I ended my last blog post with: And so I trudge the hills of grief, and treasure the moments of comfort I find. I meant it both figuratively and literally — I spend a couple of hours most days wandering in the desert hills near where I am staying.
I feel at times as if I am rewinding my life, our life. When the man I was to spend more than three decades with first came into my life, it was such an awesome change, that I felt restless. I would walk for hours trying to get used to this new vision (or version) of me. I wrote. And I read copiously. Now that he has left my life, it’s such a traumatic change that I feel restless. I walk for hours trying to get used to this new vision/version of me. Instead of walking through the tree-shaded parks and parkways of Denver, however, I tramp through the desert a thousand miles from where I started. Instead of poetry, I write prose. And I read copiously. These are the bookends of our shared life.
During the years of his illness, when I tried to imagine how it would be to live alone again after his death, I never imagined, never could imagine, the sheer void of his absence and with it, the absence of meaning.
Before I met him, I used to wonder about the meaning of life. Now, once again, I am wondering about the meaning of life. I hadn’t realized until after he was gone that during all those years we were together, I didn’t worry about meaning. We were together. That was all that mattered. Now that I am alone once more, the void of meaningless haunts me. Where am I going? And why?
I did have a bit of revelation out in the desert the other day. Instead of a stroke of clarity, I might have had heat stroke, but the end result is still the same. I walked for hours along a path because I was curious where it went, curious to see what was around the next bend, and it occurred to me that this experience could be a metaphor for my life. Perhaps finding meaning isn’t important. Perhaps it’s enough simply to follow the days and see where they lead.
(If you’re interested in seeing the photos I take on my mystical walks, you can find them here: Wayword Wind.)