Sunday, May 1, 2016

doing seven to ten

As I rounded the car throwing up the back to toss my bag in, I opened my mouth to say something but it was a thought I decided not to share, "You know I don't see my sister very much anymore...." 

 It would have hung heavy in the fresh spring air. Out of place in the middle of the day with the sun shining, white clouds making like lazy sheep strolling through the sky.  So I said nothing.   

Well yes, it's hard to see dead people, isn't it? That is, it is hard to see them through the wall of sanity.  

I am just now noticing how over the past few years my life seems to have completely rebuilt itself; without permission, I would note.  And in the name of progress, just as I feared, what I had left of my sister slipped through my open hands.  

There was a peace there in that time of madness.  A freedom in being trapped under the soft water of sadness.  A quiet that wouldn't lift.  A slowness that wouldn't break. A shelter in the darkness of her death. 

I miss the invincibility of standing firm on rock bottom.

But there are places you simply can't go back to, even when you are standing in them. 

I marvel that she isn't even a ghost here anymore- except when I am running. Passing through short shadows and long stretches of sunlight I can remember the heavy warmth of being haunted, of being lost, of being nothing more than elemental. 

Maybe it was because we used to run together. Maybe it is because it is a space long enough to think in. Or perhaps it is the struggle, body vs. brain that reminds me of what I was then, reminds me of her.  

And even though I don't see her anymore, my dreams don't hold that constant question "wait, I thought you were dead; are you dead?" I can imagine and I can remember. And I can doubt.

Tomorrow would have been her birthday.  Never would she have wanted to be this old.  She seems to always get her way, even in death: now she never has to grow up.  She doesn't have to go through all of this and she will never know. 

Never know what she gave up. 

June 2009
The dawn breaks hard in the desert.  Heat and light are the same.  The vast expanse of tundra ripples across valley to valley.  Mountains explode from the grasses and junipers.  Life is heavy here.  I rub dust from my eyes, pull back my hair, and lace my running shoes.  Even as I watched her do the same I knew this will have to be the last run for me and her.  I simply cannot carry her any farther.  
It is a bittersweet moment letting go.  Just as holding on to what was before, the release is slow and silent.  I was there my feet striking the desert floor, sunlight filtering through the brush, the morning ripe with the smell of sage, and the air full of dust fairies.             We were together there running as sisters and when I came up over the horizon she was gone. I was running alone.  The antelope stopped grazing to stare at me and at the nothingness that followed me as I ran by.  I finally had the answer to their question “What are you running from?”  What I have always been running from. I am running from myself.  
At this point, I don’t know if I am more afraid of being crazy or of forgetting her.

~Taming Venus, mlb    

Wendi M. Brown- Bevan, born May 2, 1970, to Jon and Julie Brown, Salt Lake City. In the pouring rain, on August 1, 2006, long after her spirit had left this world, the body of Wendi M. Brown-Bevan was laid to rest...  Wendi, we know your sight was often unclear, your path mostly unpaved, but whatever life may have held for you and for all of us who cared for you along the way, we want you to know that you were and forever will be truly loved by us.
May you find the peace you were seeking.

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