Love, Death, and Dying….in a new country
Yep I’m back. It’s been awhile. My original thinking was that it’s best not to write and post when depressed. Who wants to hear poor me b.s. But something a psychic told me years ago kept popping up: Writing is your Light. And the longer I ignored writing, the even worse I felt. I always say that keeping negative energy inside can give you cancer. But now I realize that repressing one’s Light can be fatal.
Recap of the past year or so:
My gay soul mate and first flatmate / friend since moving to Europe moved himself to New Zealand. It broke my heart. And I didn’t right away realize that. Sure I missed work for a week after he left, lolling in bed at first attributing it to too much celebratory goodbyes. By the 4th day of dizziness and no appetite, I went to the doctor. He said he could find nothing physically wrong, thus my realization of the broken heart.
A few weeks later, my Owlie flew the continent for a duration of months. I may have mentioned her before – Minerva has her Owl sidekick, observer, confidant, advisor. It was like losing my right arm and left arm nearly simultaneously. (Yes here is a sniff of the theatrics that come out when I’m blue and keep me from bleeding all over the written page.) For the next year I lived in a quaint but quite small flat with A, the only person I knew I wanted to live with, on a picturesque street where I was mildly molested 3 times during that year. (Three strangers on three separate occasions accosted me at my building door as I was coming home for the evening. I am fortunately a bit statuesque and each of these men were smaller, so I wasn’t as much afraid as annoyed. Each time I was able to yell and push them away until keying myself inside. One guy even knocked after I was in…? Eventually it did make me a bit twitchy coming home at night.)
Eventually I decided that I wanted to live alone, for the first time since living in Europe. After the lease was up, A and I genially parted ways – she to a sweet flat share in the ‘hood, and I to a lovely airy 1-bedroom flat with a view 2 stops from the ‘hood. As things go when the universe recognizes one’s movement in the correct direction, I was able to gather the essentials rather effortlessly and free of charge for my new but unfurnished flat. It’s now sparsely but comfortably set up. I have a big comfy bed (where I probably spend too much time). And I even got a cat. Now I just need to be mindful of not becoming a reclusive cat lady.
For the first time since living abroad, death touched me. A couple times over the past year or so. First was the sudden death of a dear friend who I met as part of my pub family. He’s referenced in the post I wrote about my still favorite neighborhood pub. A random fire had broken out in his flat while he was asleep, and he was apparently overcome by smoke before escaping. Tragic. Sudden. Surreal. We still have a memorial flyer posted in the pub. Sometimes still I can sense his presence near the place where he usually sat, sweetly yet slyly smiling, unaware of an abbreviated lifespan.
Next was the sudden death of my dear friend L’s fiance. We had spent a raucous Saturday evening feting the closing night of another favorite place I’ve mentioned more than once here, Banditos. The owner received an abrupt notice to vacate from new building management after years of hosting memorable times, at least for me. And actually for quite a few other as we packed the place, taking small souvenirs off the walls and shelves (I got a cool Catholic icon candle). The next morning L found her fiance dead in the bathtub, from carbon monoxide poisoning. Horribly random. He loved to take baths. The boiler was faulty. We can only suppose it was as comfortable and painless as death could be. I had stayed for 2 weeks a month or so prior at this flat, tending to their cats as they took a holiday to meet and introduce the future in-laws. During that period I was drowsy a lot of the time. I attributed it to my usual holiday blues and the copious amounts of wine I was consuming. Thankful I guess that I only showered during those weeks.
His was the first funeral I attended abroad. My pub friend didn’t have a formal funeral, but a memorial night with photos and written tributes at the pub. The funeral was touching and well attended (if that indeed is a feature of one’s mark left behind). The ensuing wake lasted for over 12 hours, starting mid-afternoon. Many toasts and some new friends made that day. A year later L hosted a one-year memorial at another pub. She brought his urn, and we took pictures. All the pics I took had a ghosty mist just around the urn. No cigarette smoke and only around the urn. It was his way of getting in the picture I suppose.
So the depression of my broken heart lapsed into ennui and disinterest about generally anything. Apathetic, I had no inspiration to share anything in print. My overall health suffered. I was tired all the time. Over the past months what seems to be my annual case of bronchitis has settled in my lungs. I was becoming cavalier with my health, a passive/aggressive self sabotage. I thought about getting some culture in my life. I bought some prints for my bare walls by Alfonse Mucha, an indigenous artist that I admire. Then I attended a choir concert where a friend was performing. It was in the Czech Museum of Music, a marvel of acoustic beauty. One of the pieces performed was by Foerster. I sat motionless for what seemed like ages. The hairs on my arms stood up. A couple sustained notes brought tears to my eyes. The music resonated with me into the next day. I felt it touched me to my DNA.
Which led me to research back into a topic that has intrigued me recently, solfeggio frequencies. The attached link is the best article I’ve found to date regarding these ancient tones. Seems the 8 level scale our modern music is built upon was originally 5 levels of slightly different but influential frequencies. Supposedly these original frequencies were used to balance a myriad of unbalances in the human experience, from depression to lack of sleep to various illnesses. Then supposedly the founders of the Catholic church seized and suppressed these frequencies, bastardizing them into 12 slightly different less powerful tones.
At any rate, the night of that concert helped me turn a corner, out of another dark night of the soul which has been described as “a kind of death that you die.”
So it seems to me that life is a series of little deaths and rebirths. Or maybe that’s just my darkly self-indulgently poetic perspective. But it’s definitely my truth for this life time. Hopefully the little deaths bring about a better level of life. And always the only constant and the only truth is Love – Love for my friends as they flux in my life, Love for strangers I see, Love for the world, Love for myself (perhaps the most difficult of all to master). Another dear friend is planning a trip to Tibet. He has blank Tibetan prayer flags for which he has solicited prayers and wishes from his friends all over the world. He’s writing all these on the flags to fly them when he gets there. It’s an inspiring gesture. I Love You!