6/22/12–Day 6: Madison Retreat

Emotional day that began with taking L’s ashes to the spot I found last night. On the way–practically outside the door of where I’m staying I found this black feather. Somehow feathers have been symbols in this journey beginning with the eagle feather that L found on that Maine beach the day before his stroke. So I picked up the feather and walked along the lake to the spot.

I climbed down to the spot–not difficult–and found some small rocks lying there. One of them had a flat surface and all of them were this wonderful reddish color. I had brought along a marker so I wrote L’s name and Class of ___ and his birth/death dates on the rock. Then I sprinkled some of the ashes on the ground and stacked the rocks. I finished it off by placing the feather with the rocks. Then I walked to the spot where I saw the fisherman last night and scattered the rest of the small packet of ashes I brought on the lake.

There’s a park bench there so I sat down to look out at the lake and just think about L. It was a perfect day, huge fluffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky and the crew rowing teams out on the water practicing. L would love that.

All of a sudden I noticed this dragonfly fluttering around close to the lake–definitely close enough to see but far enough so that it was out of reach. The thing was it had these incredible pale blue tips to its wings, like no other dragonfly I ever saw before. The rest of it was black. I watched it land on a stalk of dried grass, flutter away, come back, and repeat several times. When it left for good I decided that it was time to go, but on my way back I stopped and retrieved the feather–I didn’t want to leave that there and I have it to put with the other feathers I’ve found.

I really wanted/needed to cry but the tears just did not come.But then I turned on my phone and there was a message from last night where friends back home had called just to see how I was doing–that started the tears.

I went to class. A couple of odd things happened there that were mildly upsetting–one person deciding to leave early and not come at all and another becoming upset in the class and leaving suddenly. It felt like the ending that it was and I found that played on me through the rest of the day. I had lunch with most of the rest of the class and then went off to walk and think. Around five I decided to go get ice cream as a kind of final visit to the terrace (for this trip) and ran into someone from class. When she and her husband seemed inclined to perhaps include me in their plans for the evening I found myself telling them that my husband had died some weeks ago and felt more tears coming so I left them quickly, got my ice cream and walked along the terrace.

The music was jazz and I found it unsettling and jarring so moved to the far end where I couldn’t hear it so well. Checked messages and here was yet another call from friends in AZ. I decided to call back since I had just missed their call by minutes. Got voicemail and started leaving a message and once again started to cry. So the tears did come along with a feeling of endings and loss that was for now as much related to this week coming to an end as it was to grieving for L.

Tomorrow farmer’s market, tarot and then home again and then…???


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