You are Still Loved

I am devastated to hear about the loss of a friend today. This person touched many lives with comments of hope and love. This post is to let her know that she was loved–her soul is now loved–along with her daughter and family.

In blogging, many of us write as catharsis–we celebrate joys, hold hands through sorrows and laugh in between. We form connections–at best, we make friendships and, at the least, try to bare honest souls on computer screens. We try to communicate that, while despair sometimes flirts, there is always hope . . . .

Then there are these unexplained tragedies we can’t wrap our heads around and leave large holes in their wake. These tragedies make us look at our own lives, our relationships, our selves. We hope that, despite misunderstandings, the people we hold within our hearts know how much we love them. That way, if the unforseeable happens, our loved ones who remain have our love to hold onto.

Sancheeta, you are missed. I hope this post honors a fraction of what you meant to those of us blessed to know you. Safe, peaceful travels.

With love,

Pamela

For those of you who need to hear this, don’t ever g i v e up.

Ashes of Soldiers

 
 
ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.Noiseless as mists and vapors,
From their graves in the trenches ascending,
From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or single ones, they
come,
And silently gather round me.Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
With sabres drawn and glist’ning, and carbines by their thighs—(ah, my brave
horsemen!
My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
With all the perils, were yours!)Nor you drummers—neither at reveille, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp—nor even the muffled beat for a burial;
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded promenade,
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
The slain elate and alive again—the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical voices sounding!
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone;
But love is not over—and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battle-fields rising—up from foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

Perfume all! make all wholesome!
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

 ~Walt Whitman

Bradbury’s Brainy Bites

Work is done for the day so time to ponder.  I was thinking about Ray Bradbury tonight.  He’s the author of two of my favorite texts: Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine.  He has penned so many inspiring words I have trouble choosing only some quotes (a few are taped to the shelf above my desk).  Long story shorter (I can never guarantee short), here’s a few of my faves:

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ~Bradbury

“He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often–he searched for a simile, found one in his work–torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people’s faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” ~ Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“You’ll find out it’s little savors and little things that count more than big ones. A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.”~Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

“Are you happy?” she [Clarisse] said. “Am I what?” he [Montag] cried. But she was gone- running in the moonlight. Her front door shut gently.” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. “ ~ Bradbury

“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~Bradbury
 
“You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.” ~Bradbury 
 

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Bradbury

Gray Day Musings & Neruda

 I am sitting at my desk taking a break from working. My heavy, thick glass window to the world is open. Life filters in. Jays screech about their dampened feathers, a male cardinal calls his absent mate, the wind blusters about, enters my room, restlessly rustles my papers, chills me. The sky is steel. An overt warning of hair raising, electric flashes and deep, shuddering anger that booms and bellows while raging torrents pummel.

I am swept up in the emotions of this gray afternoon. Poetry fills deep voids, gaping hollows with substance, meat, food. Then, I receive bad news. Perfect day for those pained, hurting. Falling tears may be disguised as precipitation.

Poetry is needed, read, to shake the shadows of the Grim Reaper, so close, so near my friend’s family. Attempts at poetic therapy, self-medication.  The following distracts me, a selection from one of my favorite poets filled with such passion his words often drip with seduction.

It’s good to feel you are close to me

It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they weretwisted nets. Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.~Pablo Neruda

 

Graham

 

 

 

 

 

crucifix gleamed round your

neck spoke without words of

pain wounds that couldn’t be

loved away

you knew what it felt like to be

lanced cut hurt you smiled and

suffered that couldn’t be

taken away

stitched together you were an

exploding fast ball let loose to

test life’s velocity until you were

taken away

crucifix gleams round my

neck speaks without words of

pain memories that can’t be

loved away

Pamela A. Rossow



Mr. E.F. Duncan, Owner Duncan’s Toy Chest: Well, two Turtle Doves. I’ll tell you what you do: you keep one, and you give the other one to a very special person. You see, Turtle Doves are a symbol of friendship and love. And as long as each of you has your Turtle Dove, you’ll be friends forever.
Kevin McCallister: Wow. I never knew that. I thought they were just part of a song.
Mr. E.F. Duncan, Owner Duncan’s Toy Chest: They are. And for that very special reason.

(Quote from Home Alone 2)

 

Love Letter Fest

Friends, welcome to my Valentine’s Event. A “Dear ?” love letter which you have written (whether sweet, sarcastic, or saucy) and will post your links below in the comment section so we all can have grieve, giggle, or gasp!  I will admit. When this idea jumped into my brain, I wasn’t daunted.  HOWEVER, as I sit here about to type my own letter, I’m overwhelmed, a tad bit intimidated, and wondering what on earth I was thinking when I started this.  Those of you who know me well are aware of my stubborn perseverance.  Hence, onward.  Enjoy and happy Valentine’s Day.  Not the commercialized hype but the everyday love we hold in our hearts.


