Monthly Archives: January 2012


Goodbyes are a peculiar thing, don’t you think?  I believe they are.  Well, actually, “peculiar” is just one word to describe it.  Others would be, “relieving”, “refreshing”, “painful”, “heartbreaking”, “bold” and so on and so forth.

I guess it’s fair to say that a goodbye begins with one word, morphs into another through the process of time, then ends with something completely different to what it started with.

Here’s what I mean:

A person dies, for example, and we are forced to say farewell.  Initially, the word for this may be “trauma” or “scared”.  As time goes on, this transforms into “anger” as we blame them for leaving us.  Given even more time, and the right circumstances, this may eventually move to “acceptance”.  Three words to describe one.  And the cycle is complete.  Of course, each cycle is different for each person.

Personally, I don’t know what’s worse; a goodbye that is forced upon us through something like a death, or a goodbye that we ourselves are forced to make due to a situation not turning out the way we want it to.  It may be easy to think that the former would be the worst, but maybe the unrelenting disappointment of a hopeless situation could also rival that.  I’m not sure.

You may be wondering why I am choosing to write about this – or maybe not, considering my work can be quite abstract.  But let me just say that the emotional roller-coaster I found myself in last week has prompted this. It has also caused me to reflect on a couple of other goodbyes of last year.

The first reflection:

A death:

I thought of this not because of the death itself, but because of the experience of the funeral.

There was a group of 5 of us rushing and sweating in the sunshine to make it in time to the funeral hall.  We got off at the correct station and someone says the words: “So who has the address of where we are going?”.  This prompted the looks of horror and “you have got to be kidding me” from the rest of us.  No one had remembered this one vital piece of information.  We had travelled all this way, and were now stuck at this random station.  Luckily (if you could call it that) someone else pointed out that they were sure the street name had the word “church” in it, and that once we find said street, the funeral hall will be right there, because it will be the only one around.

In true modern style, we all got our iPhones out and indeed, there it was…a street with the name “church” in it.  We had nothing to lose.  Once there, the place was filled with crematoriums and church halls.  “Which one is it?”

Just as we were about to enter a second phase of panic, we saw a crowd; we followed the crowd.

We said our thank you’s at the door of the hall everyone was heading to as we were handed the order of service booklet.  We inconvenienced an entire pew as we pushed our way to the only empty seats at the far end. “I’m really sorry…so sorry.”

We sung an entire hymn and had begun the first verse of the next when we all decided (it would seem practically simultaneously) to flip through the booklet.  We saw the picture of the departed; a woman in her 70’s with gray hair.  I knew what we were all thinking, but it was voiced by someone else “eeerrr, that’s not Keith”.  Yes, our person was male with black hair and in their 40s…so who on earth is this?

We stop singing; we conferred (reverently); we decided that actually, it might not be the best idea to stay and cry with the others while pretending we know this woman.  So out we came.  We inconvenienced the pew once more “I’m sorry…really I am” and handed the order of service back to the man at the door; “thank you…really great service”

The word to describe this goodbye: quietly humorous.

The second reflection:

A second death:

Not long after the above, I got news of another passing.  This one was on my mind because his end was sudden and so my corresponding word for this goodbye was “shocker”.

When I think of the funeral, I see people standing around the grave in silence looking straight ahead at each other.  Falling autumn leaves littering the floor to produce a crisp crimson.  No one shedding a tear because the weather is too cold, but then, no tear is needed because each facial expression tells it all.  Each quivering lip says, “if I could cry now, I would”.

Of course, I know that is not how it happened at all.  I wasn’t at the funeral, I didn’t make it.  I was told what happened.  He was cremated, there were no leaves, and the weather wasn’t that cold.

And so, this leads me to…

My GOODbye:

This one wasn’t forced upon me.  It falls under the latter category.  The one where I myself choose to say goodbye.  The one where unrelenting disappointment has prevailed.  I don’t want to wave a farewell to this.  God knows I desperately do not want to, but for a situation where I have tried over and over to change the outcome, and everything goes against me…well, what other choice is there.  I am finding it hard to shrug my shoulders and declare “c’est la vie”.  Those are not the words I want. “C’est la vie?”  What I want is “joy”, “surprise” “elation”…not goodbye…oh God please not goodbye.  But I am torn…as much as I want to hang on, and just because I can, it doesn’t mean that I should.  I must let go.  For the sake of my own sanity, and the sanity of those around me, I walk away.

