Santiago is getting tired . . .
I wish he'd sleep and I could sleep and dream about the lions, he thought. Why are the lions the main thing that is left? Don't think, old man, he said to himself. Rest gently now against the wood and think of nothing. He is working. Work as little as you can.
It was getting into the afternoon and the boat still moved slowly and steadily. But there was an added drag now from the easterly breeze and the old man rode gently with the small sea and the hurt of the cord across his back came to him easily and smoothly.
The old man has been out on the boat a long time, and he's tired. He wants to close his eyes and dream of lions, but he knows that he still has a lot of work to do.
It has been a long time since I have written a blog post. The last blog post I wrote was published on August 12. My life got a little derailed last month, and I've been struggling to find my equilibrium ever since. In the past thirty days, one of my best friends died, and my daughter decided to move out of my house.
In short, this summer did not go out with a whimper. It sort of grabbed me by the throat, dragged me out into the jungle, and used me as a chew toy. The blue funk that I'd been battling since July has come roaring back. Every time I pass the stairs to my daughter's bedroom, I feel the emptiness on my shoulders.
Emptiness is a strange thing. Even though it's weightless and shapeless, it's still heavy. Like a trunk filled with clothes and pictures and shoes and books belonging to someone you loved and lost. Currently, my trunk holds items from my mother, sister, friend, and, now, my daughter. I am tired of loss.
There's no way around this grief. I know that. I haven't really been able to write or think clearly for a while. I was able to come up with a poem for my friend's celebration of life, but it took me nearly two weeks. I struggled to find the words for what I was feeling, and words that would truly honor my friend's spirit.
So, here I am, sitting in a hotel room in Calumet, Michigan, finally hammering out a new blog post. Tomorrow night, I'm performing in a radio variety show, and it will take all the energy I have. No worries. When I was in a similar funk a while ago, a therapist friend gave me this advice: fake it 'til you make it. I'm pretty good at doing that, even under the weight of emptiness.
I am the old man in a very large ocean right now. No land in sight.
Saint Marty's blessing tonight: the laughter of his son.
P. S. I'm going to be writing forward and backward from this point on, trying to catch up on posts I have missed and keep current on my daily posts, as well. So, start reading ahead and behind.