Black and White, Death, Florida, Grief, Introspection, Music, Nature, Ocean, Pain, Photography, Prose, Quotation, Rain, Sea, Writing
I loomed beneath a dark feathering of sea-oats, pointed tips glazed with recent rain. I listened to the subdued murmur of little waves. The fetid and russet beds of sea-wrack had been washed away, leaving the sand barren and strange. A forlorn gull loitered at the swash line, analyzing the crinkling water as it fizzed in and out.
Distant lightning lazily branched from the moody-blue squall-lines and spidered across a sullen sea of herbal green. Coy ghost crabs emerged, removing dark masses of dripping sand from drowned burrows. They built little, lumpy mounds around the entrances to their small, black holes.
The storm was leaving me. How I longed for it to stay.
I was tortured the other night, seized with the memory of my little Siamese cat squeezing her eyes tightly shut for the last time. How swiftly she was gone, her soft, cinnamon cheek resting upon a colorful, flowing blanket that masked the metal slab beneath. I had never seen an animal euthanized, before. I understood, logically, that it ended the physical misery of her little, bony body.
Yet, how troubled I am by that last image of peace…of life tenderly released.
My mum died of a similar ravenous kind of disease. I remember that final image. Her face waxen and unreal, her mouth a small, black hole. She did not tightly close her eyes. She was not escorted quietly, through a warm wash of sleep, into the darkness beyond. Yet, I was not so disturbed by her image in death. And how vividly there lacked any look of peace…
I do not know what that reveals about me.
But I wish the storm would never leave. I want, forever, to hear its screams over this cold and fleeting sea of herbal green. How I wish there were no end to rain. Just as there seems to be no end to Grief.
“Darkness settles on the ground
Leaves the day stumbling blind,
Coming to a quiet close
And maybe just in time”
– From the song God Only Knows by Joe Henry
Thanks so much!
Perhaps it is easier to accept what you cannot control? Rain will always return, same as grief..
I think you are quite correct. The element of control over the situation with my feline companion was probably the very thing that caused the most distress. Who wants to decide such a thing?
Thanks for the comment and for your thoughts. Much appreciated. Always a joy when you drizzle by. All the best,
Sometimes you have to decide. And the right choice is often the hardest.
Aye, aye…so true.
I am so sorry to read about your two losses AJ. ((((((hugs)))))) lots of them ❤
Thank you dear Ralph. Your visits always bring such joy. I thank you for raining by. Briny hugs and barnacled embraces to you,
Thank you my friend. X marks the spot. You are always a treasure AJ 😀
Kari Jeppesen said:
…very beautiful homage…
Thank you so much! Happy weekend to you,
Hey AJ, thank you so much for dropping by recently – I have been going through a lot these months, which has kept me from putting new work out or socialize much. I’m somewhat back now and already amazed by what you’ve produced in the meantime! Your poetry really reached a new height in expressiveness and poignancy, not to mention the soft, seamless portrayal of grief told in images. My sincerest condolences.
Im so sorry~ a beautiful, reflective set —and amazing words to go with it!
So sorry to hear about your loss. The photos are just beautiful! I love the rain too.
Aye, there is a lot of healing in the rain…very peaceful and rejuvenating. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment and for drizzling by. Ebullient cheers to you,
Those last few lines “But I wish the storm would never leave. I want, forever, to hear its screams over this cold and fleeting sea of herbal green. How I wish there was no end to rain. Just as there seems to be no end to Grief,” were so powerful and beautifully written as well. You are right, grief never seems to end. It only gets easier to manage over time. Sometimes a deafening storm of some sort is necessary to drown out the pain one feels with grief. You have such a beautiful way of expressing something that so many people have a hard time of putting into words. I do still think of your mum from time to time. She was beautiful and creative. I see that beauty and creativity in you so very often.
Thanks Heather, your kind words are most appreciated. I do not see much of my mum in myself at all, but am glad you can still see glimpses of her. I remember someone saying to me, “You are your mother’s legacy,” and how despairing that made me feel, considering she was so much more than that…
Glad you liked the post. I don’t know where it came from. It was supposed to be a poem! All the best,
I read this post and felt saddened. I do understand your grief, it was only recently I had to do the same with my 19yr old kitty. And like you I lost my Mum. I will always miss her. May the rain wash away your grief. Hugs from me
My condolences, dear Julie. I was certainly in a peculiar mode. The post began as a light drizzle of a little poem and suddenly spilled into a dark, sodden downpour…
I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Mum and your fine feline. What kind of cat was it? Mia, the Siamese cat I mentioned, was 15. My mum had saved her from an abusive home back in 2002. She was a little purr-box with oceanic eyes. 🙂
Thanks for the visit. I hope the beauty of your wonderful garden and the nature all around helps you to find your own healing from Grief.
