Delays and Considerations

After last Wednesday, I needed to step back and slow down a bit.  For the first few days, I did a lot of busy work, just to keep my mind off things, knowing that my creative moments would be filled with thoughts of kitties and loss.  I’m one of those people who rushes into the “make all the arrangements” side of grieving, because to stop and feel that soon, that close to a death of a loved one is too hard.

Let time do its part and soften the edges some.  Let me accept that s/he isn’t around anymore to see, spend time with…  Let the change in presence feel more gradual.

Though he wasn’t referring to grieving per se in his essay Common Sense, Thomas Paine was spot on when he stated:

But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.

Change is inevitable and vital, but when forced to face it head-on, many of us balk.  We revert to old patterns.  We resist or deny.

I took pictures.

Not pictures of the sweet Mrrp, but of flowers.  When I started trying to develop some real photography skills, I worked mostly with flowers.  They were more agreeable to standing still for extended periods of time while I tweaked ISO settings and adjusted my white balance than my son or wildlife tended to be.

I used my old iPhone because getting out the Canon and kit just seemed to be too much fuss.  These pictures are not high art.  Just a moment captured, an attempt to slightly immortalize a thing of beauty that dwindles all too fast…

Exactly the type of thing that one needs to do at times like these.

So here goes:

Looking down into a Poem of Ecstasy iris

Looking down into a Poem of Ecstasy iris

And though definitely less flashy, these classic “Great Lakes” irises have the most amazing fragrance. This page compares it to magnolias. I find them closer to a slightly spicy root beer float.

In the shadow and reddish hues of the tri-color birch, this blue beauty seems almost purple

In the shadow and reddish hues of the tri-color birch, this blue beauty seems almost purple

I love irises. I think I could easily make a yard full of them. These and a carpet of creeping thyme and clover instead of grass…

My ROW80 Check-in and Assessment

Normally I would post a list of my goals.  Being so close to the end of the ROWnd, it seems all the more necessary to consider all my progress (and failures) so more consideration toward next ROWnds plans might be made.

ROW80LogocopyScrew consideration…

I’m writing.  Since Wednesday, my daily total plummeted (I’m squeaking out my 750words a day, but little more) from often over 2500 to around 800.  I’ve only done my Five (handwritten) Sentences twice.  I typed in two pages for the first time last night instead of writing this post.

I’ve puddled in my languages, read books, and played dumb flash games.

And I showed up and put in my time for my JuNoWriMo sprints, but was too distracted to get words of my own most days.  I’m not sure now if it’s a good thing that I have most of this week off (our wedding anniversary is Wednesday, and so I asked for some family time)—as much as the distractions slowed me down, they also kept me involved in writing and people.

It’s not like this December and January where I drifted out of touch with the whole world because there was so much loss to deal with.  Love or not, Mr. Kitty was a cat, and as an outdoor, mostly still feral animal, I always knew he would not only die eventually but likely sooner because of his life.  But I also knew he was happier with his life as it was (except in the winter…  he’d have liked to have stayed inside during the winter) than deal with the other occupants of our house beyond me.

So…  there it is, a day late, but here.

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22 responses to “Delays and Considerations

  1. I’m glad you have found a way to deal with your loss. I like the picture of the blue iris better than the flashy one. I like the simple elegance.

    Enjoy your time off. Relax and just veg a little.

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    • I love the blue irises more too. Though they all are lovely (I have a sweet half-sized batik colored one too that blooms extra early, so I couldn’t catch those in the photos), the blue ones smell so sweet. This fall, I plan on replanting them around, so they can spread and perfume the whole yard. 🙂

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  2. My mother loved irises, and one of my early memories is of helping her plant purple irises along the garage. I plan to plant some irises along the fence in the new yard.

    Loss takes its own time, and cannot be rushed. Also, a grief counselor told me last year that cumulative losses can lead to “grief fatigue,” and I have to say much of what she said rang true.

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    • When I divide mine this fall, I probably could send you some. I’d like to keep perpetuating them so they can beautify the world.

