Thursday, July 29, 2010

A blank slate

My mind feels kind of blank tonight.  Maybe it's the heat. It has been another hot and humid day here.  The heat index is ridiculous and will be worse tomorrow.  I don't know what people are doing without AC these days.  We didn't have it when I was a kid but would use floor fans and left doors and windows open.  But it is hotter than I remember it being back then. 

I left the island to go into the city for a meeting at noon.  It was hotter still in the city.  Ironically, in the 1800's, houses were built on the island where I live so that the city dwellers could escape the heat and get out into the country.  Not much escaping the heat over the last few weeks no matter where you are.

I stopped by the "ghost" bicycle memorial for E. after the meeting.  I wonder whether his wife and daughter pass this spot.  I wonder if the young woman who was driving the car with which he collided passes this way.  It felt surreal to see the marks in the pavement and to be at the spot where the accident occurred. 

His wife had posted a poem by Galway Kinnell that she wanted to be shared with E.'s rowing friends:
Those we love from the first
can't be put aside or forgotten,
after they die they still must be cried
out of existence, tears must make
their erratic runs down the face,
over the fullnesses, into
the craters, confirming,
the absent will not be present,
ever again. Then the lost one
can fling itself outward, its million
moments of presence can scatter
through consciousness freely, like snow
collected overnight on a spruce bough
that in midmorning bursts
into glittering dust in the sunshine.

I took a few photos, inscribed a message on the bike, and then left.  I felt as if I were trespassing in a way.  For a moment I couldn't see. Maybe it was the glittering dust that got in my eyes or just the brightness of the sun. 

The funeral is tomorrow. After that, I think that we will just go home and relax.  This will likely be a weekend on land.  I don't want to take the old dog out on the boat in this heat.  There is a good meeting on Saturday evening that we can both attend.  But basically we have no plans. The weekend is a blank slate as well.  Some how that seems like a good thing.


  1. i love blank slate days...
    hope you have a good weekend syd!

  2. Hubby and I have been following the story of E here in your blog. I showed him the memorial picture in this post. It is something we just can't understand but then we know what we must do when we don't understand something. I keep sending love to the wife and daughter. I know they receive it even if they aren't aware of it.

  3. blank slate days are good, I love the ghost bike memorial. It's a moving tribute and an appropriate reminder.

  4. Condolences to you and the family. We have a few of those memorials, here, year after year - the person who perished can become something of a legend. Hope you enjoy your day, despite the heat.

  5. loss is so difficult. the heat i think has something to do with the shrinking thermosphere. we lost 30 percent of it and scientists are saying it will not effect us with weather, but yet there is so much heat.

    enjoy your blank slate, you will find something to put on it...

  6. I like unplanned weekends, too.

    I am so sorry about your friend.



  7. Hi Syd-- -For me, sometimes it is just easiest to relax and close my eyes and just let God rock me in His arms. That will always bring me comfort, rest, and peace.

    Be extra good to yourself today.

    Love and hugs,
    Anonymous #1

  8. What a beautiful memorial.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. That is a beautiful poem. My Saturday is a fairly blank slate and I am happy for it.

    Today in the Alanon meditation meeting we had a five minute silence and I decided to make my mind blank. I just kept repeating, "I will keep my mind blank." It turned out perfectly - there on the blank slate of my mind suddenly appeared what was important to me from the reading and what I wanted to share about it.


  10. i have a couple of blank slaters this weekend as well! yay!

    that is just so sad, about E

  11. Tomorrow will be hard. For all. Go easy on yourself...


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