Grace Absorbed~

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This picture expresses it all for me.
Where I am in this widowed life.
It was taken 3 years ago, but even then, without knowing….I was determined.
Determined that Love must be bigger than the devastation.
Determined that if I knew nothing else, if I remembered nothing else, I would know and remember the Love that Chuck left behind for me.
And I would make it shine forth from me so brightly that it would rival the sun.

And it does. It shines and it shimmers and it glows.
It isn’t any easier for me than it is for anyone else in this widow life.
What you can’t see in this picture, what is invisible to the human eye and completely visible to my eye, is the humongous shape of Chuck’s absence that is always with me.
His physical and tangible absence right there to the left of me.
That’s the side he walked on, always, because of deafness in his right ear.
The day this picture was taken, I very consciously chose my clothing, wanting them to reflect the fucking warrior goddess that I was determined to be.
I chose a clear crystal to wear around my neck, on a strand of pink beads.  Clear crystal, so that the light would shine through. Pink because, well…pink, and Chuck said wear pink to mourn for me, not black.  Pink is your color.
I wore leggings that I laced with pink thread. They were a bit ragged, which suited me.  I was ragged and torn up. I still am.
A lace shirt to remind myself of softness and light and my femininity. What I was, what I felt, when Chuck and I were together.
A laced suede vest denoting armor.  Widowhood is not for sissies.  Life is a battle for me, everyday.  I make the decision every day to get up and suit up and show up, and I armor myself in pink, for strength.  For Love.
A sword. But a sword for Love, not violence. A sword because a fucking warrior goddess must have a sword.
I purposefully went barefoot that day, as I crossed streams and climbed red rocks to get to a rise above the earth. I wanted my feet to sink into the ground.  I wanted them dirty and natural and bare.  Bare and as stripped down as I felt.
And, as I posed and lifted my face to the sun above me, I felt, even as my shredded heart beat beneath my lace shirt and suede vest…I absorbed the grace descending upon me.
Grace.
What I needed then, what I need now, to carry me, along with the Love that is the only real and tangible thing to me in these 4 years and 3 months of without-ness.
I lift my face to the sun, still, and I lift my face to the moon and stars at night, as I travel my Odyssey of Love.  I speak to Chuck and I ask him to send even more Love here to me, more Love to hold onto, more grace to continue on.
Love…the Love that Chuck left behind for me, the Love that I feel for him now and always, is the very breath of my existence. It fuels me, it gets me going, it keeps me going.
I lift my eyes to the skies to absorb Chuck, wherever he is, if he is…and I breathe the Love from him into every step I take, every mile I drive.
It’s all I have.
And it isn’t enough.
Except that..
It is.

It must be.

a Southwestern being in the moment~

It’s been a long trip to get here to Sedona, and I saw parts of the country I didn’t even know were out here!
Handsome Husband and I had thought that we might settle eventually in San Angelo, Texas, and it was duly checked out–and promptly, checked off, our list! Texas, as we all know, is a HUGE state–I found out that there are enough roads in Texas to wrap around the world 5 times–so, yep, that’s huge. We were hopeful, going from the hill country we fell in love with, to further south, that we’d find more of the same…but, nope! not to be. Heading into the San Angelo area, the geography got FLAT, flat, flat! We did stay overnight, and drove around the town, and I kept hoping to find the GOOD part of town, but there really wasn’t a good part of town. That part of Texas has to put the natives through some tough times–how does anyone do it? And I don’t mind the middle of nowhere, but it was the middle of nowhere ugly….so, a resounding NO to San Angelo.

Interesting traveling AWAY from San Angelo–it got pretty again, and who knew that there were extensive wind farms out there? And when I say windfarm, I mean extending for upwards to 60 miles in every direction–look at this picture, and imagine a horizon full of them–

Texas windmill

Also, in the middle of nowhere, Texas, suddenly this massive castle-like house–clearly some money at work here, and it must be from oil, because we suddenly started seeing oil wells…like big ducks, dipping down to pick seeds off the ground. And then, another big surprise, as we drove out of Hobbs, New Mexico–I had no idea that New Mexico was oil country! Just like the windfarm, for miles and miles, except it was nothing but oil drills. And believe me, it was miles and miles and miles, and all the while, the air stank of sulfur, and it was UuuuGggly! with flat land, crazy big rig drivers and others, who would come right up on your tailpipe, suddenly swerve out, almost hitting you, and then pass with no room to spare. I’m giving you fair warning, people, you take your life in your hand to drive in this part of the country! At least in New Jersey, people pretty much know that they are aggressive jerks when it comes to driving–out here, I don’t think they know how to drive but they think they do, and that makes for trouble!

We have been leisurely in driving–we each take turns at the wheel, and stop when we see something interesting. I saw my first roadrunner–outside of the cartoon, that is! It wasn’t going beep, beep, and it skittered across the road so quickly, you had to look twice to make sure of what it was, and there wasn’t a coyote chasing it, but it was, yes, indeed, a roadrunner! And then, an elk, standing right at the side of the road–don’t know why, maybe he didn’t know, but there he was. And  armadillo–more dead ones, but still a southwestern thing….

A lovely night at a hotel in the mountains of Arizona, in a town called Show Low, which I can never seem to remember properly, and so call Slow Mo, or LowShow, or Show and Tell, but it is a pretty little town, though approaching it was when we saw that horrible sign about wolves and keeping your kids and pets close by-as if we don’t have enough to worry about as parents. Sounds a little too Hansel and Gretl, and I will not be moving there anytime soon, thank you!  

The White Sands speak for themselves-the true vastness of this earth, how small we all are in the scheme of things. I’ll be interested in contrasting them with the Sand Dunes of Alamosa, Colorado, which we plan on visiting…

That’s Handsome Husband there!

So, folks, here I am in Sedona, Arizona, with our two sons, and I think we’ll be here until July 4, maybe watch some fireworks over the Red Rocks. Feeling relaxed, loving the time with Handsome Husband, wondering when I’m going to get back to work on my book, but enjoying my first time off in a very long time.  Angel blessings to all of you-I carry you with me…