Pressure Cooker

Sometimes it’s like there’s just too much To cope with all at once.

Life makes you dizzy;
Drunk
(Bad drunk:
Thirteen-years-old-swigging-cheap-cider-from-the-bottle drunk).

Never enough time.
Tail chasing, tripping, chasing again.
Troubled mind, ill at ease:
Stormy seas.

Stop the merry go round and get off,
Not forever, just for a while.
Freeze frame,
Slow down time.

Anger without reason,
Lack of hinges.
I am a pressure cooker about to go off; my lid rattles from the head of steam building beneath it.

Weighted expectations,
Sinking in the gloom.
All-pervading but nonsensical
Impending sense of doom.

We are happy
And yet we are not.
We have it all
And yet we have nothing at all.

All this. And we are the lucky ones.

image

On Loss

Today is the funeral of a girl I know who tragically passed away in a car accident three weeks ago. She was just 32. Although I haven’t seen her for several years, I remember her as being beautiful, funny, kind and talented – she was an actress and, I recently learned, an aspiring playwright. I can’t imagine the pain her husband of two years is going through as he struggles to come to terms with the bottomless chasm of his grief – they were together since before I knew them, so he must feel he’s lost a part of himself. I just hope that one day he (and her family and friends) will be able to look back at the many happy memories they shared with fondness rather than pain, though I imagine that will take a very long time.

Being slightly removed from the situation by virtue of the time that’s passed since I last saw them, it feels somehow self-indulgent for me to wallow in grief. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since I found out. It just seems so unfair that someone with such a zest for life, who showed so much promise in her career and was such an incredibly lovely person, should be so cruelly snatched away and cut down in her prime. I know the same could be said about everyone who dies young, I suppose this is just the first time it’s been someone who I really knew, and it’s come as a terrible shock because this is normally the sort of thing that happens to other people.

When I first found out I wrote a post about trying to take what little positives there are from such a tragedy, so I’m reminding myself now to make every day count, to tell everyone how much I love them and to be the best person I can be. But somehow all those promises feel like little more than hollow reassurances today, as I think about the fact a bright star isn’t with us anymore, and the sky will be a darker place without her in it.

I’m going to close with the poem I read at my grandma’s funeral years ago, by Mary Elizabeth Frye. It makes me cry every time but I think it’s beautiful:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quite birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die

Rest in peace, Katy. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten x

I chose this picture for today because it was taken in one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, Taliwas in Borneo.