Here's introducing today's guest post from Jennifer Y. Brown!
At grandma’s death I was gifted with the chaos of her discovery
No one could protect me from the circumstances of her passing
Her body on the gurney
Bright blue-white hospital room
Soft gown, soft face, almost a smile
A peaceful exit
The doctor writing “Suicide” in his doctor’s hand
Even at 10 I knew this to be a poor diagnosis.
Transplant shock. From four seasons of hippie farmhouse to Southern suburban half-light.
Carried away in the golden Chrysler chariot of our inheritance—A journey I now know to be one of grieving.
But it wasn’t grief, was it, when I threw away my big, black, hardcover notebook?
“Put childish things away,” I said, all 11 years of wisdom speaking.
One does not need a body to visit the stars. I know. I’ve been there. My notebook held the record of my journeys: rituals of balance, a secret syllabary, elevations of sacred dwellings, the names of my fellow travellers, maps of the mandalas of my waking dreams. All buried. All burned.
Those waters I could no longer drink of. That earth no longer held my roots.
Perhaps my mother felt such things when she left my grandfather to his grief. Perhaps my grandfather felt them as he let go each acre of our family land.
Here I swaddle each transplant in a neckerchief of newspaper, hoping to capture the moisture needed to sustain life. Here the earth is dust; the primary element, space. I am attempting to make beauty under extreme conditions. This attempt may fail. I do it anyway.
Two nights ago my lover carried the body of his friend to the grave, carried the cold horror of his touch home to sob it out while my grown child and I sang and played. Until I could stand it no more and set down the guitar—not to hold him in my arms, because no one else could hold that grief, but to touch him, just touch him somewhere.
I’m here. I’m here for now. Here until we lose each other as lovers always, always do.
But I’m telling you I’ve been there, where we’re going. I’ll try to meet you.
Jennifer Y. Brown lives, loves, dances, sings, gardens, writes, and bikes in the state of Colorado. An alumna of Naropa University, she has worked for more than a dozen years in spiritual publishing.