Today I got an email from a young poet whose work I'm very fond of. We had never talked much. A handful of messages. He doesn't hang around online. A manuscript: "I just put this together and wanted to give you first dibs before I start sending these poems out into the world." That things had been brightening up for him and he hoped it was the same for me. And we might communicate elsewhere.
I was oddly moved by this gesture. Sure, I was supportive of his work. Sent him links to places. Told him how a few of his poems moved me deeply ("I replayed them in my mind when I was half-breathing in my insomnia. And then, something changed."). He sent a few kind words when I was in grief earlier this year. But we're not netfriends by any stretch. Maybe I was glad that a writer I admire thought of me as a valued reader? Maybe, when I looked at that manuscript, I was back by the windows and listening to the rain as if they transmitted light? And that was where I knew my world, inside out, all the chaos and shards?
People have asked me why I hardly update this blog anymore. Since my aunt died in early Jan, I have had little to say. I mentioned it in my last post. The first two or three months, I probably thought of myself as "in mourning." I could hurt, shed a few tears, and go on to work, write, hang out with friends with her at the back of my mind. It's only in recent days that I noticed how grief runs through the days like a pack of eels. For half an hour, or five minutes a day, I'd recall her suffering - and ours - during those last days in the hospital. All the things that we said, and didn't.
It's her pain as much as her absence that stay with me. The rest of the time, I may be sleep deprived, or busy, or hopeful and stressed about certain changes that are happening in my life. I feel pretty normal, I suppose, just functioning and agonizing the way I always do. It's the same for everyone. Then I'm not the same person. Always, in the background: that sense of loss. I don't know how to override it.