Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm So Alone...We All Are

Travel takes us out of our norm and into the norm of other people and places.  Usually, as tourists, we're looking through the telescope of distance and can only assume what another person's reality might be.  But some days we make contact.

Today, was one of those days.  While feeling our way around our new stomping grounds, we headed into Mesa.  And it was there where our lives knocked up against the life of an older woman on the precipice of change.  She'd just lost her husband and in the throes of fresh grief she was uprooting herself and selling her house and belongings.

The story came out in a few questions that were innocent enough - strangers getting to know each other.  But soon it was clear that we were entering shaky ground.  But grief is a strange beast.  Some of us curl up and shutdown and others of us just want to talk.  We listened as she spoke of a man we would never meet and recounted stories that began with we when it was clear there was now, only an I. 

Reality.  It was in the tears that were so close to the surface and that sad but resigned half-smile on her face.  It was as if the smile was a shadow of a personality in happier times and the house, a reminder of what she no longer had.

I don't know what I'm going to do.

Sometimes storms come out of no where.
Her fear echoed in that sad statement.

Real life - maybe that's why many of us love romances where we're guaranteed the happy ending.  We all know love comes with strings, long sticky, often sorrowful ones.  If you love you may some day grieve.  

It's those feelings that slap us around and knock us to the ground that in the end, and this isn't like it sounds but - are a writer's feeding ground.  I know I was close to tears myself.  It felt like I had been widowed by the death of a man I had never met.  But it is those emotions that I'll remember a year, two or even ten from now.  And while I probably will never forget her, it won't be that woman or her circumstance I'll write about, but the emotion I briefly touched, somehow - somewhere it will be there.


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