Thanks for sluicing by, dear friend.
Autumn Jade Toad
Beautiful prose. I hope the writing helped
Thank you for the kind comment. Being more reticent by nature, I was surprised when the simple little poem I began with morphed into this peculiar upsurge. I think it did help, indeed. Perhaps a little maudlin bleeding now and then is not such a nasty thing to fervently avoid (as I usually do). 😉 Thanks so much for misting by dear friend,
What a beautiful way of saying goodbye…
Two weeks ago I had to take the same decision… And knowing it was the only right thing to do does not help much…
Very sad to hear that you had to face the same doleful decision… Such an effusive outpouring is a little foreign for me, but I suspect it was necessary. Hugs to you. I am so sorry for you loss. Thank you for rippling by dear Nil. Your kind comment is deeply appreciated. All the best,
And I am sorry for yours… Hugs back…
I also love the sound of the rain but storms worry me. I always wonder if the monkeys and birds are safe. 😀
It’s always hard to say goodbye and I’ve worked for a veterinarian, so I know how difficult it can be and how heartbreaking. My little man will be 17 in December this year and my only wish for him is that when the time is near, that he will just go to sleep. Even talking about it makes me sad.
This was such a lovely tribute to your furry and the photos are exquisite. Let the rain wash all the tears away dear AJ. Thinking of you. ♥ Hugs ♥
Thanks so much dear Sonel. I have another cat who is even older than my Siamese was. Mine will be turning 18 in a few months. I worry and dread the time she too will take her leave, and like you, I hope she sallies forth into the darkness beyond in her sleep. I hate to think of it, too. Hugs. What kind of cat is your little man?
I wonder about creatures out in the storms, too. I also often seem to be among them as I have a habit of walking far down the beach, completely oblivious to the blackening clouds gathering over the water beside me. I skip and hop-scotch along in a daze until suddenly I find myself caught in the middle of a furious tempest. I then huddle amongst the birds, getting drenched, rain-battered sand stinging my eyes, stunned by the mesmerizing prowess of lightning and hissing sea. The sea-birds seem to relish it and will frolic and bathe in the swash as green lightning stabs the sky just above our heads. I do like the fact that all the other humans vanish and I can enjoy the company of my avian companions in peace. 😉
Thank you so much for fluttering by and for the kind comment. Hugs.
Autumn Jade Toad
I always wish they could live in our years. Maybe it would make it easier. 😀
My little man is a Peketese and unfortunately he doesn’t like cats at all. Guess it’s in their genes. 😆
That sounds like so much fun and storms doesn’t scare me. Before Simba became deaf, the lightning and thunder would stress him out. Now he doesn’t have a care in the world when it rains.
I am with you. That is why I love to walk in the rain. Most people tend to run away from it. I love it when it rains. Less people. 😆
You’re very welcome. ♥ Hugs ♥
Hi Autumn Jade Toad, I have always enjoyed your awe-inspiring words/writing and so beautiful B&W images. I am saddened having gone through similar losses, you could express it so well, so elegantly. I love storms too. I hope you will find peace in your heart, and very soon as well. Hugs,
Hugs Beth, I am so sorry for your losses. Storms and rain certainly help me and I was delighted to enjoy such weather all this past week. Sending hugs to you dear friend. Thank you so much for raining by and leaving such a beautiful, tender comment. Have a majestic weekend, rife with chiming birds and gorgeous sunsets,
Janice Wald said:
Hi Autumn Jade!
You and I travel in the same circles! I know Ralph and Smiling Toad. Did you find my blog on Ralph’s site? Your poetry and your photography are both beautiful. I am also interested in photography and have blogged about in twice. I have a third post planned.
Thank you for visiting my site Mostly Blogging yesterday (it’s still Tuesday here in California), and offering a detailed response to my smartphone post.
I will respond to comments in the next day or two, but in the meantime, I wanted to come over and thank you and introduce myself.
Pleased to meet you.
john todaro said:
So sad, and your images are lovely.
Thanks so much. The sea can be a marvelously reflective place. Thanks for oozing by and for the fabulous comment. All the best,
Amazing writing as always, AJ. You express your feelings of raw grief so powerfully. I’m really sorry for the loss of your dear old Siamese friend. It must be so awful to have to make that decision even though knowing it was for the best. My mom was really tired of living too, towards the end. I’m really sad to lose her, but happy for her blessed relief. I’m sure you felt the same. *hugs*
Hugs. I understand exactly what you mean in finding solace in the fact that the suffering and pain has ended. Thank you so much for the kind and tender words. Deeply appreciated. Thinking of you. Hugs.
we can not fight death…for all those living must die…
“Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives
Passing through nature to eternity.”
