how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

widow's web

i was leaving a comment for Boo and when i write, it just falls out. i don't have anything set in my head to say. i don't have any idea of how to comfort someone. i say what i say to myself, what i tell myself to try and give myself grief counseling since i cannot find it or afford it.

if you heard me talk, you'd have this little epiphany, "hey, she writes like she talks." so i was writing to Boo and mentioned that we were weaving widow's webs. and my eyes fell onto a quilt i had made from scraps that i needed to get rid of. too many tiny pieces to really do anything with but i hate tossing things like bits of floss and fabric.

i remember vividly making this quilt. i had finished it just two months before my Dragon died. he would watch me sew. he loved watching. he'd say, "we'll be warm because of your magic needle." i'd laugh because only he carried the magic. he was the one who made my "magic tea" that always appeared because he watched over me and knew when it was gone. i'd be in what he called the "artist state of mind" and put the pitcher back empty or murmur, "i need to make more." but he would smile and do it. "i just like doing little things for you. i can't give you a castle but i can make your tea."

he had all the magic. he could entice a woman in the shadows out into sunlight with just his smile. he had found all the broken pieces of me and was putting them back together, like one of those structurally difficult 3D puzzles. i told him that once. i told him putting me back together was like putting the one of Notre Dame Cathedral together. he told me he liked my "flying buttresses."

see there. i went off on a tangent. i do that all the time and my Dragon would just sit and listen. when his smile got really big, i knew i had gotten off on a tangent. he'd say, "it's okay. somehow you always come back to point. keep going. this is fascinating." so back to sewing. i always sewed. when my friends were being drafted and going off to Vietnam, i wrote to them and included bits of sewing. i'd make cutoffs from my jeans and would cut up the legs into pieces and embroider flowers, peace signs, hearts, and words like "home," "you are loved," and silly teenage girl stuff like that.

and now i sew quilts. not just the Memory Quilts. i sew baby quilts, crazy quilts, embroider clothes, make denim skirts out of blue jeans. you want it. i can probably make it. it's what i do. i certainly have the time. my Dragon isn't here to entice me away.

i'm all alone now. they took him from me. no, that's negative thinking and i can't afford to break myself apart. i have a bowl with the remaining pieces of me that my Dragon hadn't had time to put together and i staunchly refuse to break what he repaired. but i do have a huge hole in my heart and nothing can fix it. only him. only the sight of his face. only the smell of his skin. only the touch of his hands. only his kisses.

so i sew. "a needle pulling thread. la. a note to follow sew." that's me. i'm the "la" that follows "sew." i'm sewing a widow's web over the top of that bowl with the rest of me in it. i'm taking it with me when i die so i can sit with him and he can finish putting me back together. and i'm also weaving a widow's web over that hole in my heart. i don't want all his love to leak out when i'm asleep, or have someone come and try to take it from me with harsh words that i'm too exhausted to fight against.

i love him and he loves(ed) me. to reference an Air Supply song, he "made love out of nothing at all." and that takes more magic than anything i possess or will ever be able to make.


Boo said...

you say you do not know how to comfort someone. But, oh you do. The dragon has left you with some of his magic.

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to hear you say that you refuse to let what he mended to become broken again ... a few months ago you would probably have not written or thought that was possible. But it is ... with his magic and your needle. He was right - the needle you hold is magic. It weaves comfort for all of is, in the thread of your quilts and your words.

Don't stop believing in the magic just because your Dragon is somewhere else waiting for you, he will save you a place, he still loves you and he has left his magic with you.

womanNshadows said...

a teary, "thank you, Boo." sigh.

Widow in the Middle said...

I am truly awestruck by the power and beauty of your words, which convey so much within them. Your posts are always very deep and contain multiple levels. I find after reading them that they haunt me (in a good way) for a long while afterward. You inspire me to think and process in new ways/directions and that is pretty magical in my opinion.

I wasn't surprised to learn that you were using your art to convey your concern/care to your friends as a young woman. You are even accomplishing that now with your posts and the memory quilts you are making. I know I have told you before but it takes an extremely magical/wonderful person to be able to give to others in the face of their own profound grief. Some people will leave this world without ever having reached the level you have attained in giving unselfishly and from the heart.

Your Dragon helped you mend and heal but you too had a hand in that. You had to be strong, determined, insightful, willing to face the past as well as the present, grounded and ready, to name just a few of the qualities you have embraced with the Dragon by your side and now.

I agree with Boo that he left his magic with you and that you are drawing on it now. But I also think that some of that magic includes the very special combined energy of your love and your resolve and fortitude. I would mention that word survivor right now but I hate it when people say it to me.

So just know that the magic you describe comes out in your words, as I am sure it does in your quilts. And that I think it is a magnificent blend of love and faith, as well as a strong dash of all that you are - an incredible woman and individual!

womanNshadows said...

thank you, Widow in the Middle i don't really know what to say other than that.

judemiller1 said...

Your blog continues to bring profound feelings into my life. I am in awe of the way you express yourself.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I am looking at a broad expanse of blue. It's filled with beauty and life, and it's deep.

Isn't the internet your sea, darling? You'll always have that.

(though I wish I could buy you a little cottage, too).

Thanks for all you do to make others' lives richer.



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