Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Morning

A friend shared a poem with me this morning, Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens.  A poem about religious uncertainty, it is achingly beautiful, and I wept as I read it. 

My grief over my brother has been both incredibly lonely and oddly mystical.  The loneliness comes from the night time being my worst time of the day.  I lay in bed and cry myself to sleep without my husband to hold me and smooth the hair from my face where it sticks to my wet cheeks.  At least when the sun is up, I can call my friend in San Diego  and receive her invaluable counsel.  I remember this feeling when I grieved the hardest with my mother, when I felt like being alone was the absolute scariest position in which to be.  I also remember the cognitive distortion that everyone I love will leave this earth before me, and only I will remain. 

The mystical part of this grief is that it has a life of its own, like the Babadook in the movie.   It stalks my bed at night and the living room, specifically the far right side of our sectional couch.  I only sit there occasionally, in the dark, with a glass of any liquid.  We likely all have our favorite spots on our couches, but this one is my grieving spot.  The window's placement allows me to stare outside and contemplate what it means to feel pain this deeply.  I also have a writing spot, which I am sitting in now.      

I will one day explore the religious uncertainty of the poem from a view point not tinged by my overwhelming grief, and I expect to see something different then.  Perhaps something poignant about the feeling of a Sunday morning to an atheist that does not seek fellowship and liturgy with the majority of the rest of the world.   The way a Sunday morning can feel dreadful, lazy, full of promise, or silent. 

Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul. 

It was that stanza that brought forth the tears.  My mother died in summer, and that date is fast approaching.  My brother died in spring, and I have a little less than a year to prepare for that anniversary.  Winter is a fairly unremarkable time for me, but just the nature of the dreary weather can cause changes in my mood.   Winter is a depressing season all on its own. 

We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night, 

These lines also brought forth emotion.  My rhythms of day and night are scattered right now.  Some days drag on and on and blend together.  Some nights are short, full of distressing dreams I can't interpret, while other nights feel like what I imagine my brother's last hours must have felt like.  I depend on the sun and moon to tell me when to sleep and when to rise, both bring order to the chaos of my grief. 

The poem is cathartic, just as writing this has been.  I will spend some of my evening tonight searching for more catharses in written word or music.   

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