Thanks for sprinkling by. All the best,
the dune mouse said:
“would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me!” Wonderful post full of raw and oozing!! I know it well!
“And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!”
Thank you for reminding me of a much-loved poem dear Dune! Hugs. Thank you so much for splashing by. Your visits are cherished. All the best to you,
the dune mouse said:
love to dip into that water! Blessings!
The Jagged Man said:
Well now that touched a nerve! When I came to visit, I did not expect to be moved and challenged personally by such a small gesture of returning your like on my page with a visit to ours. You see I have been at the cold table far to many times with beloved pets, mine and occasional others, to not know what you experienced. I never consciously realized, or admitted to myself maybe more like it, that my mothers own death by cancer, and my dads sudden death troubled me less than all of those furry little beings for which I have to make the call of death over life. And it is one I will have to make again soon for my dear ol’ momma cat is at the edge of the cliff from which felines fall far to rapidity for my liking.
One hell of post and long live the rain!
Larissa Thomson said:
Hi Autumn Jade,
I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet friend and your mum. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a parent, but can relate to how you feel about your pet. We had to put our lovely old border collie – lab down two years ago (she was 17) and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – it’s being responsible for taking someone out from this world when they didn’t really choose it, isn’t it? And it’s about letting go of someone who never asked too much of us, whose friendship had no conditions..
But, as my step-mum said, it’s also a blessing, because she was old and in pain, and we are lucky to be able to bring them to peace. Sometimes we aren’t able to do that for our human friends / family. I was there when my grandfather passed away as well, but I remember, after it was all over, actually being grateful for the opportunity to be holding his hand and to be by his side as he made his way onto his next adventure. Escorting him on to that great unknowable / unshareable journey.
We haven’t gotten another dog yet. My husband has found it too difficult to move on from losing his best friend (yes, I played second fiddle to our hairy brown-eyed, pink floppy-tongued baby). And that’s ok. Grieving sometimes takes a long time.
Your post was beautiful and the images so applicable. I hope that you’re doing ok. My thoughts are with you.
Thanks so much!
I am sorry for your losses. It is always a shock no matter how prepared we are for it. You live in the constant rain, and constant reminder of grief. I choose to remain in my home in the constant sunshine, and in so doing, try to ignore the grief that tugs inside me. I move on, blinded to grief by the strong pull of the sun towards movement and activity rather than introspection and beauty of cleansing rain. Love you post, and love you, too. Have a wonderful holiday.
Haha I so adore the rain. I love the snow even more. BAH if only it rained and snowed CONSTANTLY. I’d be a happy lass. But alas life is awful and the sun is out constantly…blasted smiley thing in the sky…bleh
Hugs. I am so sorry you carry such grief dear friend. I suspect most of us do. Your words are pensive and beautiful, like a poem- I am in awe. Thank you so much for flitting by and leaving behind such wonderful, thoughtful words. Thinking of you. Happy holidays to you and dear V. All the best-
old Autty Toad
You are the pensive one, Smiling. I merely respond and reflect the wisdom radiating from your expressions. .It’s always great to hear from you. You would certainly hate our hot, dry, sun-drenched climate here in parched CA, even with the dabs of rain we are enjoying from El Nino. I hope you and Sir have great Christmas plans. V, Kalev, the kitties and I will have a quiet and lovely Christmas. Lots of love to you and Sir during this season of love and joy. 🙂
P.S. WOW I really went over the top with this post, I see…full Debby-Downer. I really need to do a funny post. Death, as beguiling and enchanting as it is, is not all that funny. I shall have to watch myriads of Buster Keaton reels and then take refuge on your dashing, sunny blog and Ralph’s slice of Spain for inspiration. See you soon! Cheers!
Death is not all that enchanting my dear, unless you read Sylvia’s blog about Miss Lizzy. You get death and gore and die laughing from it. 🙂
This is a sad story but this is life.Take care of yourself.
Indeed it is. And it is in sadness that I often find the most beauty 🙂 You too, have a majestic weekend dear friend and thanks for drizzling by. Best wishes,
Nayana Nair said:
lovely post…loved the line “The storm was leaving me. How I longed for it to stay.”
Greetings Nayana! Thank you so much. Yes…that is the line I liked most, too. Thank you for the wonderful comment and for gamboling by! All the best,
I would feel the same way…staring into a cuppa Earl Grey, wondering how in the name of all that is sacred could the flavor be so repugnant and yet so sublime, as if we were all meant to suffer- mea culpa- doing penance…by swishing down raindrops of the bittersweet soul that is a stiff cuppa of tae.
Precisely, mate, precisely!!!! I raise my cuppa to you! Epic comment, I thank you profusely.
P.S. Happy March to you. I trust that the signs of early spring are already burgeoning upon you. Cheers,
a very personal and powerful post…