ANOTHER BLOG ABOUT WINTER BULBS... ABOUT GRIEF, LOSS, AND CHANGE

My winter bulbs are beginning to turn green; first the hyacinths and then the tulips will follow.  Planting tulips inside is a first.  The photo on the package was an odd shade of peach I may soon be assigning to the wall of my office. Last year I planted late and wrote about them, quoting the verse about how God plants eternity in the hearts of men.  I love that verse.  I believe that verse and, in fact, every single syllable of each word God has bequeathed to us in the awesome promise of life everlasting.  Besieged by grief and loss I almost didn't plant my inside bulbs this year.  But I'm a creature of habit and while I feel so little satisfaction in life right now; I remember how I enjoyed them in previous years.

There is a redeeming quality in habit.  I send myself to the computer to write the screen play as I punch in the laundry wash.  Habit moves me to send a resume in hopes of a job that is a calling that requires reserves that focus on others and not myself.  I need that. 

So I planted and staggered these brown bulbs that Brett threw out one year, thinking they were onions gone bad.  I asked Ann to bring me a planter so I could bury treasure for my friend, so I could think outside the sphere of what has been a cruel consuming loss, though now, no longer tortured by broken promises and false hope.  Settled now, somewhere in the ground between here and there; this and that.

In spite of myself, I'm looking forward to that distinctive first whiff of scent; a strong reminder that God's plan unfolds and life in time moves forward and even stagnant emotion can only falter in a pretense of being mired in sameness.  After three long years of struggle I filed for divorce.  Addiction is an overwhelming assault and I hate what it does to families and dreams. I hate what it did to Brett and, by consequence to me; a passive witness as one is passive as a nor'easter storms and makes kindling of the cottage.  Three years, too long to say goodbye, I now have sixty days to wait out the process.  Thirteen years will then be reduced to a few lines on a repetitious court docket, but never that to me. Resolved I grieve without fight because the storm has passed; fight is done.  

The record of what I live isn't cloned in my fiction.  Though I think if we are honest all writers will say that there is a fiction shield of reality that masquerades in the angst of those seeds... and once emerged as compost via the garbage disposal of misplaced words we assign them long afterwards... a hop, a skip, and a jump. After reading Woods End someone wrote to me.  "I can see what you're afraid of."  To which I replied.. in my head and as politely as insult allows and mitigated by that obligation here: "If you think Wood's End told you what I'm afraid of, you're pretentiously deluding yourself."  And in the words of Paul Simon, "As if everyone here would know exactly what I was talking about."

So... if bulbs are a metaphor for renewal, then moving forward is an over used phrase if ever there was one.  I could do without hearing it for a few weeks.  Well, yes... they tenaciously poke through the soil.  They are a reaching stem that will some day bend under the weight of white and pink and blue profusion.  I'm powerless to note the details in human time with human eyes for we cannot.  I pass them and go to bed and in the morning they've minutely altered; striving because they must.  These bulbs are a world unto themselves keeping time in a sphere of time that merely graces mine.  Today my feelings fail to resonate with the optimism they would normally inspire.  Warmer days are on the horizon and they will bloom in programed suspense of divine inevitability; not marking a loss that severed roots and tore ligaments and scattered dreams. In the words of Paul Simon, composer and poet, (it's evident I like his music) "losing love is like a window in your heart.  Everybody sees your blown apart.  Every body sees the wind blow."  Though we wish it weren't so tiresome, predictable, evident and stark.   

So I watch the emerging symphony on coffee and entry tables; in the floor planter and the yellow tin Rosalyne gave me; in the broken creamer I couldn't toss.  I set my face toward life for my Father's Spirit moves me there in firm and certain authority.  Though my parents are long gone I'm no orphan and His loving word reminds me daily of this true, bedrock reality.   It's enough to follow as I wade through grief as one orders a rebellious child, to do homework...  time to write a page or two.  Without writing how does a writer know what he/she actually feels?  And, as I pray, I'm ever conscious that a world away the one I've let go of, the one that isn't mine and never was mine to let go of, has chosen something very like death.         

For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant loving kindness (Lamentations 3: 32).

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