How To Say Goodbye – Don’t

This is Day 31

Thank you for joining me during the month of October for #write31days. Now that we are ending the series, I am just getting started with this rodeo. Was this a practice drill? Is tomorrow really November 1? More about that later.

To read the series in its entirety, click the page tab at the top of the home page. Spoiler alert, there are not 31 posts. Right, I know, I fell short of the goal. But I don’t really see it that way. More about that later.

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I do not like goodbye’s. Unless I am leaving the DMV or the dentist. But even then I have usually tried to connect with someone in the place and have done some sort of bonding, making it difficult to leave. So goodbye’s, I am not a fan. When I say bonding, I mean I hope I have gotten past how are you’s and how is the weather’s. I am a digger. Though I try to be gentle. If we were having coffee I would be gently going deeper in conversation rather than keeping it superficial.

If you are a regular reader here, it is rare to hear me speak. Usually its a lot of poetry. And I like it that way, but today is a horse of a different color and I am feeling a bit chatty, sentimental and having a difficult time saying goodbye to this series.

Perhaps it is because I am struggling to say goodbye to my beloved old English Lab who is hanging around this thin veil of living and leaving. It is painful and yet there are moments laced with such tender beauty. I am clinging to the moments and praying for a miracle. I am seeing signs of love and life and glory tinged on the edges of her illness. The tail wags, a barometer of life. She rolls on her back and lets me rub her sweet spot, an indicator of emotion. And the food? If she can still eat her beloved peanut butter treats, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon (she says hopefully and expectantly).

So perhaps saying goodbye is best when we focus on the hellos, the gratitude, the blessings of the life and life experiences rather than the void. I do not know how to say goodbye’s well. So do not listen to me. But as I map out the end of this series I want to focus on gratitude.

My best goodbye is a big hello, thank you, blessings on your head.

If you have read here for a season, you have come across my words on aging and dementia. This is a theme of sorts  in my life as I walk through this confusing disease with my mother. It is a journey of discovery. Of pain and joy. Of surprise and disappointment. I do not want to say goodbye to who she was before dementia, I choose to say hello to who she is becoming every day within the new paradigm of her life, aging with dementia. Hello, thank you, blessings.

I want to choose to embrace the moment, savor the moment and declare the gratitude in the moment.

I guess the best goodbye is a hello till later.

Maybe that’s the best I can do on this Day 31. I hope this is hello. I hope this is see you in November. And I hope you will be around for the book. Because the book is coming, I  trust the timing. And no, I do not know the details, I just know my heart’s desire on the matter. And I hope you will help me explore the newsletter and join me if it is birthed and takes off.

So this is my postcard from me for today. Hello, thank you, bless you, warmly, e.

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If I have met you through this series, thank you. If you have subscribed to the blog to follow my writing during October, thank you.

I hope to see you in November and all the months ahead.

I am dreaming of a weekly newsletter which contains writing that would not be found on my blog. If you think this sounds interesting, intriguing or has any merit at all, drop a comment in the comment box and say, “I MIGHT be interested in that”. And if you are subscribing, you will hear me announce here a place to sign up if I go forward with it. I think a newsletter may be fun for all of us. (Rather than a second blog.) Yes, I did mention that as an option earlier this week.

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The Dream Of The Waiting Soil: A Guest Post — Laura Boggess

Today is Day 30. Welcome. I am NOT ready for this series to end. Perhaps you are. Just as I’m getting into the groove it is time to wind down this October writing challenge. I am just being honest. I think that is important. Don’t you. 

Please join me tomorrow for what will be the last day of this series. I am still scheming and dreaming of how to say goodbye. Or how to pull the curtain. Or how to build a bridge to November. if you’d like to receive posts in your inbox (they slip in quietly without much fuss), click on the tab marked Subscriber at the top of the page. But of course, you already knew that.

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I am so honored to have my writer, blogger, friend, Laura Boggess guest posting today. Laura was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I began my writing journey in the land of the “interwebs”. And she was one of the first bloggers I had the sincere pleasure of meeting in real life. Yes I have looked directly into her beautiful blue eyes, into her soul. And she is a treasure. A gifted word weaver and a very gentle lady.
Enjoy Laura here. And then treat yourself to a copy of her new book, “Playdates With God”.

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I spend the mornings in the flowers–cutting back, pulling up, raking out. I’m late this year–the frost already thick on the grass when the sun drops the diamonds of first light. My mother-in-law told me to wait; let the birds glean what they will, she said. And they did. The coneflower is dry as straw, the Black-eyed Susans blink. All the color is gone from the garden. The brittle browns and faded rusts shush me as they rub together in the wind.

I rake leaf remains out from around tubers–their subtle reds and golds like scattered gems. The thick bans of iris greens break easily with fingers. I smooth around their fibrous heads, let them breathe. Already the leaves have started to make rich compost–the soil underneath fragrant and dark. I breathe deep its heady scent, close my eyes and dig fingers in the cool moist.

