Thursday, July 23, 2020

Singing Wren

Singing Wren / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping


I'VE BEEN WANTING to get rid of Peter's couch, the couch where he was lying when he had the heart attack that killed him. He didn't die on that couch, and certainly, that couch had nothing to do with his death, but every time I looked at it, I remembered. And so I'd come to hate it. I had covered it with a sheet and pretty much given it to the dogs. But I wanted it out of my life. 

A friend introduced me to Pastor Rob, who has started a second-hand store a bit south of here. Items and money from the store help people who have just gotten out of rehab and jail. 

On Tuesday, when it was too hot in the studio to paint, I spent a few hours going through Peter's office stuff, and throwing a lot of it away. I tossed 23 of the 25 issues of B&W Magazine, which showcased a photograph of his that had placed in a nationwide contest. I tossed 15 of 18 CDs of his pictures, CDs he had made to send to shows, back when entry regs required CDs and not just online examples. I threw away his dog-chewed copy of "Covenant," which he had read more times than I ever knew. And I threw out a shoebox full of sympathy cards. I read them all, and appreciated each one, but I could not keep them. It was a box of sorrow. This was difficult, all of this. 

Later that day, Rob and Steve came over and got the couch and two of the five bookcases we had. As they drove away, my heart broke again and again. I felt like I had broken again. 

I knew I wanted this stuff gone, had to have it gone. Of course, there were the memories, buying the bookshelves together, assembling the couch - and those memories were part of what hit me. But seeing those things go, I had my first real look at the next phase of my life, and my first real, true understanding that this next part will be without him. 

I've been able to paint, and cook, to deal with the dogs, to shop and garden and see my friends because I did them when he was alive. They are through-lines - and so, doing them has not signified as life without him. 

But when Pastor Rob drove off, I saw - for the first time, in a visceral, heartfelt, non-intellectual way, that the next part of my life will not have Peter in it. And I understood for the first time, why I've been able - with relative ease - to do some things in this life, and have been totally unable to do many other things. 

For Today

"A year from now, you will wish you had started today." 

- Karen Lamb

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