Friday, October 23, 2009

All mashed up

“At the temple, there is a poem called "Loss" carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out…You cannot read loss, only feel it." — Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha) ...

Loss is a tiny word. It is often lightly used. Today I feel a loss heavily, heavier then I think I can handle. I know I will handle it because that’s what you do. You pick up the broken shards, quietly wrap them in a soft blue cloth and tuck them away for when you are older and wiser and can look back and chuckle at yourself. Even though you think that day will never come.

This is the kind of loss that will ripple into every inch of my life. It will affect me at work and at home. It will change the dynamic with some of my friends, it has hurt my children.

I lost a potato masher. He had a better one so when I was making my annual winter applesauce I tossed my newer cruddy one and replaced it with his older but better one. I remember how I felt when I used it. A little bit sneaky because I had not asked and it was not mine. Content.. because I was sharing my space, my life and my kitchen utensils with someone I loved.

Turns out that the potato masher will never be mine. I am not allowed to use it to make applesauce or mashed turnips. The sweet potato pie at my small sad thanksgiving table will be from a box this year. I won’t be buying a new masher. It won’t be the same. There is a measuring cup too, that I will miss and several paintings I was rather fond of. The slightly spicy yet commercial scent of edge shave gel in the shower.

I will miss the word we. I had not realized how tired I was of the word I.

The whole thing, in reality, was very brief. Kind of like a flash fire. Two flammable objects meet, touch and then explode. Then someone else, who has no place being there, douses one of them with water and all you have left is a little tiny sad fire with no potato masher.

Suddenly I am reminded of the value of things. How precarious my college education is and how quickly I will lose it. Suddenly I am confronted with the very real possibility of being in a situation that causes poverty again. Suddenly I have to worry about heating oil versus food again. I preach a lot about poverty and how we are all one paycheck away from being there. It is easy for me to prattle on about the injustices heaped upon the poor when I am no longer one of them. Today I have to accept I may slide back there again.. more quickly then I can deal with.

I am also reminded of how strong I can be and have been in the past. I am reminded of other mistakes I have made and how I crawled up out of those too. I will take this and learn from it. I will wallow over my loss and I will cry and vent and I will mourn. Every time I see a potato masher I will feel my cheeks get hot with fresh hurt. I will keep my head held high, even if I am walking in a swamp. I will throw myself back into work and school. I will concentrate on the causes that have meaning for me. I will make dates with my friends and I will probably drink too much wine. Eventually I will look at another potato masher and smile and think.. “Gosh it would be nice to make applesauce with that masher there.”

But it will never be the same
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