I’ve been writing my goodbyes for a long time. They’ve never been quite right. They start out with gratitude and subtle apology but I get lost after that. I don’t feel grateful or sorrowful. I don’t feel much beyond the negative spectrums anymore. I’ll get brief bursts, like sun bursts through the clouds, but they are gone often while still happening. I have lived for myself but it was empty. I have lived for others and repeatedly failed in it. I have lived in transition while searching for solutions and believing that there must be another way.
Day after day it gets harder to breathe. I have been living by rote for more than 20 years and I don’t remember before that. I can’t recall not being this drain on energy. I have been so blessed whether by design or chance. I have so much that others do not. It doesn’t make any difference either way. I have had some security and I have lived on the good will and sufferance of others. I have many who love me.
Coming from a religious upbringing, I have sought the divine or other from my upbringing and other places. It is just some quirks, I realize, that hold me here. A few chemicals balanced just so, some different synaptic wiring than those of more sun-drenched lives. I have tried chemicals to fix it. I resisted for years but I finally gave in and tried and tried.
Years ago, I tried to die and failed. I was young and did not know what to do as well as I believed. So, of course, I went into a medical field. I learned to help people by learning what hurts them and why. I’ve not suffered from a lack of method for a very long time. I had hope, then. I had hoped that I might discover a way to join those in the sun. I wanted to look back into the dark and have survived it. I don’t really know why I felt that way anymore. I can’t imagine wanting to continue this cycle but have it grow worse with age as I lose myself physically, and likely mentally, and die.
I think I’m almost done. Good-byes have been coming more frequently lately more easily. They are not even close to perfect, not even close. I am starting to believe I will never get there but I may just keep writing them. I can’t envision myself living in the future at all. I used to have at least another step planned. I can’t see another step to take. I am just completing the motion of the previous step. Either I will trip and fall- looking pretty likely- or I will reach the landing. The lights are out and I can’t see any more.
Since no one could ever see them otherwise, I will post a few of my more recent outpourings. I don’t care if anyone reads them. I didn’t edit them. I didn’t try to make them perfect. I, mostly, didn’t even use punctuation. They are as they came out.
Where have the clocks gone?
Where have the clocks gone?
Before, there were clocks.
Clock repair men and cuckoo birds
Gongs and dings, commemorative watches
Keys to wind up time
Whenever it ran out
Ever present marks of the hour
From clock towers and grandfather clocks
Each of the time pieces ticking
We held them in our hand
Or checked them on the wall
Or enshrined them on mantles
They provided a beat to life
And when time pressed close
There was the tick tick tick
Now there are no ticks
But those I exhibit
Time presses just as close
But there are not words to
We no longer have our time pieces
To tick for us
To wind down and so remind us
That time is short
And self is fleeting
And life is winding down
And so inure us
For a time
‘May god stand between you and harm in all the empty places where you must walk’
Thank you for your time and care
Though thank you does not start to share
The multitude of blessings I have known
Because, with you, my life has grown
It was in the empty places I fell astray
No god to guard or hand to stay
Me. I could not find the words to heal
The wrong inside me that you couldn’t feel
And how it festered, I pray you’ll never know
In those empty places we all have known.
The sickness crushed the will to live
The joy of friendship and self-forgive-
Ness. You couldn’t help me though you tried
When all was grey or when I cried
There was no way just platitudes
No, it was not just a poor attitude.
I lived on and on despite the pain
But worse and worse with growing shame
And the dark became all I could feel
Just distractions and torture wheels
In despair, it was that I chose this way
But waited years until today.
I gave it time and much debate
I tried new things for all our sakes
I tried and cried. I lived
And I died.
As we all will eventually.
Even when you listen
I see it in your eyes
Your thoughts are quite distant
My words are no surprise
Even when I try to tell you
The words are stuck inside
walled by expected recriminations
And my self-flagellated hide
Well, time is getting shorter
I’ve turned the hourglass
The sands are loud and stinging
As they open my chosen path
My heart is dull and heavy
My hopes are neatly mown
My house is precisely ordered
The garden duly sown
The open door stands ready
I’ve laid out a guesting table
I’ve dug the deepest hole I can
Noosed and hung the cable
Farewell all, good night my dears
Soon sweetly may we rest
How e’re long or short our choices led
To have met you, I was blessed.