SEE NOW, DAMN! It’s past 11:55pm and this entry has now posted on December 31, 2012 instead of the 30th, the date under which I’d hoped it’d be listed. Well, oops! Late again. That’s because of the Jack Daniels, I suppose, a return to a nasty tasty old habit of the 80s. That and the candlelight and the poetry reading with which Susan and I spent the evening because the difficulties of ailing elders and questions of mortality and communitarianism and the future became too emotionally charged to bear.
Here in New Paltz for the holiday and celebration with friends. It’s a very quiet night. The snow piled high outside. Bone chilling cold. But cozy in jammies and sweatshirt and covers. Grieving over the prospect of leaving my beloved New York in 10 days to rush back to the coast. I want to be there, my best coast, the west coast. I want to be here, my Atlantic destiny. But there is this crisis my family and I are facing. Well, not crisis as much as the inevitability of separation and loss.
New Paltz is sedate, at least in this neighborhood, although I’m sure it’s hoppin’ in town. The college students are probably tearing it up. But me, I got my jammies on and I’m listening to trance music in the hopes of coasting off to sleep. Before I can think too much. Before I start to get re-obsessed with the careworn care of care taking and the aching of separation and loss. You said that already, Joanie.
A fair exchange is no reward, my friend Lo-Eye says, quoting her dear departed friend. A truer group of words was never said. Whatever is whatever. It is what it is. Oh-blah-di. All saying the same thing. Che sera, sera. What will be will be. We are in this boat and it’s set sail.
I don’t mean to sound mysterious. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that my life has changed radically because of my father’s declining health. The time is coming. My family and I are gathering our forces. Linking across the globe, my middle brother Carl and his wife Annie in England now visiting her family, and then back to Zurich with them. But in February they’ll be in L.A. Hopefully we will all be there together. Every day matters. You said that already, Joanie.
Every day matters, don’t mistake that. Every day matters, so cherish each one as if it were your last. Or your first. Living backwards or forwards, one still will reach the endpoint. The event horizon. Trance music will overtake you and the universe will embrace you and you will mesh with some Star Trekkian, Dickensian, Beckettian, Shakespearian epic that transcends anything you could have hoped to experience. You is me. We will all face the dissolve. A fair exchange for the careworn world we have lived in to that point. The struggle, the heartbreak, the pain, the disappointment. And also the passion, the success, the achievement. The boredom. The faith. The cynicism. The aching of separation and loss. All of it. And again, Joanie, you’ve said it already.
But nothing is lost. As a life begins, a life ends. As the old year ends, a new one begins. There’s nothing to fear. Not even tomorrow. Not even Picasso. Not even the dropping of the crystal ball.