i guess later, when i lose more people, it won't be so "clean." but then again, later won't be friends i've had since 3rd grade who die for no good reason when they're 25. but you're right, about the leaking. the good thing is that i don't feel bad about it.

    and i love you for looking out for me. i figured out how to type w/o it hurting (use a ribbon that works!!). i'm glad cornelius likes the toy!!

    where did you have a somatic practitioner?

  4. she's in the bay area. she changed my life. i went to her for 2.5 years and i am a completely different person. i'm still me, but i needed lots of things to change in my life and i needed to value myself a lot more. she taught me those skills. (she also went to oberlin, but transferred to stanford. but she loved oberlin. and my gynecologist in SF went to oberlin. totally random.)

    i definitely feel like you are fine/dealing well with grieving. more, i was thinking that we (meaning me, too) want to have at least a little control about when and where (and even why and how) grieving happens. sometimes our bodies make those decisions for us.

  5. ellie did somatic work in the bay, too. i would love to do that someday.

  6. yes, i recommend it to everyone. staci haines, who went to oberlin, and wrote "the survivor's guide to sex", was the mentor of my somatic practitioner and they both worked in the same office. i can tell you more about it whenever you have questions. (i've talked a lot of people's ears off about it.)


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