The following entries (from beginning runner to half marathon finisher) represents a continuing journey of tremendous grief and sorrow, and of transformation - largely through the therapeutic power of running. The sorrow that has broken my heart open wide has in time allowed me to experience the beauty of being in the present moment. And of course, without the support of family and friends to guide me, I would not have made it this far.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
MEMORY'S RAPTUROUS PAIN
Collage depicting my father's death, by Karen Clarkson
A few days after Kristy's death, her friend Catherine sent me this poem. It touched me deeply. As Catherine said, "she (Bronte) describes the pull of memory vs. the pull of everyday life, which I think is a struggle for anyone grieving." Thank you Catherine, you were a true friend to Kristy. She loved you dearly.
COLD in the earth and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Sever'd at last by Time's all-severing wave?
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?
Cold in the earth--and fifteen wild Decembers
From those brown hills have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!
Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!
No later light has lighten'd up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.
But when the days of golden dreams had perish'd,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherish'd,
Strengthen'd and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion--
Wean'd my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?
- Emily Bronte
Today's workout: 5.5 miles on treadmill - skies threaten rain again today.