My half-open eyes see a cathedral in the darkness of my bedroom before I realize I am home. I hear the first notes of birdsong as the light peaks over the horizon and I float with them across the ocean to another land I also call home. What was familiar seems out of place and old routines lie in a jumble on the floor. In my first week home I lost cash, my spare prescription glasses, and my patience while driving. One of the few things that feels grounding is returning to lap swimming. Somehow the fluidity of water settles me. Crossing the threshold home after Sojourning with Grief has brought me into an old place with new eyes. The familiar is now unfamiliar. I am disoriented.
I’ll be honest, Thanksgiving was not easy this year. Oh, it ended on an upbeat note as I enjoyed dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend at his extended family’s home, but it began with the ever present reminder that my ninety-year old mother is declining and any expectations need to be set aside in order to meet her where she is in any given moment. I am on my own grief journey with her through Alzheimer’s and what a holiday looked like last year, or the year before, or a decade ago, can not be reproduced in 2017 like a Facebook memory.
When I was working with my webpage designer, Barbara Keany, we knew what business related pages were needed (i.e. “about,” “services,” “connect” and a “blog” to give the site movement.) As I worked on the content, she offered great advice on layout and design as I had no clue how to enter into this world of social media. I did know what I liked and didn’t like about how other webpages “felt” to me, and that was a guiding principle as the site unfolded on our journey together toward the “launch”. However I also knew I wanted to take a risk and add a page for my “poet self,” this increasingly demanding internal voice that was refusing to sit in the quiet any longer. She has made appearances at other times throughout my life, but not with the same roar and intensity.