Tuesday, July 12, 2011


In Memory of Dylan

My granddaughter is grieving today over her cat which was hit by a car. Tread marks cross over her delicate white lines amid masses of orange. She was a sweet thing. Her voice barely audible, always sliding up for attention or playfully scratching when she was hungry. Never demanding. Now that she is gone, I realize as we often do how much I took her for granted, expected her to climb into my bed at night usually laying across my pillow like a luxurious blanket waiting for some tiny show of attention.

This sense of loss is fodder for good story telling. The experience excavates a deep sense of incompleteness and the need for love which can never be completely fulfilled until we reach our destiny in Heaven, Nirvana or whatever you want to call it. Often however our dissatisfaction with husbands, wives and children that we too often take for granted evaporated in our agony over their departures: the child's 1st day at Kindergarten and his subsequent waving goodbye as he goes off to college bring about the reality that they are never really ours to possess but gifts to treasure and let go. Our hope is that they return again never mind the petty battles over buying new Ipads or cleaning your room or leaving the car a mess.

Somehow I write to fill this hole left by grown children, lost pets, and departed loved ones. Recently my friends have been tragically touched by death. Maybe it's the age. It doesn't matter why, it always hurts - deeply and profoundly - changing our lives forever. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? I can easily answer that question for myself. My life is better for having known these courageous people and their lives are forever imbedded in my soul.

Jodi Picoult in a recent edition of "Carpe Articulum," states that : "Longing is the foundation of the human condition — don’t we all want what we can’t have? Whether it’s the greed that is the cornerstone of a villain or the unrequited love of a star-crossed couple, the hole that a reader sees gnawing away at a character echoes personally.
The great irony, of course, is that we expect that missing piece to be the thing that brings happiness — and it rarely is. For many of my characters, this learning curve comprises the character arc — and the final revelation that they were wrong all along is part of the book’s twist at the end. Like Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ, we usually have the tools we need for happiness right in our hands, but are too blind to see it."

So as Wordsworth said so eloquently "Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind. ...