Monday, September 5, 2011


Frozen in this moment,
three days have passed
and I didn’t even feel
a single rotation of the planet.

One shot

and I was pulled back
by a force stronger than gravity
to a time
that left me reeling in his wake

A blinding flash
A heat of a love that
burned too hot for either of us
and threw me to my knees
with a great resounding percussion
of drums that silence a beating heart.

Three days I’ve been stuck
in a time that never truly belonged to us,
yet shaped us.

Three days frozen
by a pain that held him captive
for thirty years.
Frozen, yet I know

I will rise again
and find myself moving forward

on wings he showed me I had.

~ wjm
Sept. 2011

Wrung Out

Wrung Out

A twist,
my heart is wrung
like a dishcloth,

Squeezed dry.

A pain too strong and real,
much more than expected…

But it purifies.

…twist and squeeze and
drain the dirty water away.
And then I can dry out in the sun,
remembering the moon.

~ wjm

sept. 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

my brother's letter....

My brother wanted to leave this comment on my previous post, but something is wrong with blogger.... he can't comment and I can't even post the comment for him!  So, I just wanted to make sure this gets posted somewhere!

Dear Shane;
I met you maybe a couple times, I was the little brother who wanted to tag along and hang out with my sister and her friends and be into what you guys were into. Of course I never actually knew you, but I knew that my big sister loved you and I can see now that your love for her was among the greatest in the world. I don't know what darkness tormented your soul, and I don't know what you went through. Some souls it seems have a greater burden to bear than others, a harder battle to fight. Whatever black karma caused your life to be such a painful one, from my sisters words I know that you faced it with the fortitude of a true warrior. You had the wisdom to see that your life was heading in the direction that it did, and the compassion to sacrifice your own desires for the benefit of another. You could have stayed with her until the end, as her love for you was such that she would never have left, and she would have stood by your side and endured the emotional pain of watching you and trying to help you as you battled your demons. You could have accepted from her the most beautiful gift of her virginity, after which she would have been irrevocably attached to you even more strongly. But you saw, whether consciously or intuitively, that her soul was one so bright and so powerful that to take her with you, along what you knew would be a downward spiral, would be to steal from the world a precious gift. Though she would still be alive, her love for you would have caused her pain and would have held her back from her potential to become what she is. She is today a joyful and loving wife and mother of three, to whom she will pass on the wisdom and love which you felt so strongly. In this way, you have given to me the amazing sister I have today, who has been my most valued teacher and my best friend, and for this I thank you with all my heart, and you have given to the world the spiritual guide, mother and teacher that could not have been the same if she had dedicated her life to healing your pain, and for this the Universe is sure to thank you. Finally, you have given to her the gift of not having to live through a boyfriend or husband committing suicide. Her pain and sorrow at your departure is great, even after years of separation, but imagine how much worse it would have been if she had another ten years of memories to haunt her, memories of trying to pull you out of the dark storms of your mind, trying to stop the runaway train of your life, and finally having to lose you anyway. I'm sorry that your life was so painful, but because of the sacrifices you made for Love, and the strength you showed in the face of emotional torture, I know that your soul will be duly rewarded. thank you and bless you.
In Lak'ech,

"A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
how that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
that I could make those people dance
and maybe they’d be happy for a while.
But february made me shiver,
with every paper I’d deliver,
bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.
I can’t remember if I cried
when I read about his widowed bride,
but something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died...
Did you write the book of Love,
and do you have faith in God above,
if the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
can music save your mortal soul,
and can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes,
man, I dig those rhythm and blues.
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
with a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
but I knew I was out of luck,
the day the music died...
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
and moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
but that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the King and Queen,
in a coat he borrowed from James Dean
and a voice that came from you and me...
And while the King was looking down,
the jester stole his thorny crown,
the courtroom was adjourned;
no verdict was returned.
And while Lennon read a book on Marx,
the quartet practiced in the park,
and we sang dirges in the dark,
the day the music died...
Helter skelter in a summer swelter,
the birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
with the jester on the sidelines in a cast.
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
while the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
the marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed,
the day the music died...
Oh, and there we were all in one place,
a generation lost in space
with no time left to start again.
So come on, jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
cause fire is the devil’s only friend.
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage,
no angel born in Hell
could break that Satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
to light the sacrificial rite,
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died...
I met a girl who sang the blues
and I asked her for some happy news,
but she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
where I’d heard the music years before,
but the man there said the music wouldn’t play.
And in the streets the children screamed,
the lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
the church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost,
they caught the last train for the coast
the day the music died,
and They were singing...
bye-bye, miss American Pie,
drove my chevy to the levee,
but the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
singin, this’ll be the day that I die...
this'll be the day that I die."
-Don Mclean

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In Remembrance....

