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.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

inside Beach Bunny's head

it’s been 18 months now, plus another week. i still cry a little bit every night during my prayers. even if i sleep i wake up and for the first few minutes, i already feel drained. another day without Dragon. my beautiful, handsome Dragon.

i responded to a comment in the last post. a person complimented my site. she thought it was pretty and “inspiring.” it gave me a little boost in confidence. artists always like it when someone likes what they do. anyway, i responded that here, on this site, i can do whatever i want because i control it all, colors, photos, content, etc. it’s all me. it’s a little glimpse of what it’s like being inside my head and i suddenly remembered an email from my Dragon during one of his little “out of town” trips to save the world; i always called them that. Dragon signal hits the clouds in the night sky and off he’d have to go. actually it was a phone call but it’s part of what goes on inside my head.

he used to be amazed at what i would do or say. do not think i am off on an ego trip. he and my children are the only ones who get amazed at what i do or say. he’d be caught off guard for a moment but then he’d smile and maybe even hug me, kiss the top of my head. “I love living inside your head.”

i got an email through my business website, the site that the link for is over there on the right. this woman loves my photography. that’s the word she used. "Loves." i like that word. my Dragon always loved everything i did. we’d be out somewhere and i’d be taking pictures and he’d say, “What do you see?” i’d laugh a little and say, “you’re looking at it, too.”

“Not the way you do. I can hardly wait to see it again on the computer when you upload your shots. It's inside your head. I love being inside your head.”

i think every devoted couple have a language all their own. they have little things they say that show their attachment, the bond they feel to their spouse. my Dragon's was, "I love living inside your head" and he always called me his "bride." "My lovely bride."

anyway, this woman wants to buy some of my photographs so i have been a little busy setting up a new website for a gallery to display a lot of my photographs. i have to put watermarks across them, which is taking time. the money isn’t huge for my photographs, but it’s something. every little bit helps. i am kinda proud. i used to have prints of my photographs along with my sculptures in a little shop on Bearskin Neck but the lady closed her shop after her husband died out on the ocean in a storm. they never found him. that kind of pain horizons anything i feel, i think, because i can go over to my urn and touch it's coolness. her husband was a lobsterman. and like me now, she went to live near her daughter far away from the ocean. i think she has a different perspective of the ocean than i do. i feel such deep empathy for her. i think that woman from time to time. i wish i knew how to get in touch with her to see how she’s doing. she had faith in my artwork and together, she and i made a little bit of money. i sent an email to one of the Library Ladies so see if she knows how i can find her.

as i leave the fog of shock and devastation of my Dragon’s death, i am remembering more and more details of my former life. bDd. before Dragon's death. memories are swirling around me like the warmth of a fire after coming in from shoveling snow. i like this feeling right now. i liked looking through my photos the last couple of days working to set up my photography website. it has brought me so many memories of being with my Dragon, of being inside his head.

when i got my Cube of Love from my daughter, even though my place is a shrine to my Dragon, i carried it everywhere. i love those photos. they comprise the few of the two of us together. when i walked to the registration desk on Friday of Camp Widow, i saw my Dragon’s Tribute Tile. i wanted it. right then. i wanted to touch it. Saturday night i couldn’t wait a moment longer. i asked Dan if he would go get it for me. he did and he really has no idea how much i thank him for that. a simple act of kindness and yet i was too nervous to do it for myself. i wanted it so badly and he went and got it for me, and i haven’t let it go..... you can see.

Dragon watches his Bunny start work on a new dragon handkerchief while her
Cube of Love and Dragon Tribute Tile sit close by.

Dragon closely watches his Beach Bunny set up a photo of "Sock" Beach Bunny.
Dragon thinks his Bunny is creative. he can't wait to see what she sees.

"Sock" Beach Bunny with her Cube of Love and Dragon Tribute Tile.

i’ll leave you with this little story of us.

i am a scavenger, or i was when i walked the beaches or climbed the rocks. i would go by myself a couple of times a day while Dragon did his international work ~ computer and phones. i would stack what i wanted to work with in a pile and when he was done, he’d come down to find me and he’d help me haul it all back. well, this one day, i called him and said, “bring the truck.” he laughed.

i had found this great lobster trap that the water hadn’t bashed too badly. it was so heavy. when he got to the beach and saw it, he checked me over. first my boots. nope, they were dry. but my jeans were wet. he huffed and hurried over. yes, i had taken off my boots and socks to wade a little ways into the water to get the trap. my jeans were very wet and i was starting to shiver. and yes, this was after the Great Hypothermia Incident. it was early Spring and the water was still very cold. he didn't get mad but i know he tsk tsk'ed in his head.

lobster traps are heavy and with all the seaweed on this one, it weighed a ton. i had a sack of shells and sand dollars and other stuff, too. he made me sit in the truck with the heater on. he was nice enough to only mutter that i should have waited on him. then he kissed me on the nose and went to throw the trap and all the driftwood and line i had collected in the back of the truck.

