Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Shedding Tears



I've decided to be fully present during each seizure and shed tears, at least afterward. The word shed.  Dutch and Germanic, Old English root: to separate out, to scatter, to divide. I remember watching a scene in a movie -- maybe Zorba the Greek -- where a bunch of women are wailing in the streets about something or another. I can't find the scene, though, so I might have made it up or perhaps reached into my cellular wellspring where the Middle Eastern and southern Italian histrionics lie embedded. The word histrionic. The dictionary states that its origin is the 17th century, and I imagine some Germanic guy or Anglo-Saxon with the whitest of skin took the Latin root for drama and acting, twisted it into something unfavorable, applied it to women, in particular.

I have a friend whose adult son is schizophrenic. She's done things like cleaned his shit from the walls of his apartment. She and I recently sat in a car outside her house and discussed how we imagined ourselves screaming in the streets with other mothers, other women. Tearing at our hair and wailing, rending our garments.

How fitting to shed --  to empty oneself that way.

Watching a person twist and jerk and grimace over and over, in minutes and then years, helpless to do anything but watch and abide in the moment -- surely this calls for tears afterward as much as efficiency or quiet?

Are there enough tears?

There's nothing to be thankful for with seizures.

I don't believe in prayer and would as soon as stand on a pew and wail then beg.

There's gratitude, though, in tears.

I bought some daffodils the other day. The buds were tight, the stalks like paper. I stuck them in water and watched them unfold into yellow.

The Full Catastrophe



16 comments:

  1. I'm sorry about the seizures. I have no adequate words. But there are tears.

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  2. When did we learn that it was not polite to wail?

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    1. Oh, Mary, that's such a good question.

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  3. I love you, Elizabeth. Joanne

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  4. Tears are the lubricant that keep us moving in an impossible world. I cry every day! It's that or set fires. Watch it all unfold into orange?

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  5. If I were with you in person I would sit with you in silence. There are no words.

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  6. Tears of rage, tears of grief. Tears of relief. Your memory serves you well. That was a scene from Zorba the Greek. Your daffodils are beautifully illuminated by the sunlight.

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  7. I love what Mimi said...tears being the lubricant. I like "shedding", too. Your are in an impossible situation that sends you on a daily roller coaster. Flowers are a lovely way to glide back down to earth.

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  8. Elizabeth, I never know what to say. I Wish...

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  9. I seem to be without words. Just that I was here and read this. xo

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  10. I'm with you on the crying. I've cried so much today. It never ends, this responsibility, nobody will or can lift it from our shoulders. We carry it always, forever.

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  11. People think of "being present" as a Zen-like calm, but presence can be damned painful too. Not that I can even pretend to know what your presence feels like in those moments, beyond what you convey here.

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  12. I have read your blog for years. I have 3 daughters yet you are a SUPER PARENT. You have more strength than I could can even imagine....

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  13. I have wept silent tears. I have also stood on a (metaphorical) pew and wailed. Both of these actions were as close to prayer as many prayers I have heard or said in my life. The soul speaks, in tears. Love to you, to your Sophie. To your loves. May love and beauty sustain you.

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  14. I think perhaps public wailing sessions for those suffering, those enduring tragedy or loss and pain would be a good thing, sign me up! Having a Schizophrenic Adult Child I can certainly relate to your Friend, I have no point of reference for Seizures and how I'd react or cope. Virtual Hugs and I'm Glad you bought Daffodils.

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  15. It's friends like that that break the isolation, and scream in the streets with us, that makes it possible to keep on keepin' on.

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