Friday, October 19, 2012

Pablo's Gaelic Pancakes

Halloween is a day of quiet remembrance. It has always been that. Traditionally, you are to remember the people you lost since the last closing of the harvest, a full calendar year. When I think about my life and the people in it just a few Octobers ago, and where we are now—it makes me pensive. You're going to get posts this month about big things, because big things are on my mind. Things that are October to me—like memories, death, the farm's sweet year, gratitude and love. I think tonight I want to write about loss and love.

Losing people is as natural as finding them. It happens to all of us, every day. The losing just isn't as pleasant so we tend to give it more of ourselves. We let ourselves punch underwater longer trying to figure out answers out of our hands and hearts. This certainly isn't a personal experience. I'm sure many of you have lost someone you cared for since last October. Some are lost through death, through anger, through success or change of address. Others through slower things like social entropy or dying light. The only thing all these random circumstances share in common is the end result: they are gone. This is October, and it's time to recognize that. Time to reflect. Time to move on.

There are people I lost I think of every day. People I miss so much that the memories cling to my ribs the way coral grows on sunken boats. Even at a confused glance the they remain beautiful and complicated. There are songs and stories that bring them back as if they're sitting right next to me on the couch. I love them so much. I miss them so dearly.

And then there are people I lost whose middle names I can't wait to forget. They aren't anything like coral. They are just rust, and if you don't scrub them off you'll start to break apart before you even realize it's happening. Rust has songs and stories too, but I can't listen to them any longer. Pablo Neruda wrote about people like that, and in his Song of Despair he explained them perfectly. "You swallowed everything, like distance."

So it's October and I feel it is my job to spend the days heading into Hallows' celebrating the people I miss and love and trying to forgive the ones I don't. It's hard to turn grief of into a wake. It's hard to forgive. But if I wanted an easier Halloween I'd buy a slutty maid costume and hit the bar. No, That's not my game. There's nothing wrong with having a frisky and fun Halloween, and I applaud your revelry. But there's nothing I want out there waiting for me in a bar in a Superman costume. And I'm not writing about any of this because I want comments about support, advice, judgment or pity. I don't think I want comments about this at all. It's too close.

Listen, someday I'm going figure out love. I'm not there yet and you won't be reading about Mr. Jenna anytime soon. But I have hope for it, and believe in it, and know it is as real of a possibility in my life as this farm was. And you know what? Someday I'm going to sing Pablo's Sonnet 25 out loud in Gaelic while I make him pancakes. He'll have no idea what I'm saying, but he'll know exactly what I'm saying. You dig?

Who knows. We're all a bunch of Luckless Slingers when it comes to love. We're all hoping we find (or found) that person that makes us smile so loud inside we can't help but sing. I won't settle for anything less than that, and that might mean I never have a partner at all. I'm okay with that, too. I've been single for over ten years. I'm good at it. It's my choice. I'm sure there are people out there to date casually, but I'm not interested in dating for sport. To me it's boring, just binging. I'll wait. Because it's all meaningless and lonely efforts without that song inside you. I know, I tried.

I'd rather be single indefinitely than in a relationship without Gaelic pancakes. I guess it all boils down to those famous words of Paul Virilio:

The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.

It's October, people. Take your chances.