They Are Dropping Like Flies


It would seem that one of the lessons of getting older is the normality that is developed in terms of our friends dying. Today I sat here and thought

‘their dropping life flies’.

Past the initial shock there is this thought, another one?  I worry, was there pain? Most of my friends have died off in a tapered style. The system slows down, the drugs put them in a state where  they can’t articulate their thoughts. If they can, we wonder are they actual thoughts or just muddled, free flowing  left over from actual conversations. Are they sentences cut short, incomplete thoughts, blips of the brain.

What I do know is that we are travellers. These bodies that hold us are containers and when that container wears out well PUFFFF we are released. I mean our true essence or if you like our spirit shoots out with great speed and the container is and looks empty. It was only when I first saw this first hand with my husband that I truly understood life and its cycle. Death may be the end of what we can understand but it is not the end of our existence.

So, how do we handle and interact with the friendships we have developed? I think acceptance of the final chapter and continued contact with our friends is a must. For heaven’s sake don’t leave them to end this time in a home or hospital on their own. Family is important, yes but its the family that we have adopted that really must help in the final weeks or months. Who have we confided in? Who have we had many dinners and laughs with? Those who have shared the similar passions.
Certainly I don’t speak for all but for me its about continuing the friendship if we can. Have all the final important conversations if time gives you the opportunity. Tell them how you have enjoyed them in your life. Help them remember crazy and wild times.
I would hope that when my time comes I will be content with my heart and mind. I will lie in my bed and feel the ocean’s breath on my face and listen to the rain dancing on the roof and Claire du lune  playing in the background. These are thoughts of our perceived perfect exit when in fact I will probably die in an accident heheh, there will be no time for reflection of music.

This morning has been a good reflecting morning. Later on I will call my friend again and tell her how much her friendship has effected me. I will speak to her every day till she can no longer take my calls. I am not sad for her final trip for she does not have to pack and remember anything. Can you imagine! To get prepared for a trip and not worry at all of tooth brush or passport or what clothes to bring.
Enjoy your life yes but enjoy your departure as well.

The Quilt

Two lives intertwined
Years of words reviewed by the hearts
One falls ill
The other holds with a grip of love that will not be released
There is pure beauty present

A love so strong
How ever can that be wrong
Many will write a song

We must understand
The moment they woke each ones eyes are locked to the others soul
Another stitch is created on the quilt that created their life
Our world runs at a speed that does not encourage and rejoice in such love
To look into the eyes of our lover and feel completeness

It takes great courage to say the final words
They can not be rehearsed
They can not be scheduled
They just flow from our lips when it is right
They escape without our knowledge and can not be retrieved
For within that split second the soul is freed
We are then alone so very alone
All the air leaves home

The quilt remains——- —– —– —– —– —- —– —–

My post today was inspired by a stepdaughters mother and father in law. My attempt to write a poem of their love turned into my love. Makes sense for how would I have knowledge of theirs.

I have been in our home now for two months. There are hints of progress but mostly I have been hiding. I have become unreliable. When you can’t bear to hear more kind advice you just retreat into yourself. There is part of us that does not want to disappoint  others again and again. We understand their concerns truly we do. We just have no mental energy. The feeling of running away is a constant. If no one knows you then you can’t disappoint.
I don’t think that mourners like where they find themselves. It is something that has to be allowed to run through us so it will leave us washed and renewed. That is the hope anyway.

Walking around our yard I can feel the conversations we have had walking on the same grass. There are chairs in twos placed for different view of the reflecting pools and trees but I just look at them and remember. The other day as I was walking about I realized that not only was the property too large for me to care for but that it was too large for me to enjoy. Does that even make sense?

Perhaps I feel this way because I was gone for five years and have only recently returned. If you never leave your family home do you feel as I do? Or do you just continue on as before. I think you probably do. I have been living in others homes for five years. Now I’m here and i feel the same.

In two months it will be three years that I have been a member of the widow’s club. My hope and dream is that by the time I am a member for five years that I will be in my own personal home. Creating new memories of my own.
We are so alone
We fall back our body deflated lies on the floor
We can not breath no more

Our Quilt remains ————————

tamaya garner august 9 2015

What is a Memory?

