Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Loss


The removal of a fallen fir this winter unblocked this view down the shore. You can't see it from the house; you have to go out on the lawn and look to the south. Nor does the photo do it justice. The view needs the extra vision in the sides of the eyes, the remaining trees still standing all around, the ocean sparkling outside the lens' frame, the sense of loss. Then the sun shining on the white rocks seems altogether enchanting, like another world, the view we didn't know we had.
I'm still trying to figure out the view that I have of my father. Has it changed now that he's dead? We had such different ideas of this world and the next that they seemed to color everything. As he grew older, at least our views about this world, or more accurately, what to do about this world, grew closer: get out of Iraq, enjoy Nature, don't cut that tree, vote Democratic. But we did not get close enough to discuss the next, and so I still don't understand. Perhaps the loss is still too recent to see the real view. Perhaps death is a photograph of another shore.

Yesterday my mother went back home after spending a few weeks with us. For her death is too real, and the loss too painful, to figure out what it means for her. I know her hopes for another world carry her through; I hope that she also knows that she takes a bit of us and her grandchildren and Maine with her, and that the view that loss opens up is worth exploring.

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