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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Blood, Sweat and Tears

The hourglass has been put to good metaphorical use for centuries. Why not? It works. If we consider each grain of sand a minute, hour, day, month or year, we can visualize the passage of time. We understand the general notion deep within our cerebella.

I visualize the hourglass differently today. I see heartbeats falling to silence.

Amazing Woman is dying. And this process of dying, in her case, is gruesome. There are too few feeble heartbeats left. Not that I can be close enough to place ear to breast to hear, or kiss her hand in solace, but no distance is too far or too great to keep a heart from feeling another.

I find myself counting heartbeats, marking each with a tear.

I cried my way through the day today.

I was crying as I straddled the saddle of my bicycle. Not that it was a good day to ride, it wasn’t. It had rained all morning. The storm front passed, shoved aside by a cold north wind. Any other day, I would have gazed out the window and simply marveled at the ferocity. Not today. Today, I wanted to feel that raw be mercilessly lashed.

I wanted to ride as long and as far as my body could bear. I wanted to ride to exhaustion. I wanted, needed, to feel physical pain the way a tormented soul gouges at a forearm with a razor to displace heartache and torment with blood.

I rode longer and farther than I ever had. I rode straight into that wind. Felt it drive the tears and sweat into my eyes and simply let them burn. Head drooping from exhaustion, feet numb, neck, shoulders and forearms aching, calves on fire, hamstrings cramping, I rode.

The sweat went dry long before the tears.

So spent I was upon return that I collapsed astride the bike. Blood commingled with sweat and tears.

It was not enough.

* * *


Blogger PattiKen said...

I'm thinking of you, Jonas.

Sun Sep 04, 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Jonas. There is no way around pain and suffering, except through it. Sending hugs.

Mon Sep 05, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Patti. I know you understand cancer all too well. I wasn't ready to discover all the horrific details. I'm devastated.

You're right, Lilith. There is no way out but through. Those of us lucky to live long enough find ourselves working through a whole lotta grief.

Mon Sep 05, 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

Losing someone you love, especially to a painful and vicious disease, is gut-wrenching. No amount of riding will change that.

Tue Sep 06, 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger June Calender said...

I hope being able to express your feelings so eloquently is some relief from the present pain.

Tue Sep 06, 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Those of us who've lived a bit, recognize the truth of your words, Ms. Quaker Operative. Still...still. Physical exaustion helps one to cry oneself to sleep at night.

Sorry, June, I've never considered myself eloquent. Quite the opposite, in fact. What I feel, most times, is far more profound and complex than whatever I may express. I don't revel in "eloquence." I rage against my inadequacies in being able to express all that, rightfully, demands expression.

Fri Sep 09, 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

You're right, there's something about exhausting yourself physically that allows you to sleep when your emotional state will not. You're in my thoughts, Jonas. I've felt my own variation of what you're referring to. Just breathe and allow.

Sun Sep 11, 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Wine and Words said...

Cancer is a bitch I hate with the fiercest kind of tenacity. The slow roll of it. Like those amblers in the sidewalk...they care nothing for where you need to go, or where you've been, only that you sit and watch them pass with distaste. Not only must you wait, but the car is hot, and the air conditioning doesn't work, and the windows won't roll down, and the doors are stubbornly locked. You are melting into the seat cushion as cancer takes a liesurly step into it's appetite.

Saying I'm sorry will not aid you. Nothing will but the quiet of your mind through the exhaustion of your limbs. I get this. And yet... and yet....I am so sorry.

Thu Sep 15, 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger FishHawk said...

"At Twilight" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

Fri Sep 16, 03:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry, Jonas. When I lost my best friend Andie to cancer it nearly killed me. She went blind in the end. I almost lost my faith in this world completely when it happened. I am thinking of you. So sorry.

Tue Sep 20, 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I befriended a pediatric nurse decades ago who was a fervent, militant atheist. As she explained to me, her experiences left her knowing that there was no loving, merciful God.

As news of Amazing Woman's sorrowful final days of suffering trickle in, I completely understand her point of view. I lost my faith a long, long time ago.

Even so, the faithless cynic suffers.

Tue Sep 20, 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

Grief is a difficult slog. And yet, you don't have a choice.

Fri Sep 30, 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

True enough, Quaker Agent. I believe grieving is necessary if we are to heal (eventually).

Tue Oct 11, 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger shadowlands1501 said...

so so sorry, Jonas.

I have learned that words are so little in comparison to the heart that bleeds for a love cancer or any kind of death.

Just a few words to return the kindness of yours when I walked this path

Tue Nov 29, 01:34:00 AM  

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