Photo on 2013-02-09 at 09.59

Memories, what are these things?
How do they work?
Are they the same for everyone?
I think that the act of the memory may be the same but if it’s activated differently then it would only make sense that remembering would be different for everyone.
I am an artist, as I have mentioned before. My particular obversion is detailed. The angle that a cup sits on a table. The way B’s hand nearly covered his glass when he held it. I can still see him sitting in his chair, one leg extremely extended out the other bent at the knee and foot slightly under his chair. One arm stretches across the cherrywood table while the other was bent back of the chair. B did not sit in a chair he possessed it.
I remember how it felt when I held him so tight in bed. I wanted to melt through his skin so I could be closer. So because of details, my mind is filled and the memories devour me. B had the most beautiful ears, and the curve of his chin and how his beard felt to the touch. His lips would almost melt when he kissed with love.
For myself, I don’t think anniversary days make that much of a difference but seeing his monumental sculptures does. We got together when he painted the 40′ mural in a hospital. Marble sculptures were our trip to Yugoslavia etc.

My trip to Newfoundland was about creating new memories. Also trying to envision a continued life on my own. I’ll have to wait to see how that works out.  The ocean became my lover, my confidant. Is that why I want to go back?

The pressures of letting go are always with me.  I often pretend that I am further healed then I am. It just makes things easier, no explaining, no making excuses for sleeping long hours. I just feel that it takes time to let some memories fly off. Being together every day and working together for 32 years is going to take time.
This summer I will be starting to sort out our studio. Everything that my fingers touch will be loaded with memories. Mine and his. I don’t look forward to this summer. It will take me apart, but I know I have to do it. Possibly it will not be so difficult. Someone may offer to buy and that will give me the excitement needed.
If only memories left prints, then at least we could be warned of what to pick up and what to leave alone. I go till my stomach hurts or I feel light headed then I stop because what I don’t want to do is get rid of something because I’m tired.
Then again………why do i even.

Then again.


Why is it wrong to not want a life without him.


lately i have been realizing that i have been living in other peoples lives.
not such a profound discovery ay.
from 1980 roughly I have been living with bruce.
living in a house he built for himself basically.
yes i participated in it.
he opened his life and invited me in.
i walked in and stayed.
he got ill.
he knew it.
i knew it.
but no doctors knew it.
he fell so many times.
the day my dog died i drank wine and fell asleep from my emotional sadness.
i woke hearing him call me and he was on his knees with the back door open in december.
he fell but could not stand himself up.
he could have frozen to death.
when i write this all the memories come back ten times and fill my body with such intense sadness.
it was so terrible what happened to him so absolutely incredibly terribly unjustifiably horrible what happened to him.
i lived in the hospital with him.
i lived in my mothers house from april 2009 to august 2011 when she died.
i then lived in her memories and lived in his room at the home till he died october 2 2012.
i continued to live in my mothers house till june 2014.
now i live in my sister in laws house.
am i a chameleon? is that what my life is?
have i traveled all this way, waking up everyday of my life to finally realize that i have not been creating my own life?
who am i?
i do know that i am an artist that is the one thing that i do know.
perhaps that is where i should start.
january 10 2015

There is a Saltbox House Waiting for Me







There is a saltbox house waiting for me in Newfoundland. This will be my first trip alone. My first trip without B. This time it will be me sketching and painting. Will I remember things differently? Will I take things in differently?
To have all questions directed at me will and has been different. Before I would chose which I felt like commenting on, now I must reply to all.

I really do have a burning desire to create something. The shortness of two weeks to go builds excitement in me.
The decision to bring canvases or not is now an un-issue. I will bring canvas cloth then purchase 1/8″ plywood and paint if I feel the need to go bigger. I will not restrict myself when I get out there.

This week I was casting and finishing some castings for my series. It was this spring and last fall that I cast these but it has been taking me a while to finish them. I think that with every sculpture I polish the memories come alive. The fill me and often they absorb me. As the months tick on by I feel better able to not let them exhaust me so much.

