#20. Grief is a Chameleon
The longer you look at it, the trippier it gets until it just... is. At certain angles, things begin to make sense. Then all sense is gone again. I try not to think until I'm done, and even after. Speaking of nonsense and nonthinking, I feel compelled to share the second agreement (of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, beginning p. 13) as a gently and lovingly suggested reading.
Grief is, among other things, a chameleon.
It's as simple and as complicated as that.
Something happens--a loss-- and here comes grief to climb upon your branches, wrap its tail in place, and stay a while. Or forever.
Grief fascinates and scares me, the way you never seem to have a say,
the way it comes and goes in whistles and waves,
and yet it's always a straight shot to the truth.
They say that grief remains the same size and that we just grow around it,
like weeds that find their way to the sun through a crack in the cement.
Whether you have time for (the illusion of) preparing for it, or (usually) not,
grief is thrust upon you, becomes a part of you as it takes something for itself,
an empty ribcage.
An exercise in joining,
Grief takes on many forms,
hides in plain sight,
becomes a bag,
It grows older
An exercise in juxtaposition,
Grief is action, inaction
and too quiet
too much and too little
an alarm clock set to all hours though there is no sleep left to interrupt,
wanting to be held and
to be left alone,
drowning in tears
on a barren desert,
the deep bass of the drumbeat
the whispery buzz of the gnat
the bare brush of static
the world and its weight collapsing on you
all at the same time.
How, then, is anyone to survive?
If grief is a chameleon and a chameleon changes color
then surely it can latch on to a single thread of silver lining
and from that thread, a rope,
Grief becomes a tether.
First everything becomes a somehow-
Grief is pause and possibility.
Grief takes the place and fills the space of new absence,
our connection to what has gone ahead
a bridge to nowhere
but where we know
that Grief is
the wound and the scar
the blending of
and there's what we do with it
or what we don't.
Grief is love, they say, without a place to go.
Not so, I say.