Sunday, January 23, 2011

Through The Looking Glass

Photo credit: anitapatterson from

Yesterday morning I sent a link to my friend, Jim. I can't post the picture here, but you can go have a look at it. I love it. The woman reminds me a lot of his wife, Peggy, and I thought the play of it looked like something Jim would be tickled by.

He never replied. And he won't. Yesterday Jim stepped into another... well, who knows, really? World? Reality? It could be anything. He's gone beyond. He died.

I know people die. They do it all the time. And in my sensible and mythical minds this makes sense. ( I have several minds... cerebral multitasking.) Just in the practical sense, we need to die to make room since other people keep being born. And things do wear out, after all. And the part of me that lives mythtically knows that we live and die in mystery, and the dying is just another part of the living. Maybe the greater portion. My sense is that what comes after this is so expansive that we just can't take these old cells with us. They'd just explode with the hugeness. Someday each of us will know.

But in the mind of me that still appears able to form attachments, it hurts like hell and is WRONG WRONG WRONG. I didn't want him to go so soon. Someday, in 20 years, I would have accepted this. Maybe. Maybe a person never gets used to it. Maybe that's why you see so much immobility in the faces of the elderly. Frozen grief.

Damn it! I was planning to visit someday. You promised me a hand-made basket this year. I was making you a quilt. I WASN'T READY.

Your family. I don't know what to say. That much pain... there's no holding it. You just bow down and let it keep waving over you. Someday the waves diminish, become a river, and then a stream. Someday it's a pool, and you look into it and watch the reflections and touch it with your finger to see the ripples spread on the glassy mirror.

When I step through that glass myself, I hope Jim will be there to stretch out his hand and help me through. Jim and many others. Those met, and those unmet. Worlds and worlds and worlds.

Until then, Jim, I MISS YOU. Safe journey, lots of love. You were a wonder, and I'm proud to have been your friend. If you can, stop by and inspire me now and then.


Mary Anne said...

I miss him too. I've been looking a lot today at the things I have that are connected to him. The sweater I made from the fur of Rocky and Pearl, his old dogs. The pine needle basket he made. He said he started making baskets after I had tried to teach him to knit and he just couldn't get it. So he took his frustration over knitting and turned it into beautiful baskets instead. Just a couple of days ago I was telling a friend about the time I was over at Jim and Peg's and we were eating hummus and chips out in the yard and my big galoot of a lab, Cooper, tossed a slobbery pine cone right in the middle of the bowl of hummus. Many years later, when Cooper died, Peggy made a big bowl of hummus, Jim put a pine cone in it, and they toasted my goofy old dog. Sweeter friends you couldn't find. And he had such an eye for the artistic and the absurd things in life, and the gift of weaving a good story. Yup, I miss him too.

Madcap said...

I really wish I'd known him in the flesh (so to speak), as well as online. If I'm feeling a loss like this, your loss must be immense. That's a great story about the dog!

arcolaura said...

Jim touched so many of us, so deeply. I started to write a song (as I so often do) but then what surfaced was one of my oldest songs, that seemed to fit, so I dropped everything and took myself and my recording gear down to the piano and caught what I could. It will be my tribute, when I clear some time to tidy up the tracks and post it.

Thinking of you. Lots of love.

Madcap said...

Thank you Laura. It's amazing the amount of attachment that we can generate through our conversations in this space.

You take care. I'll be waiting to listen when you've got it posted.

kiwi said...

I just read your post! I am stunned and shocked - and my heart aches for Jim's family. We lived literally a world apart - but I learned from him and felt I knew him a little. He was someone special. Rest in Peace Jim - and go easy now. xx

Madcap said...

Yes, stunned is how I felt too, when I first heard. He was certainly a very special man, and I'm so glad I met him, and so sorry that he went so early.