Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grief Like a Comforter

(Pre-script: To get the most of this post, read it as the song "Blackbird" plays. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)

Tonight, I was digging through my purse, desperate for some sort of paper and writing utensil. WHY is it that there are no less than 5 pens in my purse when I am trying to clean it out, but when I am in a moment of actually needing a pen, there is only...empty gum wrappers wadded up in the bottom of it? WHY haven't I learned to keep notebooks stocked with me wherever I go??? You would think that after almost 3 decades of needing to randomly write whatever is consuming me at the current moment, that I would have learned that lesson by now, instead of finding myself, oh, recklessly driving home and acting insane until I actually do get it all written down or typed out. But no. Fortunately for me, after the gum wrappers, I did eventually find a pencil with barely any lead left, but it was going to have to do, it was going to have to take me at least to the end of my thought. My thought was that I had seen a fat woman getting herself and her two children into their vehicle. I saw them in the parking lot as we drove past her, saw her for maybe 3 seconds, but they were 3 significant seconds. Because I SAW her. I saw her overweight but not quite obese frame, saw how her shoulders slumped forward, her head bowed slightly down, and mostly what I saw was how she wore her grief around her like a comforter. I saw how she wore the grief as if it was the thick top comforter on her bed, and she had wrapped herself in it, and now it was the skin she walked around and faced the world in, and I ached for her. I ached for the grief she wore. So many, many people walk around all day long wearing their grief openly, bleeding and blistering in the bright of afternoon glare, but so often it is misinterpreted. The woman in the parking lot, how often has her grief, worn like a comforter, been misinterpreted every day? People, we are so fragile. We are so fragile under that which we hide beneath and behind, and there is no way to know the exact details of a life, but the grief is the same grief. We all feel it. We all sleep beneath the thing we cannot bear to tear off. So I took note of her grief, the great comforter, wrote it all furiously, for the woman, because I saw her tonight, I saw her, and I felt her, and I wrote her, because she deserved to be written.



Patrick Brosnan said...

great identification and word picture about the lady and a comforter, her comforter. Out of the park on this one!

. . . what is with the gum wrappers; ever hear of a trash can

Kevin said...

I feel like you are drawing a correlation to her grief and being over-weight.

Michelle said...

Kevin, I'm speechless. Um, duh? Maybe you should re-read it? Why do you think people have addictions and eat too much and other such things??