This is one of those posts that is hard to write, but I write it because writing is so healing for me.  I have had so many emotions, thoughts, and feelings today that spoken words just cannot justify... yet silence is not justified either.
I write in remembrance.  In loving memory of a dear friend, Shane.  July 16 1981 - August 31 2011
Last night the pain of his life became too much, his depression too deep, and his strength ran out.  Last night he ended his own life.  His last facebook status update was, "I'm sorry."  And I think he was.  He didn't do this to hurt anyone, and it breaks my heart that he reached the point that he saw this as his only remaining option.  My heart breaks because I will miss him.  Yet at the same time I feel a strange peace... a simple knowing that maybe... he will find the peace he could not find in this life.  Shane struggled with depression for most of his life.  I remember in High School when I knew him best, it took great strength for him to go on and not end his life then.  It should be a testament to his strength that he made it this far. 
It is true that I have not been close to him since high school.  In fact, I went several years without hearing from him at all.  In the time that we had reconnected (on facebook) I've only really talked with him three times.  It is true that I do not know what his life was like after high school, what he may have gone through, and what brought him to this choice last night.  I am not writing this to undermine anyone else's pain, or to say that my pain is any stronger than others who loved him and knew him.  I write because these memories are all that I have.. they mean so much to me.  This blog post will be long. 
I actually first met Shane when I was 5 years old.  He was mean to me in the typical way that young boys are mean to little girls.  As we grew up he was a grade lower than me so I didn't think another thing of him until High School.  We laughed over the memory I had of him picking on me as a little girl.
We dated.  We were a couple for probably about 6 months, which is a long time in terms of many high school romances.  He wasn't my first boyfriend, but he was the first one that I loved in a way that I couldn't explain.  I had cared for my other boyfriends and loved them as a very close friend loves another.  Yet with Shane it was the first time I was feeling that overwhelming feeling of "falling" in love.  He was all I thought of day and night.  Even then he was suffering from this great, deep depression that I couldn't quite understand no matter how hard I tried.  I was suffering from my own depression, the beginnings of a clinical depression that I have battled my whole adult life.  But I recognized that his pain, his depression, was a different kind than mine... it consumed him and tortured him in a way that mine did not.
We wrote poetry for each other, held each other close when we could.  We listened to Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails.  I tried to comfort him when I could, and he tried to be happy for me.  He would have moments of happiness and laughter, sometimes even a few days when he seemed content.  But something would always rise in him again, this darkness that would pull him down.  At 15 he was already a pretty heavy drinker.  He drank to numb his pain, to escape from whatever demons haunted him.  I remember he was always telling me that I was too good for him.  That I was too pure and innocent and that I deserved better.  I argued that he was wrong, that if he would just accept my love, maybe he could be happy.  He thought his darkness would consume me and drag me down.  I thought that my light could shine bright enough to overpower his darkness.  It was the one thing we could never agree on.
Being teenagers full of raging hormones, sex became a topic for us before long.  We both wanted to, but I was a virgin and not sure if I was ready and he respected that.  When I decided that I loved him enough and felt that I was ready, he refused.  He did not want to be the one to "Taint" me and "take my beautiful innocence from me."  (He was always quite poetic and rather melodramatic with his words)  Of course, it just made me love him more, that he was willing to wait and never pressured me.  He just took my presence and soaked it up, there was this need in him for tenderness and at least I could provide that.  He would walk 2 miles to my house after dark to sneak into my bedroom after my parents had gone to bed... just so he could lay next to me and fall asleep in my arms.  In the morning he would wake up and sneak out and go down to the river until it was time for the bus to come.  He would meet me at the bus stop and we would ride to school together.
He was so sure that I was going to leave him or abandon him.  He would always ask me why I stayed, and ask me to promise to stay with him forever.  I told him and assured him again and again that I wouldn't leave him.  Whatever pain he had, I couldn't stand the thought of adding to that pain in any way. 
