Tomorrow’s Just Another Day

3 Jun

Thursday, May 27, I spent time with the Confederate “lads” at Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA in honor of Memorial Day. That evening, I began this contemplation of Time with Marcus D. Wheeler, I Company, 35th Georgia Infantry. Upon being lead to his resting place, I lay fully down on the grass beside him and we spent some quality time enjoying the breeze, the trees, and the smell of old roses just beginning to wane.

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Time,
You left me standin’ there.
Like a tree growin’ all alone.
The wind just stripped me bare,
stripped me bare.
Time,
the past has come and gone.

The future’s far away.
Well now only lasts for one second,
one second.
Can you teach me ’bout tomorrow and all the pain and sorrow,
runnin’ free?
‘Cause tomorrow’s just another day,

and I don’t believe in Time.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Some point in this journey, I would need to stop for a minute and rest. Truth be told, the Roosterwalk experience exhausted me and the ensuing week of academic wrap up toward commencement exercises deposited me in half haze consciousness into a ceremony where I was counting each graduate down to the last. I prayed the video cameras would not find my enormous jaw popping yawns before I could make it down front for last hugs and congratulations. Afterward, a “point and shoot” car ride home toward the bed was all that could be managed after dinner, a bed I spent ten hours in Saturday and Sunday nights. Aside from a graduation party for my friend’s children, the only manageable activity for the weekend and today was sleep and tackling an enormous amount of yard work before I head to a week long writer’s workshop at Hollins University and then, California. It hasn’t even really occurred to me that in two weeks I will have to board a plane, something that required heavy medication on my last flying adventure to Ireland. But I’m not thinking about it, because I am…tired.

All events planned for the weekend, I cancelled. I needed rest and honestly, time to allow myself to feel sad. One of my best friends has decided to move out of state. That announcement, along with several other resignations at work had me reflective and riding the wave of change. I will be moving myself, to a new classroom with windows. While happy about having natural light again, my new space is the classroom I occupied a decade ago and that has me quite reflective. So for days, I have done nothing but sleep and think about time. People have passed in and out of my life in sizable waves. When I really stop to think about all of them, those with whom I have shared a good portion of my time and self in the last decade, the tears come easily, both in happiness and in sorrow. In looking back at the body of writing I have posted over the last year, specifically the last six months, I feel both accomplished and discouraged. Wow, I have done an amazing lot of things. Wow, now I need to think about what difference it has made to anyone, even to me. Change…growing…rapid and unceasing waves of time. I am…tired.

Today, I tackled a garden that has been neglected since October of last year, one I worked in diligently until beginning to travel last summer. During several moments of the five hours of pulling waist high weeds, tears welled up and I cursed and sighed. Why can’t I find a balance? There is this need to go, to see, to be somewhere else experiencing a life that presents ideas and inspiration and insight so easily. And then all the while, there is this concurrent need to be home, to have friends come and be in this amazing house I renovated and spent so much time and creativity on. Time…. there doesn’t seem to ever be enough of it because moments in retrospect sometimes seem so wasted. And in the sunburned sweating and weed pulling, I began to think about why home is so bittersweet.

I miss things.

When I am this incredibly tired, I miss someone cooking me dinner. The pots would clang in the kitchen while I would strip off dirty sweat laden bug sprayed clothing in the laundry room and then round the corner to the bathroom, the air cooling my weary frame. My name. I miss someone calling my first name from downstairs to ask what wine I’d like. I miss sitting in the deep hot water of my clawfoot tub, just washed hair wrapped in a towel, talking to my beloved with a cold glass of Viognier in hand. As he’d sit next to the tub, we’d idly discuss what I did , what plan for the backyard comes next, what movie to watch in the evening, how much my muscles hurt. I miss big hands and a fluffy towel on my body, on my shoulders, thumbs at my back, fingers in my hair. Wearing his T-shirt that trails my knee, I’d stroll to the kitchen clean, damp and pink from a slight sunburn and there would be grilled chicken and spinach salad with bits of egg, peppered bacon and tiny cherry tomatoes cut in two. I miss watching movies on the couch in the blue light, the flickering images bouncing off legs a tangle, my head upon a broad chest. I miss kissing. I miss what comes after. There’s no shame in me saying that when I am tired or ill, there is a soft silent need that creeps upon me like a smooth silver cat with cool padded feet. When I have no more energy to push my will to “do” forward, I finally lie down and allow this melancholy to express.

But tonight, in the longing for these comforts, I realized there is something I don’t miss.

Him.

And that indeed is the gift of Time. In the yearning, there is only a space needing to be filled by the emotion having a beloved gives. I am learning how to be thankful in the sadness of absent connection, letting both feelings co-exist like light and dark, earth and water.  The arc of the pendulum may slow, swings evening out into a balanced measure that’s somehow bearable. A state that let’s me rest and yet, do for myself. Time that isn’t wasted.

Time without courage and time without fear, is just wasted, wasted, wasted time…….

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