Monday, April 19, 2010

Proliferating Sunshine, Navigating Grief

Curmudgeon took a vacation in mid-April, surrounded by sunshine and funny people, visiting Sanibel and Key West with Carol and her good buddy Patty. We hunted gators with Patty's husband Steve, visited old friends Chico and Pam and Annette, went snorkeling and took high-speed ferry service to the keys. You shoulda been there.

I learned a valuable lesson about the discernment between needful things and shiny objects, a key doctrinal distinction in the religion of the Loving Universe of Shiny Things:

Every laugh resonated from moment to moment, yet there were shoals of intense grief visible at every moment. They may not have impinged on vacation time, but they reinforced the idea that this practice of unconditional joy I rave about is something that must become a 24/7 occupation, helping anyone through their grief who can be helped, and recognizing when something is beyond your reach. I made some brief mental notes:


A flash mob of tears coalesces in river blindness
One nematode for the fun drained from every offhand remark,
Another nematode sucking blood from a hospice hand
with grasp so much stronger than any realization
left in clouded eyes
Larvae feed on each frustration
of a body pulled beneath your glassy surface of tears
of a body thrown under the little engine that could

Little engine crests the hill just the same
Telling the brakeman that satisfaction for a job well done,
the maddening flash burn of a joy that will not be extinguished
is the shortest path and toughest task, all at once.

Don't smear on the smile denial that he might be dead by Wednesday
Puncture the river blindness retinas, murmur I-think-I-can
and smile because he is dead by Wednesday
and because each nematode brings a pinprick of relief and joy.

Loring Wirbel
April 18, 2010

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Very nice, my friend. And that does it. I-think-I-can is my new motto. I was just talking about this book with a friend two days ago, and I had not yet read your poem. I love me some synchronicity. I think it should be the mantra for unconditional joy-ers like us. Chug chug chug, little engine.