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Absence of Knowing
Grief, changing worldviews and where I've been.
I am not quite sure when it happened (the disappearance of writing and its return), because all my points of reference - my address, my family, my goals - have been distorted.
I never stopped thinking about absence, though. Mostly my father’s - who I lost in the pandemic. His death left behind this absolute, irrefutable pain that took over any sense of inspiration, creativity, and hope I had left. That is how utter its hold was on me.
Today, some of my feelings about grief have amplified while other beliefs have dampened, but nothing seems to have an utter hold on me anymore. This tweet pretty much sums it up:
In her poem ‘Dear One Absent This Long While’, Lisa Olstein maps her grief into strange curiosities out of sight (the driveway, the staircase, the trees). Then she hinges them on months - but it never works, because that’s not how grief works.
And that’s the only answer I have about grief - at the end of many, many deleted calendar blocks dedicated to working on these newsletters - that it neither absolves nor dissolves, especially when you’re actively looking to do something about it.
Grief, quite like Olstein’s poem, blooms coldly. I found in retrospect that this inability to write anything meaningful was really a preoccupation with waiting for this emotional stalling to be over without a timeline.
So here I am - and if you’re here with me and think there’s still something here worth holding onto - then stay.
There is nobody else I’d rather give these words to, anyway.
Writing this to Scott James’ voice in Park Music, and the turn of his voice as he hums some of these words is heart-wrenching.
Currently, Reading this book by Mike Mariani’s book ‘What doesn’t kill us makes us’ on resilience and recovery. You can read an excerpt here.