      As for grief… I can belief it. I’m just doing what I can. It’s really the only option.

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      • I’d love to have some of your irises to plant.

        Doing what one can is all there is, dealing with what comes up. Today I unpacked a long forgotten box which had letters from my brother from his first year at college, from my dad from the early nineties, and my mother’s favorite poems she had written out by hand.

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        • Well, when I get around to digging and moving them this fall, I’ll save you a root or two. They should spread well enough if allowed to.

          That box sounds like it was filled with memories and thoughts…. hugs.

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  3. Those images are absolutely gorgeous! I love irises. There are seasons when writing is easy and seasons where you need to rest your muse and recharge your batteries. I hope you find a way forward to where you want to be.

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    • Thanks, Cate. I agree there are seasons, but there are also events, moments that don’t happen on a schedule the way the weather and night and day shift. Those events catch me a lot harder. But hopefully I am figuring out a way around these too.

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  4. We do what we can do when we can do it. You’re still making progress, even if it’s not as much as you had been.

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  5. Loss is hard, just keep moving. As hard as it is, concentrating on an activity and those around you may help. The flower shots are beautiful.

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    • Thanks, Caren. Forced focus and concentration helps distract for a time, but it isn’t the cure. Really, I don’t think there is a “cure” for grief (or that there should even be one) at all. Just time and reprocessing and smoothing of the rough edges. A softer piece…

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  6. Thank you for writing about this very hard process of dealing with loss. Sometimes there are no words at all. In some ways, what shows here is courage to face into the future without letting go of promises, commitments, and memory.

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    • *blushes* Thank you, Beth. I don’t know if it’s bravery or denial… but I’ll look on the forward path and see what comes. It’s really the only choice that comes from a place of love.

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  7. I think you did exactly the things you needed to do. Knowing what those are is a skill many people don’t have. You took grief and created beauty. Solace for your wounded heart.

    The words will come back. Ebbs and surges. Life and death needing their places…

    Incidentally, it’s amusing how often Common Sense has cropped up in my life of late…

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    • I’ve been having a lot of that sort of thing happen lately too with writings and readings. One of my FB friends just posted a thing about Kafka just after I’d finished reading a bunch of essays on his works.

      Ebbs and surges of a different type.

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  8. It happens to me a lot. In this case, I think it’s saying that it’s time that I read Common Sense (something I’ve wanted to do all along, but haven’t yet gotten around to). I see August as a time when I might indulge my new fascination with the Revolutionary War era….

    I’m beginning to think all of life is ebbs and surges with varying rhythms and intensities. =)

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    • Common Sense wasn’t quite what I always imagined it would be. It’s… well, I’ll let you read it and maybe we can compare reactions afterward. And if you feel inspired, that book Paul Revere’s Ride I was reading a few weeks back is an incredible piece of history from that time as well. A lot of first-hand accounts… very addictive. I couldn’t finish it at the time, but I’ll be borrowing it from the library again soon enough.

      I think you’re right.

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  9. I think I’ll be reading Common Sense in the fall, when the reporting is all caught up and the creative marathon has come and gone and allowed some time to recover. Might check out Paul Revere, too. So far, I’ve been raiding our children’s non-fiction – a lot of basic information and interesting details in kids’ books, so always a good jumping-off point. =)

    I do love first-hand accounts; they’re the best part of history, for me.

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    • “Kid’s Books” are wonderful resources, im(not-so)ho. The biggest issue I have with them is they tend to be very slanted… far more slanted sometimes than the books intended for adults (though those are too–I don’t think there is such a thing as an unslanted view of history). But one has to start somewhere… and as long as it’s clear that there is never just the one “story/perspective” out there, it can be great

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      • That’s why I like to get several children’s books on the same basic topic. For example, If You Were There in 1776 gives a colonial-centric view of the Revolution while Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? is favorable to the British monarch, giving a much clearer view of his life and position than is common in American school histories…it’s notable, maybe, that I bought that one at Saratoga Battlefield, which has a much more balanced approach to this part of history.

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