Saturday, September 29, 2018

When will this strong yearning end?

Weekend in New England

Last night I waved goodbye,
Now it seems years
I'm back in the city
Where nothing is clear
But thoughts of me holding you,
Bringing us near

And tell me, when will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you again

Time in New England
Took me away
To long rocky beaches
And you by the bay
We started a story
Whose end must now wait

And tell me, when will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you again

I feel the change comin'
I feel the wind blow
I feel brave and daring
I feel my blood flow
With you I could bring out
All the love that I have
With you there's a heaven,
So earth ain't so bad

And tell me, when will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end?
And when will I hold you

This is the song I almost couldn't find. It needed a post of its own, not to be tacked on to a piece about garden snails! When I set out to find a good YouTube version to post here, I heard ten-year-olds sing it on those big splashy TV talent shows, and even if they could hit all the notes (always over-decorated, as all singing is now), they fell flat because they had never experienced ANY of this. They simply had no idea what they were singing about. Most were too strident, too screamy, and trying too hard to get a "wow" effect, a thumbs-up or high-five or whatever these people get when they win on those shows. They were all getting in the way of the song.

I finally found this one, presumably by an amateur, but exceptionally well sung, so I used it. A simple karaoke version, sung by someone I've never heard of, a man who has a Malaysian accent. It came closest to what I was hearing in memory. Now that I hear it again, the sweet overtones in his voice are phenomenal, not anything that can be created by a machine. 

It was in the middle of all this listening that the line, "When will I hold you again?" triggered something, and I began to sob. It was like a cloudburst, just unexpected, out of nowhere, except that it was somewhere. My dear friend David, someone I loved for 27 years, died two months ago, and it has been a strange time as I've passed in and out of the revolving door of grief. And this is the first time I have cried.

I wondered why I hadn't, but I knew there was no schedule for it, no timetable for any of it, because grief is its own country and has to be traversed, travelled through. The ground is bumpy, rocky, with sheer drops. There are oases, green spaces. But these are only lavish memories, things which now must be stored away, without the presence of the one who meant so much to you.

So it's over.

When will I see you again? Never. It's not enough in the mind's eye. Memories are not enough. Right now I feel shredded, as if my heart has been through a mower.

He may have been the one person in my whole life who "got" me, quite apart from people in my family whom I know love and accept me with all my quirks. But he was what L. M. Montgomery called "of the race that knows Joseph", more than kindred, even though he wasn't kin. No one "got" me more than David, ever, and vice-versa, and it lasted for years, and years, and years, through everything.

This is pain, intense pain, and though I don't want it, I have known people who have traversed all of life and never once felt this, this heart-torn-out feeling, snapped strings dangling. I feel sorry for them, safely entombed while their hearts are still beating. They tend to die relatively young, and leave a bad trail, strewn with fragments from the casual damage of others.

I don't know what to do now, and the rest of the day will be lousy and I will feel tired and defeated, with raw eyes from crying so much, run over. But I'd rather have this. I'm not sure why, but I'd rather, perhaps because if he could see this, I know he would appreciate the fact that someone mourned him to this depth. I would not be without that certainty.