Dear _______,

Many of you have directly or indirectly shaped me into the woman I am today.  I wouldn’t be Pamela without you.  Some of you have taken my heart down spiraling staircases into dank, dark basements where I suffered pain, wrenching hurt, abandonment.

A couple of you have led me through enchanted forests where rainbows arched overhead, the grass was soft, the castle walls had crumbled, and we loved as first loves.

Still others have taught me the foundation of love, how love isn’t based on emotions, how it demands action, requires being able to mouth or write two words (I’m sorry), and mean them.  That anger doesn’t necessarily reflect lack of love, although, at times, it may indicate lack of “like” (or sheer frustration).

Another has shown me that no matter how much I get angry, or question, or cry, or vent, He will remain faithful and, even more amazing, love me despite me.

All of the individuals who do not hesitate to pick up the phone to let me know they care, reach out with a card or letter, laugh with me, scream with me, or who hold me when I cry across the miles in a tight, virtual embrace.

Then there are the up close and personals who cling to me, climb me as if I am a tree, and hold on with little arms tightly clasped around my neck.  There are older ones who reach out when I least expect them to, grab my hands, sit close to me on the sofa, or hug me unexpectedly in passing.

There are those of you who have touched me so deeply that even though we are separated by this seemingly vast expanse of the other world you continue to move me, fill me, motivate me, cheer me on, and you are alive to me in my dreams, my memory, my soul.

There might be a person out there on this planet who could, through honest eyes, stir up flames in me once more.  Who, through sincerity, persistence, humor, character, empathy, gentleness, and time, has the capability to evoke in me passions which have yet to be completely drawn out.  He may exist. . .

In the meantime, I love and am so loved.  For all you, hole fillers, and you, hole makers, I thank-you.  It’s been real, raw, and, at times, raucous.  Even though, some days I harbor a few, wee regrets, I wouldn’t change any of it.  I have learned and will continue to learn.  My heart’s love journey (I hope) has, like my parent’s wedding song, “only just begun.”

All my love,

Pamela 

RIP John Wilson

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that I write this afternoon.  A special man and friend of my dad, Dave Rossow, was tragically killed today.  His name was John Wilson.  He was a wonderful man, father, husband, firefighter, chef, and friend.  The entire Boca Raton Fire Department family grieves and we extend our condolences to John’s wife and sons. Readers, please be reminded when hearing about such sad news, to appreciate who is in your life at this moment.  We never know when an ordinary day can turn extra-ordinary for all of the wrong reasons.  Our time on this planet is finite.  When we have people, like “John Wilsons” in our lives, we need to appreciate them and let them know how much we love them.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  If we are cognizant of this reality, although some people might find it morbid, it may help us to live with love and forgiveness.  RIP John.  You were and are loved.  God bless you.

Love,

Pamela

This picture was taken at my dad, Dave Rossow’s,  retirement party.

Amazing Grace

Electrocution

 

 

 

 

he decided against the

gallows there was no

water in his soul so

drowning was out

he buzzed with electric

energy lightening bolts

fought it out on his face

frown smile smile frown

his fingers unwittingly

zapped those he touched

searing burns white-hot

sizzle his perfect ending

Pamela A. Rossow

Good-byes

It’s been a week filled with losses and good-byes–some small, some huge, some manageable, some not so much.  It’s seems to be time for yet another (I’m horrible at them even after way too much practice). I’m even worse with unspoken ones–letters typed together to form words, words littering paper, scratchy substitutes for the ideal–verbalizations of endearment uttered to conscious, loved ones.

Dear Grandma,

This message is premature but I need to say it. Three minutes might be too late. I can’t stand to hear of your suffering (Dad is hurting also). Time’s hands are whirling faster and faster. While our relationship was not always pristine and when we were both much younger we said some things we regret, I have good memories–of hillside rock gardens, beautiful flowers and bulbs tucked lovingly into tiny crevices, of steep, spiraling steps leading down to a hidden vegetable garden, the heavy perfume of ripened tomatoes, your Hostas (I will grow them one day), the array of feathered friends that ate from Grandpa’s pulley rigged feeder, of brightly seeded strawberries with thick, heavy cream,  poppyseed cake (I knew they weren’t chocolate chips), of The Hill and a brown station wagon shifting gears, straining to make it to the top, audio books talking because of bright, blue eyes clouded by semi-blindness, the terrible towel that hung on your door, your love of The Game–black and gold, your political ideas (you bluntly informed me that mine were bunk), your feistiness and, often, uncensored belief systems you shared with me (or anyone else within earshot).

I will miss you. I am ungrateful for life’s sudden abruptness, preventing me from audibly mouthing the words (and having you know and understand). Yet, I speak and mean what I say. I love you. I’m sorry for life’s rudeness and pain. I hope that death brings comfort and Grandpa and light and freedom.

Love,

Pamela