Feb 22, 2021

Driving back from Earl’s house the other night, I saw radiant cumulous clouds towering above the Berkeley hills, so staggeringly lofty they took my breath away. “Oh, Earl,” I thought, “If only you could see this!”


In my bereavement group that evening, I tracked my feelings with crayons—coloring a yellow patch of light in the middle of my paper for that moment of elation. Then the darkness of loss circumscribing it—I found myself ferociously circling that narrowing bright patch with a black crayon, hardly able to stop, feeling like the pain of Earl’s death would never let up but would remain with me for the rest of my life. Then I was scribbling blood, red crayon zigzagging—splattering and pooling everywhere—obliterating everything else, I was so angry at the fact of mortality. And finally, a philosophic impulse, green sprouting from a pool of blood, a flower blooming—out of death, birth, the beginning of a new cycle.


Today felt, though it’s still January, like the first day of spring. The calla lilies were just starting to bloom in my neighbors’ gardens as I drove home from my doctor’s appointment, and, along a curb, I saw my first iris of the New Millenium.