Yesterday, it was the grief that lingers like the smell of pine when the Christmas tree has already been removed. You take big gulps of your own volition, seeking the pockets of air that would fill your lungs with memories.
When you breathe out, they scent your nostrils and weigh down your tongue with a realization of gone forever. A heavy tongue, a heavy heart, lungs full of yesteryears– it’s no wonder you are stuck in place.
This morning, it was the grief that presses against you like clothes hanging in the closet where you’re hiding with all the monsters. There’s not enough room for all of you, but nothing budges. The clothes, they rattle and push. The buttons knock together and the zippers snag in your hair. Ow, you think, ow, you want to say aloud, but everyone in this hideaway corner already knows you’re hurting. But this dark, this morning, it hurts less than light.
Last night it was the grief that knows you need to sleep. The almost motherly hand that freezes you down with small turns of a glistening block of ice. In the numbness, your heart forgets everything, even you, and the steady thrum of that confusion sings you to rest.
The woman on the phone apologizes unnecessarily. She says, “I’m sorry, I’m describing grief to you — to you. I’m sure you already know.” I do and I don’t. The more I lose, the more I realize how many dialects of grief are native to my body and how many more there must be in this world. What are the chances that we speak all the same ones, or the same ones in the same way? What are the chances that our body would language it out of us the same way? Slim, I think.
We never really learn the common tongue, though we find our way to some things recognizable. The flail and the bruise, and the march and the still, the monsters . You probably have your own words for those, but I bet they sound enough like mine that you would know them to be the same language.
Still, I wish I knew a few more words and how to use them.
I’ll keep listening– to myself, and to you– until I do.
For those awaiting an update, Kozo passed away on March 1st. If you need a place to talk about it, you can always email me. firstname.lastname@example.org I think I’d like to do a Bloggers4Peace blog challenge in May for his birthday. If you have thoughts on peace, keep them in mind so you can join in whether or not you knew him.