Archive for May, 2009

“Flow my tears, the policeman said”

Do you know who wrote that? Only one of the GREATEST science fiction writers of all time, Mr. Philip K. Dick. You should recognize him; he is the author of a number of stories and books that have been set to film, including Blade Runner, The Minority Report, and Next.

So why have I returned from yet another hiatus to mention the great PKD? Because, after the misery and anguish I have described in these pages, he has brought me the best language to describe something I could ever imagine. In this text he discusses love and grief, saying:

“When you love you cease to live for yourself; you live for another person.”

“Grief causes you to leave yourself. You step outside your narrow little pelt. And you can’t feel grief unless you’ve had love before it–grief is the final outcome of love, because it’s love lost. You do understand; I know you do. but you just don’t want to think about it. It’s the cycle of love completed: to love, to lose, to feel grief, to leave, and then to love again.”

But to grieve; it’s to die and be alive at the same time. The most absolute, overpowering experience you can feel, therefore. Sometimes I swear we weren’t constructed to go through such a thing; it’s too much–your body damn near self-destructs with all that heaving and surging. But I WANT to feel grief. To have tears.”

Grief reunites you with what you’ve lost. It’s a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that’s going away. In some fashion you split with yourself and accompany it, go part of the way with it on its journey. You follow it as far as you can go.”

“But finally,” Ruth said, clearing her throat, “the grief goes away and you phase back into this world. Without him.”

…”You cry, you continue to cry, because you don’t ever completely come back from where you went with him–a fragment broken off your pulsing, pumping heart is there still. A nick out of it. A cut that never heals. And if, when it happens to you over and over again in life, too much of your heart does finally go away, then you can’t feel grief any more. And then you yourself are ready to die. You’ll walk up the inclined ladder and someone else will remain behind grieving for you.”

Wow.

I had pretty much stopped crying a while before I read this. And then I cried for a couple days, I think. I needed to get away from it, from the depth of it, before I could read it again and quote it here for you. It describes what I’ve been feeling to the t (now that’s a weird expression that I never understood…until now). In my mind, I had imagined finding my friend Don again after all this time…what we would say to each other (I of course imagined it would be a re-connect via phone call or email communication), how happy we would both be to catch up on our exploits, and how we would plan to figure out how to get our families to meet each other and to see each other again. It took a giant nick out of my heart to find out he had passed from this space/time continuum. I lost breath, and for a time, the world was a much darker place. I tried to walk part-way up that inclined stair, to call out, to plead for him to come back, but without the power of God, could do nothing. Nothing, except hold and press tightly to the spot in my chest where the blood from the nick in my heart was running. I dream every now and again, standing on my lowly spot on the stair, holding in my pain; I look through the glass darkly in hope that I catch a glimpse of him, that he catches a glimpse of me, and knows that we have an appointment when I cross over. I need to tell him all these things and more, and I pray that I will be forgiven for being too late, for not reaching out, left only to stand and wonder.

Peace.

Saturday, May 30th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments

How not to continue dwelling…

Hello all!

Have you seen the movie “Pulse“? There was this great line in the movie about making people immortal by trapping them in their own loneliness…it made me think about my most excellent friend who died last year and I wonder if part of the issue was loneliness.

All that made me consider the concept of dwelling. Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘dwell’ as “to remain for a time”, “to live as a resident” (exist, lie), “to keep the attention directed”, or “to speak or write insistently”; how do we get out of being in the condition of dwelling on something? I know–you are wondering what this has to do with the movie and here it is: if we dwell on loneliness, we “remain there for a time”…we ‘dwell’. With that, I became concerned about dwelling on my friend’s death; by dwelling on it, it becomes easier to imagine–dare I say, begin to believe–that it isn’t true. That in fact he is around in this space/time continuum, that the death thing was not real.

So my new plan is to cease dwelling. Or at least not dwell so much. It is hard, and it is painful to say good-bye.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments

Mumbling thighs…

Howdie folks!

So it’s been a few days since the last ranting from the cave. Today’s harrowing adventure comes to you fresh from a work out. Yes, you read correctly. Your resident cave-dweller started–today–at Curves. And at the moment my thighs are mumbling. They are not screaming in pain, but there is something going on and I can feel it (that last part should be read in voice, specifically in your best impersonation of HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey”–you know the part when Dave is shutting HAL down and HAL starts singing “Daisy”…there are some lines in there where he says he feels that his mind is going:  “I can feel it, Dave. I can feel it.”) Unfortunately I can’t find a good video of the part I’m talking about but the clip above has a bit of it right at the end…

Anyway, I feel pretty good other than the mumbling thighs. Mentally, it was much more stimulating than walking or going on a treadmill. I think I can stick to this; at least I better since I’m paying for it…

If you are considering making a health change, do it. Don’t procrastinate, or you’ll end up unhappy with yourself…maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to post some before and after photos, but I’ve got a way to go before then…in the meantime, keep on pushing.

Peace to you.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments

Distraction is a many-splendored thing…

Hey gang! I actually started drafting this post on Saturday; here’s what I had:

It’s Saturday and we’ve been at the Relay for Life most of the day; Christopher is a survivor so we’ve been walking laps, thrilled and thankful for his having been given more time.
Taking the laps has given me time to think more about whether I have been listening to God about ‘life, the universe, and everything’. Don’t think I’ve done a great job at it, actually.

I did that at around 9:30pm on Saturday evening and haven’t been back since. I’ve thought about it, in between everything else I’ve been thinking about. I don’t think I’ve been very productive lately…been doing quite a bit of introspection (what else is new?) but not much else. No, really. I’ve been a lump.

Which gave me time to ponder the concept and reality of distraction. So I was at the Relay on Saturday and everything hurt by the time I got home; I continued to hurt through church on Sunday, and then into Monday as well. I’m not in any kind of shape so I can’t categorize it as “good” or “bad” shape. Sad, really. Anyway, the discomfort I felt was minimized by the fact that I acquired an mp3 player most specifically to have during the walk. My tunes were awesome! I didn’t fiddle with it on Sunday but when I went to try it on Monday it didn’t work, so I had to take it back to the store and get another one (turns out it was a faulty USB cable). So once I got that figured out, I moved on to another technological issue–my blackberry. I have the one from Nextel and as it turns out the operating system on it is unique…other blackberry’s don’t use the same one. To that end, none of the themes I found out there worked on mine; I spent about a day and a half searching for something suitable and finally found it last night at crackberry.com. I am also considering creating my own themes, which sounds like it will be great fun for me.

I say all that to say that distraction is a many-splendored thing. I was so busy and distracted doing nothing, or next to nothing, that I neglected to think about how bad I had been feeling emotionally. This is something of the good side of distraction–it keeps us from doing what we shouldn’t, as in my case it has helped me not dwell on the negative for quite so constant a period. Don’t get me wrong–I am still devastated at the loss of my most excellent friend, knowing that I will not get to ever see or talk to him in this space/time continuum ever, but it’s all sort of been numbed away by distraction.

The bad side of distraction is that it keeps us from doing what we should do also. I have been very neglectful of my devotional reading with Christopher and I have not done my Adult Sunday School lessons in about two weeks. I’ve got to get back on track, and quick because I have far too much to do that I shouldn’t be distracted from.

It has felt good to do almost nothing, to be a lump, even if only for a little while. I guess I’ll have to save that for lazy Saturday afternoons in the sun…come on, summer!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments