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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Death, in its varied fearsome manifestations, shrouded my eyes from the sun. It made me ponder if the Fates are prone to revel in irony.
Hard to tell with the Fates.

I felt myself drifting into melancholy as the weekend approached.
The calendar date roused slumbering sorrows. It was a birth date. But, sadly, it was more than that. My heart was celebrating the birthday of a once-grand passion (the grandest?)…all the while aware that the selfsame date denotes the subsequent bitter death of that very passion.

My poor heart began the day smiling through tears.

Lost in bittersweet melancholy, I administered to my morning obligations. Mopsy the breakfast bowl. I knew immediately. I knew her body had forsaken her. I hadn’t expected that. I hadn’t prepared. This could not be the day, the date and time, for her to leave. It could not be…No! NO! It must not be!

But…it was.

I spent the day awash in tears. Mopsy clung to me. She was restless, no doubt feeling discomfort as her organs inexorably faltered, then failed. She would stagger to me, and I would hold her in my arms or my lap. When she found it difficult to breathe, she would let me know she wanted to return to the cool floor. I would lift her to the ground, and she would press her body against my feet, seeking respite and solace. We were virtually inseparable this day and the next.

My sorrow grew deeper. Pain bled from every pore.

I was witness to the departure of a pure soul. Say what you will about animals, when they love, they love absolutely. Would that we humans loved the same! Wave on wave…grief overwhelmed.

Too many hearts that once loved me have disappeared, one by one, over the course of these past two years. I relived each loss again…and wept…my tears spattering about Mopsy's mortal coil. She paid no heed. Her eyes betrayed that she was beyond noticing. Strange how Mopsy’s last days mirrored and echoed my Mother’s demise. We aged mammals tend to expire in similar ways, with similar symptoms and familiar consequences. I grieved for both souls...not for any flaws or failings, but for the beauties lost.

Mopsy survived the night, but woke locked in Death’s remorseless embrace. We spent our last few hours together, Mopsy, Death and I…and I pondered, sorrowfully pondered, the deaths of marriages, passions, parents and pets. Too many loves and lives have perished,
lately, leaving me an orphan.

I’m adrift in a sea of melancholy.

* * *

We are tethered to the earth, to our very lives, by the love of others, the presence and influence of others. One hopes the tethers are fine-spun gossamer. Would that we were all bound by beauty, love and tenderness!

Sometimes, though, the tethers chafe and cut…their coarse natures hurt and strangle. I’ve been tethered in many ways, by many souls. I’ve no complaints. After all, I chose my tethers. I was a slave to love…a slave to duty…and I paid the price.

One by one, heartache after heartache, death after death, my tethers have been torn loose or tossed aside. I am cast adrift in a sea of melancholy. Death, in its fearsome manifestations, shrouds my eyes from the sun.

I am free.

* * *

At A Window
By Carl Sandburg

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

* * *


Blogger deb said...

I think that when the worst has happened, when we've lost everything and we've survived, we realize that not only are we stronger than we ever thought we were but also that we already have all that we need within ourselves.

Lovely poem Jonas, thank you for that. Take care.

Wed Jun 06, 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I know you understand, Deb.
I know you understand.

Wed Jun 06, 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Laurie Anne said...

Jonas, once again, you've moved me. Thank you. You have also made me ponder about tethers and how they can either be grounding or binding.

Fri Jun 08, 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

The love remains. Even after their passing it remains. The love lives on inside of us, doesn't it? My grandmother passed away nearly 21 years ago and I still feel her love.

Fri Jun 08, 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Twilight said...

I recognise well from the past that feeling of tether after tether being torn aside, and being 'free', Jonas. you put it so very well.

A line from a song by Kris Kristofferson used to haunt me then -
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".

But things change, life trundles on without any help from us, and new tethers it or not.

Stay strong.

Fri Jun 08, 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Roads said...

You write so well about loss. Such details - the deep earth, the smoothed sides of the grave you dug so carefully, the spreading boughs of the spruce tree, the soft green carpet onto which you laid your feline friend. Yes, such details, which say so much about all that time departed.

Not only pain, but pain which awakens another pain within.

I'm sorry.

Sat Jun 09, 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Hi, Laurie--You are, by your very nature, a pondering sort. Thank you for your kind words. Now go and give Tounces a satisfying belly rub!

Ah, are right, of course. My father died 19 years ago, but he is ever present. What I miss, though, is the kiss, the touch, the hand on the shoulder and the wise counsel.

Funny you should mention that lyric, Ms. Twilight. Earlier that morning, I heard Janis' voice rasping that line. I can't say I was ever all that fond of the song, but...this time...for the first time...I understood it. In my gut.

Roads, my friend, I always find your words comforting. Thank you.

Sat Jun 09, 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

The fall season is the time of year the House of Cheese deals with this kind of meloncoly...It is a bittersweet time but every year we get stronger...we all are blessed to be touched by loving souls that we miss forever. Hippy chicks hugs babe.

Sun Jun 10, 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I guess we all have our bittersweet calendar dates. Still, I find it difficult to imagine dolorous days in the House of Cheese.

Mon Jun 11, 03:48:00 PM  

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