“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Roses and pens from the ever-wonderful you know who.

This day comes to an end as quietly as it began, with Maggie beside me, asleep on a pillow, and the fire still crackling in the heater, and darkness, darkness, my old friend, outside and inside; Maggie is curled like a seashell and if I held her to my ear I'm sure I would hear not the ocean, but my very own heart keeping time with hers, while the clock is ticking away the very early minutes of a new morning.

It is ticking away more than minutes; it keeps going and the moon moves across the sky, full, then thin, then gone, then back and the seasons change and now is the time for colder air and shorter days, and then Christmas and longer days will find us again and I sit and watch Maggie's breaths, anger under my skin, and I have no patience for my mother's memories and I am sharp, always full of apologies later, but no excuses, just fear and watching and exhaustion and my niece will be 13 in January, my father gone 13 years the same month, and I stop typing to move Maggie back onto the pillow before she slides off onto the hard floor - she sleeps so deeply now. Friends lives are all their own, and when I try to say it is moving too fast, it is a merry-go-round spinning and spinning, and it is too fast and I can't catch up, I can't jump on, they say life isn't fair as if I didn't know, or interrupt to tell how it's the same for them but I don't care, I don't care, I've heard their stories and this is mine, and I don't care - it is late and I am a truth-teller after midnight, but I don't care and I hold the phone away from my ear and I say me, me, me, this is about me, please just this time let it be about me, but I don't say it out loud, I say it silently to the roses in the mirror, afraid to look up and see my own reflection, afraid to see the selfishness in my eyes. The clock keeps ticking and it's not set to Deborah time, not even close, and Mary's house across the darkened street is darker than usual and the night so quiet, no sirens, no cars, no cats, no nothings out there, the world asleep, tucked in its bed, all but me, all but me, and I am here, melancholy in my hands, cat now asleep on the stool next to my feet. She moves all the time, and then stops, and my mother can no longer lift the Thanksgiving turkey and I don't want to know that, I want to turn away, so I am sharp, the anger so close under my skin pushing its way through, and I worked that last Thanksgiving my father was alive, after the meal I headed to work, and I knew it was his last, he was so frail and could barely carve the turkey, or perhaps that's not right, perhaps he let my brother do it, my memories are getting older, and I swore I would never take anyone for granted again and I do it all the time and I am sharp and I am scared and I am tired and I want the clock to just stop for a bit, to let me catch my breath, to let those I love catch theirs. Maybe when the days grow longer.
maybe in the summer


  1. oh. oh....


    i wish i could convey to you how much your words touch me. the way you write...if your blog was a book i would buy one for everybody i know and hand them out not even as gifts, but because i'd just have to.

    today was my first thanksgiving without my dad, who left this world only 6 short months ago but it feels like i haven't heard his voice or touched his face in years. none of us could manage to say grace today, it was always him, we all just cried holding hands around the table. phew. i've stayed up all night, haven't slept. so i sit here, too. not only you. my goodness.

  2. You are not alone. Just the only one brave enough to say it. And to write it. And Christmas is around the corner.

  3. Your writing is painful...like you are bleeding the thoughts...but from that pain will come a sense of release and then relief and the need to be heard, to be seen to be "alive" and qualified...to be counted. It's a basic human need...and mi corazon feliz said it -- you are brave enough to say it and to write it.

  4. hugs and understanding as I spend the holiday with my 80 plus inlaws...
    painful and different in so may ways...blessings my friend!

  5. Frequent visitor to your blog although I've never before commented.

    Your words moved me this morning, brought me to tears, in fact. The holidays are a melancholy time indeed made even more so for the fact that we are programmed to expect them to be the happiest of times. It's tough, though, to have to face the losses (and impending losses) that pile up as the years pass.

    Thanks for the lovely post.

  6. wonderful title and a deliciously dark, deep post. you've really captured something. something painful, but profound nonetheless.

    i hope it's passed and you feel better now.


  7. what a terrific reminder to be thankful for what we have and where we're at....right now.... and to not take anything for granted....which is always so easy to do.

  8. Come have tea with me, Dear Kindred, and I will unplug all the clocks. Every single one.

  9. My how well you write! I left a comment on your last post, thinking it was this one. As mentioned,I am so pleased I have re-discovered your site,and am able to enjoy the way you look at all sorts of emotions that swirl through our lives. Brave and beautifully honest.

  10. Hmmm, I get it I truly do, only too well.
    My thoughts on it...
    Thats the beauty of it all isn't it, thats it's all so fleeting! Not selfish, no not at all, simply... Aware... Divinely Aware!
    Sandra Evertson

  11. this is the second time i have wanted to reach out and give you a hug. just because. life is what it is, unfortunately. take care and don't be afraid to say it all the best.

  12. This is one of the most deeply moving posts I have ever read from you.
    It's one of those things, where I don't want to say anything, but just sit quiet, for you. Think about you, and hug your spirit.

    Thank you for being so brave...for opening and expressing yourself so candidly and vividly...and so beautifully.

    love xo


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