This afternoon the robins are in a frenzy over my newly cleared soil. I watch from the window as they hastily march back and forth amongst the stubby remains of my garden. It looks so clean. The mulch around the dormant clumps of green holds such promise. I wrap my arms around my sides–hug close this seed that strains against the dark soil of my heart. Yesterday the first snowbirds came calling. You are too early, I said to them, through the glass of the kitchen window. I watched them pick at the ground for stray seeds, rosy beaks and slate feathers speaking the horizon of scant days.

When i was in the seventh grade I wrote an essay about what I want to be when I grow up. Mr. Kovalan, our English teacher, assigned us a theme every week. It was my favorite thing about school. Each week I looked forward to discovering what topic he would put before us. Mr. Kovalan never said much, but his comments on my themes always encouraged me. This is very well written, he might pen. Or: A very good story. There wasn’t much I was good at, but Mr. Kovalan helped me see that telling stories was something I could do. But this one? What did I want to be? A girl like me didn’t have a lot of choices. A girl like me rarely left the hollow. I thought long and hard about it.

When Mr. Kovalan graded my essay, he left me with few words.

Your choice surprises me.

That was all he said. That dear, dear man.

It was the first time I thought that maybe I could be more. That maybe…maybe there was more than what I know.

When I was in seventh grade I learned to dream the dream of the waiting soil.

I am a sleeping garden. I dream of shoots of green breaking through earth with pointed fingers. A glimpse of sky rests on my memory–white on blue with golden hues. in darkness the dream speaks hope into the night.
In the darkness the garden becomes a thing of expectation–of sleeping joy.

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Author of the newly-released Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, Laura Boggess lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is a content editor for TheHighCalling.org  and blogs at lauraboggess.com. Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter. Laura’s book is available on Amazon.

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There Is No End In Sight

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Welcome to Day 29. To read all posts published in this series, click the page tab marked at the top of this home page. Thank you for joining me. Always. Grateful. e

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There Is No End In Sight

It is better this way

Not knowing if I will sit with you in your suffering
For hours or days
The clock promises to keep this secret from me
From us
To
Guard time
Hoard it or release it in copious amounts
Along with hope

It is an act of mercy
Unlike my strong grip on you

There is no end in sight
Steadfast in love
I rub you and hold you
Shallow breathes
Breathe hot hope across the
Kitchen floor

You are slipping from me

nose to nose
paw to hand
fur to skin

The only difference is you are close to leaving me

Show me when to let you go
You always knew
Contentment in the midst of suffering
Perhaps you earned the moniker

Best friend
Of man
And woman

Please stay and love us a little
Longer, while
There is no end in sight

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sunflower for pikmonkey

Pulling Up To The Fuel Docks

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Welcome to Day 28. I have been absent for quite awhile from this series. Guess I have some explaining to do. Or perhaps the break in my writing, the quiet space which appeared in the midst of this challenge, will be revealed within my words. Over time. As Rest pours into the blank spaces and starts to tell her story.

I missed it here. And I actually did not rest much. In fact things got a little frenzied. But all good.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. To read the series in its entirety, click the page tab at the top of this home page. If you wish to receive posts as they are published, it would be my pleasure to have you choose to subscribe. ( I have extra life preservers on board so there are plenty for everyone to come aboard. )

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I have so many words to spill out onto the page here.

So many, in fact,  I am even considering starting another blog. Which is the height of irony given the fact that I can’t seem to “keep up” with a predictable rhythm, a consistent ebb and flow, a regular output of ink from my little inkwell of poetry and prose.

Rest from art while diving into the the living of life is a bit like a refueling. If I were one of the shrimp boats that are docked down at the end of my street, I would consider my short respite as that. A docking. A refueling. A break from rocking around on the high seas. A necessary time of idle in the port of change.

So thank you for staying. For coming again. For dipping into poetry and prose with me. And for coming here with an air of hope and expectancy that the words will be a human connector. That the art may possibly, on a good day, be worthy of your time. That the shared experiences of living and documenting our living help us all see in new ways. Open the window to wonder. Crack the door open anew to beauty. Shine light on the poetry of our lives.

So as I gather my thoughts and refocus on my craft, I guess this is a thank you for not jumping ship. For staying on board and for hanging around. For enjoying the possibility that poetry has to enrich  each one of our lives. For saying yes to looking at life through the lens of another.

That discovering anew the wonder which hides in the folds of life is often the result of looking through the lens of a fellow artist. Sojourner. Traveler.

And if you are wondering. And in case you’d like to ask. I have decided not to lean into the guilt or shame of a missed goal of writing everyday in October.

Because I have grown to trust the rhythms of wait and rest. Of idyll and slow. Of deep breathing and grace.

And of trust. That the best things often come as a by-product of waiting. That beauty is born in the quiet. And that those who stand with you and by you while you bob and weave, teeter and fall, wax and wane, are those who will see the fruit born from the times of want.

Grateful to have you tagging along. Pulling up my nets for the night. And looking for treasures lodged in the hidden places. The mystery. The discovery. The poetry.

Till tomorrow. A brand new day. Day 29, a day of poetry.

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Joining Laura Boggess for #playdates

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