Hey Beautiful Girl, I heard you calling to me from outside the wind-rattled window last night, summoned, no doubt by the uncontrollable tears and the physical pain that kept me in the conscious world when I craved so much to sleep in order to travel with you.
You ensured your call was just loud enough to be heard over the drubbing rain and howling wind but soft enough to mean I had to cease sobbing in order to hear you.
There is no other owl that calls so soft and low in the November rain so I knew immediately it was you.
Outside in the darkness you called from atop the tallest palm while I lay with one leg hanging off the bed and the other tangled in the sheets. You wide-eyed, certain and wise and me sore-eyed, sleepless and delirious with loss and longing.
You called and I breathed. Calming, reassuring.
The time was somewhere between midnight and dawn although these dark days of deep winter the distance between dusk and day is brief and the dimness is no antidote for the dark chasm in my heart.
Of course my Beautiful Girl I try my best to create lightness and seek it out as much as I can by bringing beautiful friends into my home and my heart. I take walks along the beach and linger among the sleeping trees and watch in awe as the sea churns wild storms onto the sand and over the pier. But in these shortened days the darkness stays on like an unwanted guest and the sun’s strength, when it appears, is diluted and brief.
I am spending long periods of time alone, even more than usual, as my broken shoulder has limited my activities and ability to move around. It’s a full time job healing the four breaks at the top of my humerus - the joke is not lost on me but there are days when my sense of humour is more elusive than others.
Yoga has been my saviour over these past two years and now my escapades have put most postures beyond my reach. I am confused as to why this has happened. Why take away the one thing that brought me so close to you? I call the question out to you in the dark. . .
You hoot low and slow but I am left unsatisfied.
Of course I meditate, I breathe and I study but each night I find myself crawling from bath to bed at a time more akin to a toddler’s bedtime than a lively night owl such as myself.
But last night I lay still and simply listened to you in the night and reminded myself that patience and acceptance are the also the way of the yogi and there is much learning to be had in the enforcement of my confinement.
Some days I fear I have become insane and wonder how would I know if I had? I remember attending a doctor’s appointment with a depressed friend many years ago and hearing the question “do you have thoughts of taking your own life?”
Now I wonder what form those thoughts have to take to be indicative of suicidal intention.
Does it count that each time I am awaiting the tube that I wonder how quick it would be if I jumped?
I was in London with Hayley recently and was mildly irritated that some stations have glass doors separating the track from the platform. She found it reassuring and remarked as such.
I, on the other hand, felt trapped and that the doors limited my options.
Do these thoughts constitute suicidal ones?
After you died my Beautiful Girl, I visited your own GP and watched as his devastation at your loss crumpled his face and stumbled his words. It feels almost perverse to be glad to witness another person stricken by the loss of you. I said nothing and let him struggle himself back to composure.
As we said goodbye he took my hand and lowered his voice: “You are the most risk of taking your own life just now.”
As I walked to the car I knew he was right, only earlier that day I heard of a woman whose daughter had been killed on a level crossing and not long after she hurled herself in front of a train in the very same spot.
But you Beautiful Girl would kill me if I were to do such a thing and so I am condemned to walk this earth alone and speculate how my own end will find me.
Your hooting ceased and I knew the day was not far from beginning.
I lay a little while longer aware of a hunger for physical contact but at the same time repulsed by the very idea.
I felt myself falling into an exhausted sleep and let it take me.
It was close to midday when I awakened to rain still lashing against the single glazed glass, the sky still heavy and dark and my aching body unwilling to make the small journey from my bed to the shower and begin another dim day. . .
But I lifted my broken arm with my good one and somehow, painfully I rose, like I always do and like I know I always will until it is time to travel home to you. . .
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.