Departure into the Unknown
Woke up with a clench of fear in the gut that dissipated as soon as I opened my eyes enough to be present. No husband, no identity, no ideas. It was an animal moment of disorientation. A momentary loss of ground. A total loss of any ground and then it passed; I am here for right now and here is where I will be until I am packed and driven away. I am safe. I am sad. I am un-tethering. I am happy to have a benign future to anticipate. I am speechless. I am a fount of the unknown.
My friend Cathie, who is soon also moving to the mid-west, asked me how I am. I said “confused, fearful, certain, doubtful, curious, sad, and excited.” That is taken with a strong pinch of love. That pinch sustains me for my last week and a half of living in upstate New York. Boxes stand everywhere, along with bags, and large rubber bins; some are labeled and sealed, and some still an open question. I am leaving here no matter how complete or unfinished I feel. The material objects packed into our car will be obvious, few, and necessary. The rest of my old home life will be stored for whatever purpose my daughter Emilia and son-in-law Zoran might want for their new home.
I have often used the metaphor of aerialists to point out that there is a moment when you must let go of one trapeze in order to trust your forward momentum to grab on to the next one swinging your way. You feel a weightless gap in the middle of every change. Thrilling, terrifying, and tremendously fulfilling when you don’t end up bouncing down into the net or further into the sawdust and regret below. If you do fall, you have to climb back up the ladder and strengthen your skills to try swinging out harder to reach the next bar or fellow aerialist coming along.
Departure includes making order out of chaos, retaining just enough of the old skeleton to resurrect a new life. I have had the luxury of time to strip down to a usable skeleton. I require little padding and have no idea of how to imagine what the new body will look like. It is an open experience for me and I think, in the long run, it is easier this way- to discover a context for daily living without so many preconceptions to prejudice me towards my future. I am moving into the unknown environment of Kendal, a senior living facility in Oberlin, OH. I am aiming for them to catch me at the other end of my swing to the west.
Fount of the Unknown Waters
Spewing out my known losses
for unknown aquifers
artesian wells spring forth
with every step
saints and god/desses do that
leave footprints of faith
well marked oases on desert sands
I try to follow
while clutching the world I knew
puddles shrink into sand
until there is nothing to grasp
unknown waters arise
fountains everywhere nowhere
sprayed exuberantly from earth to air
dissipating mists of time and memory
unpredictable eruptions of pure faith
drench the weary traveler through and through