Monday, November 16, 2015

Catch Up

Hello friends.  It has been a very long time since I've written for this blog.  After Liz and I completed our book, Lies, I spent writing time on poetry.  Today, I realized I was missing the blog so I checked in and saw that people still stop by. That made me happy. Thank you.

I hope to pen more essays and also to share some of the poems I've been writing which I think fit in with the purpose of the blog...sharing thoughts about living.  This past week, I had a couple of doctors' appointments which I flat out hate and who doesn't.  Still, there is always something to take away even from the most mundane experiences. As always, comments are very welcomed.

Off to Some Unnatural Procedure

dressed in identical gowns
hands folded in our laps
we are wheeled in our chairs
down a long hall
towards each other
about to pass
I spy tufts of hair
blue eyes in a lined face
a rogue smile
I laugh
bumper cars
we breeze by
 in body
 in our eyes

Bridget Harwell

Saturday, January 10, 2015


The holidays have passed and they were happy for me.  But not for a few friends who suffered loss because of deaths or break-ups.  I was in the position of longing to have words that could make even the smallest difference.  I remember after the death of my husband, how awkward it was for some people who would repeat, "I don't know what to say," and as a result avoided me until I was more pulled together.  They were right, there were no magic words.  But, what I found helpful, were those friends who were able to listen.   It gave me some relief to tell my story.  In particular, I remember taking a walk with my nephew who said very little but listened with love and acceptance, not concerned about how to play his part.

Two years later, I was in a different place, in some ways more difficult.  I had gone from  deep emotion to staleness.  Staleness is difficult, if not impossible, to communicate.  Looking back, I am grateful to a couple of friends who stayed with me through that dry, dull period of my life.

I posted a blog on 10-10-11 titled "There Are No Words," and included in it the poem The Woodspurge by Dante Gabriel Rossetti which I think captures the traumatic moments of intense and numbing grief.  You can look it up in this blog's archive, if you like.

The following poem is a far distance from Rossetti's gorgeous poem, but for me, it bespeaks that period, long after loss, that I call staleness and still consider one of the most difficult things to deal with in life.  I had just visited my husband's mother who died two years after he died.  She was in a nursing home in an odd part of Columbus.The poem is about my state of mind, reflected in the landscape.

New Landscape

I went out into the dry summer air.
All around was flat land, no houses.
Low buildings, engraved with names that told nothing.

I passed pyramids of gravel,
mounds of tires,
wire bales stacked like the hay
that I had seen on a far off day.
By the side of the road, white pipes lay
waiting to be buried.
Over all, a water tower cast its shadow.

Noiseless as Sunday,
I looked up and saw a sparrow
perched and pecking at the grid.
Oh, I was glad to see a living thing.
I walked on quickly
my heart banging
like a stone in a barrel.

Bridget Harwell