The picture above is more symbolic because no one has passed away this time.  The hat on the stone…on the cross, I just felt it was appropriate.

So what does this mean to me?  What word do I choose to chronicle this moment?  I have more than one.  I have a mixture.  I have sentences:

A lump in my throat.  A knot in my stomach. An ache in my heart.

That is where it starts.

But where does it end?  I am not sure, but I can imagine that the word “release” will feature somewhere down the line.

But for now, my final word is…GOODbye.


THE key

I’m sitting by the kitchen table.  In my hand is a hot cup of coffee.  It’s bitter.  It’s lacking something.  Cream liqueur; that’s what it’s missing.  I never have my coffee without it.  Yup, that’s better.

I look out the window.  It’s dark.  Really dark.  But then, it’s just gone midnight.

My eyes, they are burning.  They are tired.

The coffee is now cold.  Why?  Oh I see, it’s approaching 1am, and the cup hasn’t even touched my lips.

I get up and head off to bed.  One last look outside.

Nothing but darkness.  Real darkness.

They didn’t come.

I open the front door.  It’s morning.  My goodness, it’s chilly.

The floor mat, that’s what I want.  I look under it.  It’s still there, where I left it.  I wish it wasn’t.  I was sure it wouldn’t be.

I’m at the kitchen table.  Looking out the window.

You’re not still waiting for them are you?”  That’s my roommate, walking in.

They’ll come.”  That’s me.

She sits down, takes my cup, and drinks my coffee.  She knows I don’t like her finishing it all.

They’ll come.”  That’s me.

It’s morning. I lean against the front door.

Have you been outside?That’s my roommate.

I nod.

Was it still there?

I nod.

They will come.  I know it.”  That’s me.

My roommate sits opposite me.  She holds up a key, the key to the house.  My roommate says,

HOW will they find you?  You leave the key under the mat each night.  But they don’t know you live here.  They don’t even know you’re looking for them.

It sounds absurd, but I think this is the way to do it.  It’s the way to reach them.That’s me.

Just call them.  Pick up them phone and call them.

I shake my head.

They can’t know I’m reaching out to them.

We both hear a noise outside and rush to the door.  Open it.  It’s just a fox.  We both let out a sigh; her’s from frustration; mine from sadness.

Just leave the key out will you.”  That’s me.

She looks at me, and I know what she’s thinking.  Of all the crazy people she’s met, maybe, just maybe, I am the head of them all.

You didn’t check under the mat today?”  That’s my roomate.

I didn’t need to, ’cause I “accidentally” bumped into one of their friends.


And, he will tell them, and they will come.

What if he doesn’t tell them?  What if he doesn’t know he needs to?  Does this friend even know who you are? Ooorrr, what if he tells them, and they laugh at you?  They will think you a fool.

She looks at me again, with that same look.  Why must she always do that?

I really hope they’re not laughing at me.

I close the front door and come back indoors.  It’s morning.  It’s cold.  It’s chilly.

Did you check?”  That’s my…well, I think you know who this is by now.

I nod.

Did they come?

I shake my head.

No, but I know they will.  I feel it so strongly like I’ve never felt anything in my life.

She stands to the side of me, silent.  She has no words.  Before she can give me the look again, I say

They’ll come.

Inside I’m praying they are not laughing at me.  I’m praying they answer my call.

I know they will.”  That’s me.

one BEACH, ONE very simple CONVERSATION, one PERFECT guy

“It’s really peaceful out here, don’t you think?  And I don’t even mind the pebbles so much.  Even the cool breeze isn’t bothering me.  I’m sure you’d disagree though.  Don’t you Debby?”

“Huh?  Yea, it’s a bit too cold for my liking.”

“Ha.  Why am I not surprised.  WOAH, check out those waves girl….

Do you know what I think of when I see them?”

“No.  What?”

“I see us riding the waves of glorious experiences and great chance.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means, dear Debb, that great things are coming our way.  I can feel it.  It’s in the air.  It’s in those waves.  Ooohhh, I can even smell it.  Breathe it in Debb.  Breathe it in.  Aaahhh.  There it is.”

“You’re crazy, that’s what you are.”

“Well, better to be a tad crazy than moody.  What’s with you today?  And what’s that?… That paper that is about to fall out of your pocket….Yea, that one.”

“Oh.  It’s nothing.  Just a photo of…someone.”

“Of him?  It’s a photo of him isn’t it?  Let me see. Come on, let…me…see.  Oh my oh my.  He’s gorgeous.  No, he’s more than goregeous, he’s…he’s…he’s eatable.  You sneaky girl you.  And why have you never told me his name?”