i sold the trap after i got it all cleaned up did things to it. i used copper wire and wrapped shells all around it. the door was bent open and my Dragon offered to bend it back for me but instead i made a stuffed blue lobster and put him just inside, claws out, as if he were escaping from the trap. i embroidered a big smile on his face and a “tattoo” that said “mother” inside a heart on the part of him just before the claw. on his tail i embroidered the name i gave him, “Houdini.”

my Dragon laughed when i told him i was surprised it had sold. he said, “Love, it’s just someone else who wants a little bit of what goes on inside your head. But that’s all they can have, because your head is mine and only I get to live there.”

i miss him so much. 18 months feels like 18 years and that's terrible to say. i feel so overwhelmed with sorrow at the thought that i will never hear him say, "This is my lovely bride." i will never hear him say, "I love living inside your head."

but like the photos of Bunny i set up to put with this posting, i believe he hangs out a bit with me. i think he may have gotten inside my head enough to know what i am doing now. i think he wouldn't think i am silly to have pictures of him all over the apartment and yet need to put my Cube of Love and my Dragon Tribute Tile near me when i sew or write, and then take them back into the bedroom every night.

i very much miss him. he is everything to me. but i do have good company in my two little Scotties. they are my constant companions. they watch me sew, write, cook, take a shower, watch Survivorman marathons, and they sleep beside me every night.

Bunny and her Babies.
all i need is for them to cooperate and give me time to set up Dragon on the sofa behind us.
sigh. in a perfect world.


Mrs P said...

This site IS beautiful. One thing you said really struck me was bDd. It's crazy how life is now separating to before and after our loves death, isn't it? Sigh...

womanNshadows said...

Mrs. P, i just read your profile and you will be in my thoughts and prayers from now on. my Dragon is a Marine, Force Recon ~ there's no such thing as "was" in the Corps. my daughter and son-in-law found the Dragon in his Marine Dress Blues so i use him with Bunny for my little creative scenarios. i would not trade anything for our life together even though he had to "go" at times. he is now, as they say, deployed to Heaven. thank you for stopping by and leaving a kind word. Semper Fi.

Anonymous said...

My Dear womanNshadows,

I'm so glad to see you back to writing. I love the new shots. The letter at the top is one that takes me back to some of our conversations while we were "out." He loved your mind as well as your heart. You fascinated him. I'm glad your memories are bringing you warm feelings. I hope you keep working your way closer to the peace you write about and wish for others. Your dogs are cute. Maybe one day you and I will meet and I can take you to the ocean you miss so much, you and your little dogs.

Semper Fi, Dear Lady,

Dan, in real time. said...

This was a great post. I don't think people often understand that all the wonderful creations, be they photos, or other beautiful things like you make, are just that, reflections of what is in your head.

A few days ago I was reading you blog, and my 16 year old son sat next to me. He was amazed at how beautiful your blog is. He turned to me and said he didn't know you could do such things on blogger. I told him there are many ways to create a page that represents you and how you feel. He said I should make my blog look like that. Obviously he thought mine to be less superior to yours. LOL. Anyway, I told him that you are an artist, and that is why it is so creative.

I think it is important for others to also appreciate your willingness to be so vulnerable here. You express yourself honestly, and beautifully. Today I was sharing with some of my family members that I still cry every night for Michael. They looked at me with shock, and empathy. I don't think people realize just how painful this is, and how difficult it is to maintain composure all the time.

Keep doing what you are doing. I am really looking forward to your photography website. It is a brilliant idea.


Suddenwidow said...

So glad that you are back writing and working on your quilt. I was outside a little while ago and thought of you while looking at the almost full moon. I'm excited to see your new photography site! That's so great!! I'm happy to read that memories of bDd are warm and comforting to you and helping find new creative outlets, like your photography site. Your site is beautiful and you are so talented. I'm glad you're able to see it.

Peace to you.

Boo said...

I cried when I read this post because for the first time I saw that you got a glimpse of yourself the way your Dragon, your children, and I see you. I can only draw stickmen, seriously, so I am in awe of your artwork. When you took the photo of the seagull in San Diego and you showed it to me, I was amazed at how wonderful it looked on camera. The way YOU see it I guess :-)

Congrats on the photo commission, that is the best news and well deserved. This made my day.

I am proud of you xx

bev said...

Congratulations with the photography work - may it be the beginning of much more to come. As everyone has commented above, you are a wonderfully talented artist. It's important that you allow that creativity to flow. Good luck with the photo work and the new website!

womanNshadows said...

Dan, thank you, especially for saying that it's okay to express myself. i can only be me. it's so tiring to be someone else. i think it's okay to still cry a bit every day. it's a release.

Deb, i'm working on my own quilt and a new dragon handkerchief. i am trying to see what my Dragon saw. i fell off the trail there from Aug 1st until just a day or two ago, but i think i will be okay. i am working on it.

Boo, thank you for liking my art and for the congrats. i just like to look, at everything around me that is so beautiful but will be gone so quickly, and then translate it into something that will last forever.

Bev, thanks. i have to do things the way i see them or feel they need to come out. it's the only way i know to express myself.

i'll post the address of the new site when i get it up and running. thank you all for reading and leaving "love notes?" yeah, i like the sound of that. peace and love to you all.

Post a Comment