Different Kinds of Goodbyes

The lapwings are here, with their pterodactyl claws. And I am shredded. Not in a good way, but worn very thin and strained to the point of snapping here and there. But not entirely. What do you do when the good news and the bad news falls into your basket at once?

It is very difficult to settle attention wholly on either as would be the honest thing to do.

I read a poem this afternoon by John Lee Clark: “Long Goodbyes”. Also from the Beauty is a Verb anthology. The speaker of the poem and their family are deaf, and the way Clark write’s about their touching “more things with their hands”, makes me feel like I am missing something essential by not touching everything I can.

[…] pausing
where the walls offered stories,
reasons to stay longer

and touch more things with our hands.
I remember how long,
how wonderfully they stood

unwilling to open the front door,
signing away with warm faces
and hugging goodbye again

before going gently into the night.
My family would huddle to watch
their cars’ headlights roll away. […]

This is supposed to be a process journal for my writing, not a therapeutic process journal. How odd how things will bleed into one another. Maybe that is how both creatures stay alive?

I got the commission to write the Lear adaptation. I’ve added a line in the final scene – in the treatment at any rate – about only just beginning to understand the causalities of the day. I want to hold the details tight to their source for now, but I will say my adaptation is not nihilistic. There are no gentle nights, but there is always a morning for someone. A warm mug in their hands. A soft fabric thrown over their shoulders to rub against their neck.

What use is thought if there is no effort to make it tangible? Isn’t touching how all of us we know the world?

One Reply to “Different Kinds of Goodbyes”

  1. So where – exactly, specifically – is the real that matters, counts? Does thinking just do what matter cannot do? Why it was, is inevitable?


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