Our Senses Take Us On a Long Trip


I did not know that one person could grieve a house but apparently I am. I am not speaking mortar and wood and glass but more the feelings and memories that are lingering. this week and last I saw first hand how money makes some people seem as they have been possessed by evil.
I seem to be raw for all of these things hit me hard. I loose control over myself. I sob while driving. I sit by the water to find comfort but even it does not help. Often my head hurts and my teeth ache from nights of clinching my jaw, unbeknownst to me.
yesterday while waiting the the light to change at an intersection the smell of fat from kfc engulfed the van and took my mind back in time. I could see myself with B in the wheelchair waiting for the light to change and thinking how I was going to get him across two streets before the light went red. I remember what I was thinking and feeling as if I were living it for the first time.
When those times come over us there is no stopping them. They have a force that cannot be moved. I understand the feelings of desperation that leads people to building shrines of their loved ones. We don’t mean to create them into deities. For myself I remember a life so full of creating. To live with a true artist takes a certain kind of person. Watching the Pollack movie again with Ed Harris I understood. I felt the frustrations of Lee his wife and though B was not a drunk and filled with problems it was the creating that draws us to them like flies to light bulbs. It truly is as fascinating as watching a child being born.
Hearing Harris’s description of Pollacks desperation in getting out of him the creation of painting. I have been feeling as he described. Trying and ripping your chest open so it can all come out or be released! I have made attempts but as I look at the paintings now I can see that I have modified them. I have toned down the force and agony that I feel so the works might be better sellable. One has come close and I will post it today. Well I better try and get some work done.
Writing does help.
Painting does help.
Sculpting sure helps
I hope sharing helps you.

My feather bed is my sanctuary

My living room floor has a purple trunk in the centre, there is a foot rest in front of it and that is where I have  been sitting. Like the days so long ago, of working in the southern ontario fields picking tomatoes. My back aches!

I have been trying to make my way through boxes of  photos and negatives. I have not even attempted the slides. Two years ago I  bought myself one of those  gadgets that transfers all of these into digital images. Like most I think I never got one off. There was always going to be time to do things later. When later catches up with us the world feels like it crashes down. I often feel like I am in this crater and all these boulders are falling down on me.



Yup that is just what it feels like!

Every boulder is something, like fear, insecurity, extreme fatigue, the list goes on.

I think having to focus on these small images on negatives eventually took a tole on me. Thousands of images dating back 40Plus years. Many are of sculpture documentations, progressives of commissions. I remember taking most of these for the past 32 years. If I don’t label, sort, fit in zipbags who will.

Downstairs I have a large trunk FULL of loose sketches that were often done as we were waiting for breakfast to come in local restaurants. B drew constantly and I tried to date everything he was terrible at doing that and signing. I was his lover, his confidant, his muse, his assistant, his photographer, his partner in ever way conceivable.

How do you get over that in 18months?

Today I had to escape all those images or I was surly going to start planing my exit. I was craving a schnitzel like you would not believe! Most of the time I do not eat flesh. I drove to the river, sat on a bench and ate with plastic a plastic fork. It was not as I craved, serves me right. Everywhere I go there are memories and those memories open others and more and more till your mind blows up. The skin around your chest feels like it is shrinking. Deep breaths make you cough and the grieving pain becomes physical. You can’t tell your friends these things, it’s just too much for most to hear. You can tell when the surroundings are topped up. That is why I have come to this blog I think. Writing in my journals was just not cutting it any longer. I feel that if I can make one grieving person not feel so alone then it’s all worth it. For alone is what we feel. So very alone. It’s something that will mend with time but you can’t fill your days with pretending to smile and be happy so your friends will feel better. We all need a place where we can scream to the clouds!!!!!!!!!!! and repeat how we feel. Often I get the real sense that if someone hears us once that should be enough. What they don’t get is that we need to repeat, and repeat, and repeat till we empty our well. Maybe then we will be ready to go on and think of the future. Who knows.

I am not a stupid person: I know what a grieving person should do: The problem is that when you ARE THAT PERSON You can’t move. Your brain closes the doors and only allows a bit to come out at a time. This I feel is a safe guard and I am glad of it.

Tonight I was in bed at 6pm, I was exhausted. I laid still on my back for three hours. My feather bed is my sanctuary.

Don’t let people tell you you are sleeping too much. We need to sleep, for in our sleep we heal.

If we were in a car crash and broke many bones and had bruises all over they would understand. The problem is our bruises are concealed inside us. Time does heal, I have to believe that. You should as well.