We wrap ourselves up in our own patterns of reality. The ones we weave into our neurons and embroider throughout our thoughts until we have a personalized cloak with which to protect, motivate, and define ourselves . One that suits us, that can cover us comfortably enough so that we can sleep at night.
With enough optimism woven in to allow us to wake up in the morning,
To know that when we do awaken each day, we will keep our noses to the grindstone, busying ourselves with the piecing and the stitching together of these little lives that we call our reality. And that our loved ones will be right there in front of us when we open our eyes. Because along with all the other benefits, this cloak we create for ourselves comes complete with a healthy, if not delusional, dose of denial and immortality appliquéd right into the fabric of all our days.
We spend so much time planning and orchestrating what our lives will be. We design our wings, our feathers, our crowns, our posture, our course.
We continually arrive towards our form, and wait for our lives to happen.
Are there any tools or lessons that ever really help us learn how to prepare for this negative space?
This time it was Gary’s life that got snatched up by the cancer vulture. A man who was such an inspiration to so many. He taught high school art for over thirty-five years. He was a kind, talented soul, who gave so much. He hired me for my first full-time art teaching position thirteen years ago.
When I heard he was sick, one short month ago, I called him. I felt so far away, and wished I could come over and bring him an apple pie or something. “You already did,” he said. “Your call is the apple pie.”
He was that kind of person, that made people around him feel good, no matter what. In and outside of the classroom, he could find those hidden flowers and make them shine. That is one of the things that made him such a great teacher.
Connie said when she went, she wouldn’t just disappear. She would come back in funny, maybe even annoying ways. Not the normal ways, she said. Like blinking lights on and off and weird stuff like that, she said.
Although I am still not used to the cavernous hole she has left behind, I have felt her presence in so many ways; internally and externally, beautiful and funny, but never annoying. I know that Gary will also come back in ways that will amaze and console his loved ones as they come out of the shock of being handed this cavern, this enormous negative space, this life without him.
This morning, I had Gary on my mind as I looked out the window. I noticed Connie left a light on for him.