Saturday, July 9, 2011

Two Sides of the Coin

"I'm from Oklahoma," she said. "That's where the real tornadoes are. In Colorado, a tornado warning usually means maybe somebody somewhere saw something that looks like a funnel cloud. In Oklahoma, the tornadoes come in the still of the night, and they sweep through an entire town."

All of this reminded me of a book I have read; almost everything reminds me of a book I have read. It's perhaps slightly annoying that I am forever quoting somebody, somewhere, something I read once.

"Sing Them Home. Stephanie Kallos. You should read that book," I offered. "You can borrow mine."

I loan books easily, given my stamp on the inside and the borrower's forgiveness of my handwriting, doodles, and notes throughout.

I pulled it off the shelf at home, and I flipped through the pages. A brief revisit before I send this book on a field trip. Sure enough, my handwriting was woven throughout.

I underline turns of phrases, metaphors, word pictures, and masterful language. I circle words worth repeating; I draw brackets around parts that seem especially applicable to something I've been thinking.

(This makes it nearly impossible for me to borrow books from the library: they believe I don't respect their pages, and I believe they don't understand my need to read with a pen in hand. Need.)


Aside from several occasions of tornadoes in the storyline, I had forgotten that one of the main characters loses her husband to death by lightning strike on the golf course in the opening scene of the novel.

(I give away no secrets. It's the opening scene, people.)

And suddenly, I realized that this book was less about tornadoes and primarily about enduring grief and loss.

I read it in February, 2010. Ten months before my own test of endurance would begin.

I find this page dog-eared.

"If there is anything I have learned in my life, it's that so very little is within our control. Our passions arise to surprise us. Our loves jump out at us like boogeymen as we round a dark corner or open the closet. We try and we try to make things fit, to steer the events of our lives a certain way, to create boundaries of experience and feeling, to wall ourselves off from one another, to stop love - which should never be stopped, ever - and my dears, it simply cannot be done.

Heartbreak has a counterpart. Turn it over, and you will know that that which tells you I am gone can tell you just as convincingly that I am here.

Turn the coin over. After I am gone, find me on the other side of heartbreak. Look and see and know that you are my best beloved..."

Underlined. Starred. Bracketed.

Ten months before my own journey of endurance, my own funnel cloud.

It leaves me thinking about another coin with two sides:

things I might subconsciously anticipate,
things I would never want to know before it happens.

Perhaps I should read the book again.


gluten free girl in a pasta world said...

I am going to buy the book today.
Think of often. Whisper a prayer each time.

Deanna said...

This is a brilliant post. I'm going on BN to find this book for my nook.

I think of you often, and I hug my kids when I don't really feel like it, tell my husband I forgive him when I don't really want to. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

Laura Thompson said...

I usually get your posts in my email box as I am a subscriber to your blog... this way I don't miss any!
Of course every once in a while I have to click on the title and be taken to your actual blog to see pics or just look at the sweet faces of your boys and family.
Today when I got on your blog I gasped as I saw that you had changed the pictures. I felt the lump in my throat start to form, and within about 5 seconds, I was in tears. Tears I could not seem to stop. I wept and wept, and at first couldn't figure out why I was reacting with so much emotion. I have cried and teared so many times reading your blog but this was different. I SOBBED over the changed photos. I kept thinking, "come on Laura, pull this together... what is going on with you?"
I think the bottom line Tricia is that I have come to love you and your boys; strangers I have never met. If I ever saw you in person I think I would want to run up to you and throw my arms around you (don't worry, I have more self control than that :)
Your blog has changed me. It has changed me in a way that will not be undone. If you only knew how much you have been the voice of God to me when I have been in dark places. So again, thank you for your transparency, thank you for showing us the raw hurting places, and the light that does peak in; and every once in while shine down.

Terry said...

dearest tricia... there are THREE sides to a coin..the third side is the side that is an endless circle that has no periods and will go on forever and and terry