“That’s not important either.  And give me the photo back.

“So, what’s he like?”

“Really nice.  The sort of person any girl would want.  I feel so privileged.  I like having his picture near me.”

“Tell me more.  I am indeed intrigued.”

“Well, it just sucks that we’re not in the same country.  But he did say he’d call.  I’m giving him space to do just that…see if he’s really interested…you know.”

“Oh totally, you gotta be sure he really wants to be with you.  So, did he call? Oooohh, you’re smiling.  You haven’t done that all day, that must be good news.”

“Well, I was sitting at home, minding my own business the other day, when the phone rings.”

“I couldn’t believe it.”

“You couldn’t believe that the phone rang???”

“It’s the house phone.  It never rings.  Anyway, sshhh.  I’M telling the story here.”

“I just love how excited you are.  FINALLY, something..or someone…has perked you up.”

“Anyway, I didn’t believe the phone was ringing and..”

“You said that already”

“ occured to me that this is the number I gave him and that it was possibly him calling. But I’d by now been thinking for too long, because the phone stopped.  It went dead….OUCH…what was that pinch for?”

“For making me think there was more to this story.  Instead, all I get is, the phone rang…much to my utter surprise, and I didn’t pick it up.”

“Ssshhh.  The phone rang once more.”

“Guess who it was?”

“It was him.”  “It was him”

“What?  It’s not rocket science.”

“We spoke for such a long time.  Dare I say we spoke for hours.”

“I think you dare.”

“It was such a magical moment.  With the perfect guy.  hmm, I can’t believe I’m nearly crying just remembering it.  I just felt so special…you know.  He made me feel special.  I haven’t felt that way in such a long time.  It’s indescribable that one person can do that to another.  Are you happy for me? I’m so happy for me.  You know what he said to me..he said…”




“Did he call?”


“No…no, he never did.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.  I just thought…well, with the picture and all….”

“Yea.  I know.”

“It’s slipped out of your hand…the photo.  It’s being blown toward the sea.  Look, I’ll go get it for you yea.”

“No.  I don’t need it.  I shouldn’t have kept it.  Let it go where it goes, and we’ll sit here together.

Tell me more about those waves.  I want to hear.”

“No you don’t.  I can see it.  It shows in your eyes.  He may still call.  You never know.”


“Ok, I’ll tell you about the waves.  You see that one over there coming our way, that’s good fortune, auspiciousness.  And that one to the side of it, that’s wellness…and that…”

2011/2012 – a parAphraSe, aN eXpeCtaTion


Our inner beings are funny things aren’t they.  They cry out for answers.  They want to be rescued from disagreeable situations and scenarios.  They are stubborn.

This inner being is really us.  It belongs to us.  It is a part of us.  When we cry out, it cries out.  It is a simultaneous act.

We remember the past; some call it, “the good old days.”  Our inner being forces us to grin at the recollection of former pleasures.  But then, it is this recollection that also renders us feeble, weak.

There was a time that good fortune was near.  Good fortune?  Love?  Delight?  Remind me, what is that again?  Things I once embraced.  Will I embrace them once more?

The former pleasures now turn to rejection.  Rejection from deliverance…or…rejection from the one who can bring this deliverance.

Why, oh why, inner being do you cause me to remember?  Yes, me, for it is I that stands here, alone, yet amongst many, on the eve of the new beginning, the new dawn.  The eve of the place called…



But my inner being perseveres in reminding me of the “wonders of old”.  Again I ask, why?

“To alter perspective”


And then I start to change.  Something shifts in me.   I begin the movement that leads to a smile.  Yes, it is true, things were good once.


I’ve been through much, but here I stand, able to share my life.


Indeed, it’s good to remember.  After all, that’s what gives us hope for the future.  It happened once before, it can happen again.  My inner voice smiles and nods.  Yes, that’s right, circumstances can change.


I will be delivered, and my deliverer is here, in this place.


I smile more now.

The drums are crashing in anticipation of the next few moments.  There’s a tremble in the air.  The sound of thunder beginning near the clouds.




I see a path ahead, not a whole one…a partial one.  Unseen footprints lead the way to my future.  I know they are there, I can sense them.  They will lead me forward.  2012, here I come, to experience those wonders of new.



Psalm 77

(I hope you enjoy a few of my pictures chosen for you.  I hope to share my 2012 journey with you)