sometimes things seem better.
sometimes they seem much worse.
i fluctuate between passably happy and achingly depressed.
i know that eventually, the times where i feel content
will return, become longer, and slowly overpower
the sadness, the regret, the anger.
but right now, those feelings are so strong, so real.
they feel like they will never go away.
my friends remark that i am different...
you are always so optimistic, they say.
how can that have changed?
i see my optimism, but right now i can't reach it.
i'm sure it will come back to me,
but maybe not all at once,
and maybe i'll never fully have it back again.
i was worried that people would say
"he was just a cat"
and i tried to be strong in fear of those judging words.
but he wasn't just a cat.
he was a companion on rainy days,
i feel that we let him down,
and that is the worst part of all.
my strength and brave face
seemed to dissolve as the week ended
and i became acquainted with the dark parts of my soul,
the parts that hold bitterness, longing, heartache.
i am not comfortable down here, and yet it seems i cannot leave.
i am offered brief reprieves,
but those things that once brought me joy
(shopping for locally-grown veggies at the farmer's market,
solving a problem at work,
spending time with my love on the couch watching something delightful)
seem dulled, discolored, tainted.
i shy away from them now,
not wanting these two sides of my soul,
the light and the dark,
to crash into one another
lest they become forever entwined.
i plan to put the dark half back
when i am done with it,
and return to the sunshine of the rest of my life.
for now, it hangs over me
as i try to live my days
in the best spirits i can,
for i know mort wouldn't want us to stay sad.
he would want us to move on,
to have new adventures.
to keep his memory alive by telling each other funny stories
about the way he used to get so excited when we'd put the dishwasher on,
or how he knew that us donning coats & shoes meant he'd have
an opportunity to dash into the hall to explore.
until i return to my life
without this cloud of darkness over me,
i'm trying to live one moment, one day at a time
and i remember...
"smile, breathe, and go slowly."
~~thich nat hanh~~