Archive | October, 2013

Rue, with a difference

26 Oct

For some reason lately I’ve been thinking about the things I will miss.  Not just the past or people who have gone on, but what could have been, not ever being.  Maybe it’s because I was just reminded of my age (one forgets…) when a former classmate died young and everyone (we’re all the same age, having been classmates, you know) started saying, “She was just…” and we all started putting ourselves in her place.  Facing it.

Not that I haven’t faced mortality before.  Kyle died at 35, after 3 long years of imminent death that hung over us daily like the proverbial black cloud.  But 35 is preposterous.  Even fatalists admit that.  It’s beyond comprehension, so one doesn’t dwell on the possibilities.  In fact, I was more concerned at the time about the long years stretching out ahead of me, alone.  To quote Eliot—and I did–:  “I shall be glad of another death.”

 But that’s not my point tonight.  Neither is the fear of my own inevitable demise; to quote a favorite Southerner, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” about that, either.  I was just thinking of the things I would miss.  As Emily put it:  “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”  Bittersweet, that is.  I guess what I am really facing are the realities of what will not come again—or, more accurately, will never come at all.   Time is running but the bright spots on the horizon are receding before us.

 As a self-professed possibilitarian, this is major.

 For example.  I was listening to U2 in the car, singing along on “One” and “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”—and it suddenly occurred to me that I never was going to become friends with the members of my favorite band.  Hang out with The Edge, talk religion and politics with Bono.  Maybe even sing backup (just messing around, not anything official, of course).   Open and walk through that gate I’ve driven past when visiting Dublin, be invited in to peruse the latest lyrics, cup o’ tea, and all that.  None of that is ever going to happen.  Not that I ever really thought it would—but it might have.  (To be honest, I don’t think I ever even thought about it at all—it was just a feeling of something I would enjoy if the universe ever got around to it.)   Just because anything is possible—up to a certain point.  And then, at that certain point, whenever that is (apparently here and now, for some reason), if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s probably not going to happen.  Ever.  That’s what I’m talking about.Image

 Don’t get me wrong—I know I have done more in my 57 years than most people do in twice that time.  I’ve been around the world.  I’ve lived in 7 countries.   1,300 friends on Facebook, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Crossed most things already off my bucket list.  If it was something I wanted, I didn’t sit around and wait for it to happen—I went after it, took it by the horns, made it give me the time of day.  To a point.  Not everything is available.  There are still some complicated protocols that will not be broken down, no matter how hard one tries. 

 And then, there are the people.  Persuasive as one is, one cannot always make the horse drink, so to speak.  Herd the cats.  Get the brutish beasts to see justice and reason—and mercy.  Put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

 But that’s no matter.  Really, of greater importance to me right now, at the moment, is the U2 thing.  Or finding myself alive and well in that persistent sepia daydream:  the sprawling arts-and-crafts cottage somewhere in England or on the Irish coast, lounging in an Adirondack in the back garden under a shedding apple blossomed tree, reading for pleasure, wrapped in a cardigan.  Kittens, of course, tumbling at my feet.  Books written and being written, the initial obstacles of agents and editors already overcome.  And, most heavenly bliss:  no papers to grade—ever.

 I realize I haven’t quite given up on it all yet, either.  I pick up on the “probablies” above, unwilling, even now, to relinquish even the most tenuous hold on the most nebulous of dreams.  Still.

 I do not think Godot will come tonight, but I guess I’ll still leave the window open.  Just a crack.  Winter is coming, after all.

 

 

 

 

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