It came as a surprise then, when he broke up with me.  It crushed me, really.  Because he had always been the one to say he needed me so badly, and he had been the one so afraid that I would leave him.  He told me that same thing he had told me before; that I was too good for him, that his darkness was bound to bring me down.  He said he knew he was on a path of self-destruction and he would not make me ride that path with him.  It took me a long time to understand it, but eventually I understood that what he did was the most selfless and loving thing he could have done.  He could have been selfish and allowed me to stay, hopelessly devoted to him.  I wouldn't have left him... I could never have hurt him.  He chose not to be selfish, and in the only way he knew how... he set me free.  Perhaps he was right, perhaps there was nothing I really could have done for him in the long run.  I was young and didn't yet understand that a person cannot truly receive love unless they first love themselves.  Eventually after my pain and anger had eased, we remained friends, and he explained to me again that he just couldn't bring me along with him into the darkness that he could not escape, and that he thought I was just too good for him.
I was still a virgin when he broke up with me, and planned on staying that way.  At first I was glad that I hadn't slept with him, it would have made the pain of our break-up even harder for me, since he would have my first.   A few months later though, I was raped.  I was threatened with a gun and a man I didn't even know took from me what I had wanted to give to Shane.  I remember that among all the feelings that I felt during that time, I thought about what a waste it had been... that my first time could have been an act of love but instead it was a time of fear and pain.  I remember actually being angry at Shane for not taking my virginity when he could have, and I sometimes still have this pang of regret that he wasn't my first.  Eventually I realized that if Shane had been my first, I probably would have resented him for that for one reason or another so I eventually got past that feeling.
When Shane found out what had happened to me, I remember him calling me, wanting to know who and wanting me to give him permission to go kill the person who had done it to me.  I think he probably would have done it.  I didn't want him to go to prison, so I never told anyone who it was that had raped me.  In our small town, word would have gotten back to him if I had told anyone... so I kept it to myself.  I became one of those statistics of the girls who never report their rape to any authority.  I was ashamed of what had happened to me, and I was really afraid of what Shane would do.  I didn't see him much after that, and eventually after I graduated high school I moved away and lost track of him.  But I would think of him often, wondering if he was okay and wondering if he ever thought of me.  About a year ago I found him on facebook.  He accepted my friend request and we spoke for the first time in about 11 years.  He was truly happy to discover that I was happily married with 3 kids and relatively good life.  He told me that he knew that I was "the one that got away" but that he was so happy that I was doing well and had found love and happiness.  I told him that I wished he was happy too, and that I would always care about him.  The conversation was awkward and we only spoke two other times after that... it was always very cordial and polite, general chit-chat.
Whatever his pain, he reached a point last night where he couldn't be strong anymore.  Whatever his reasons, he felt that he had run out of options.  It hurts and I feel the absence of him very deeply, I have felt this emptiness in my heart all day, this big empty hole that will somehow now just become a part of me as much as he has always been a part of me.  He was such a big part of my past, our relationship - though short and juvenile, shaped me and changed me. 
I wanted to write this tonite, as he has been on my mind all day.  I only hope that he knew I loved him.  And I write because his memory is important to me, and always will be.  I will miss him, and I will never forget him.  I am glad that I got to share a chapter of his life.
A mutual friend posted today on his facebook wall this beautiful prayer that sums up how I feel...

"For you, My Dear.. Today I Sing your Passage, Today I light a flame for your Peace. For you, Sweet one, I laugh for your Joy, and I cry washing away your sorrow. Thank you for gracing my life and learning lessons with me in our wake. You are blessed, Loved, and Remembered. Thank you for walking with us for this time..."

Rest in peace, Shane.  You were loved.
thank you for reading this, if you have read this whole thing.  Thank you for letting me share this story.  It is his story as much as it is mine.  Please send prayers to guide his spirit to the peace that he deserves, and send vibes of comfort to his family and friends who are feeling the pain of his loss. 
Suicide is a sad reality in this country.  So often we don't know how to help our loved ones who suffer from depression or mental illness, and the world is ill-equipped when it comes to finding ways to truly help people.  I hope that everyone can someday work together to find better solutions.  Meanwhile, if you are depressed or suicidal, or know someone who is.... please please reach out.  You are not alone, and you are loved... even if you can't see it right now, please know that you are loved!  Just talking to someone can really help1-800-273-TALK (8255)