The sunset is amazing tonight. I've got a faithful dog sitting beside my rocking chair on the porch, Blossom (the cat) is kneading my shirt, trying to make a nest. I look over and see the other empty chair and it's like someone suddenly unplugged the beautiful setting sun. There's an emptiness here today. It's a hole that I can't seem to put anything in. Who took my pallet of paint that had every color imaginable and replaced it with only earth tones? There's a void inside me and I know what it is, so I'll throw in my "man card" here. I miss her.... The beautiful lady that I have gotten the privilege of spending the last 23 years with, is away on a trip to see her father, who is in the hospital. We've been apart many times in our marriage, but when you are as close as we are, I think you can't help but feel a little chill in the space that distance brings.
The older we grow I think our soul becomes scattered with pockets of voids and empty spaces mostly from the people and loved ones that have traveled in and out of our lives. When I blow through the cobwebs and allow myself to enter this space, I can see these dark corners that sunlight rarely finds. They say that time heals everything, but I wonder if it really does. Perhaps all that changes is that we subconsciously protect ourselves by putting up trail signs in our memory pathway so that we detour around these haunting hollows. We install curtains and guard rails in our memory so that our emotions are protected and we can function and have a sort of normalcy to our life.
There are certain unplanned triggers though that will cause the curtain to rise or the trail marker to point the wrong direction. Out of the blue you find yourself standing in the middle of the void, helpless and with a large lump in your throat that in an instant can release the dam of feelings, tears and memories that have been quietly tucked away. It's been almost seven years since my Pop passed away, and for the most part now I smile when I think of him and our times together, but I know there is a corner where I had to stuff and cram some tears and feelings just so I could move on. One ordinary day, I go and see my younger brother perform in his high school band, and I think how I wish Pop could be here to see him. I feel a little sad, yet proud and happy that I am here and that some of Pop's musical genes have magically passed on to his young son. And then like a head on collision, I'm fighting the lump, I'm square center in the void, I'm vulnerable to my emotions, with a waterfall of tears ready to tumble down and all because I heard the sound of my brother playing a marimba. Pop was an excellent mallet player, taught at a university, played marimba, xylophone and vibes in countless bands and symphonies. He even tried to teach me, which was quite the task. I think something was genetically passed on to my brother, but for me it was always a struggle. I remember trying to learn the "flight of the bumble bee" and after months of lessons and practicing, I gave up and declared that I wanted to be a guitar player instead. Unfortunately, that was the last music lesson I had with Pop. Little did I know many years later I would be sitting in an auditorium watching his young creation wear out the mallets and how could I have known that this one event, and that one, distinct, musical sound would break the dam. Time for some new trail signs "Warning Cliff Ahead", "Falling Rock" "Detour" "Stay the He(*&ll Out!". It's all good now though. I love to watch and hear my brother play. He is amazing and talented and I'm so blessed to have him in my life.
I have fallen off similar ledges unexpectedly with other voids too. After the crash I just install more ropes, make a few new signs and travel on. Though maybe somewhere in these unexpected breakdowns is the place where we find a little healing.
I just got off the phone with Sharon and she's on her way home a few days early. Lucky me, we'll get to watch the sunset together tomorrow night. Oh crap!!! Time to find the vacuum cleaner and suck out all those fritos from the cracks in the couch.