Cambia, todo cambia

"Changes...everything changes..."
This site no longer lets me include a link; but you can copy the link below and find Mercedes Sosa on youtube singing "Cambia, todo cambia..."

I can feel the changing in ways I can't describe.  
Some of it is the weather.  
Some is the sigh that comes after the season of holidays:  wistfulness clinging to relief.  We can resume "normal life"  (whatever that is these days); and I miss being in the  sukkah.  
Feeling around for what shape my life is meant to take now---it is not yet clear---gives me almost a sense of vertigo.

Mazal the Cat is experiencing a shift as well, from junior cat to Only Cat.
She is trying out places that used to be Bracha's sole domain---like this spot to my right on the little salmon sofa, where the heating pad used to be under a blanket, to gently warm so-skinny Bracha.  Now there is just a blanket, and a dark tabby cat sretched out long, to see if she can make the place her own.  (She is curled next to me, her head resting on the side of my forearm, purring.)  She has come upstairs to let me know that she is well enough to  climb stairs again; but she has not come up to snuggle and sleep next to me again.
Todo cambia; everything changes.

I feel my beloved very far, very far...and then close for an instant.  I am reluctant to let books leave the house, because they were so much a part of him---though clearly I myself will not be capable of really entering and appreciating most of them in this lifetime.  Clothing was easier:  first of all, he was not attached to many pieces of clothing; and I knew his clothes would warm the new wearer.  I feel imprints of his presence in the house itself, so full of love.  I wish I had had the presence of mind to keep a record of the p'sukim we wrote on the drywall of each room before priming and painting:  the right blessing for every room.  
At the same time, I know very well that I must eventually let go of all of it, every last bit: his things, his books, my things, my books, furniture, clothing, pots and dishes, art supplies, guitars, the view of the Flatirons from the balcony, the balcony.  Memories.  All that is inside me from all that I have lived. 
My memories of having loved and been loved.
Will I have to let go of that too?

I take the richness and the sadness together to bed with me.
Good night.

A liminal day

It started out beautiful:  sun, blue sky, and two sets of unexpected visitors who dropped in to sit in the sukkah.  Then a lot of cooking (two soups, spanakopita, putting out cheese, GF crackers, fruit, slivovitz, etc.) for an annual visit of women-friends-in-the-sukkah---resumed after a hiatus of several years.  All during the preparations and the event here at home, I was aware of the parallel funeral and this day of shiva my friend was observing for her mother.  Impermanence...

(In the back of my mind, where the movie scores and the sound effects live, I hear Joni mitchell singing "Everything comes and goes...")

Now, at the end of the day, with everything cleaned up, the herbs hastily bought in just in case, the irrigation system turned off in case the prediction of snow tonight comes true, I sit and take stock:  everything does indeed come and go.  Cherished friends and family members are near then far then sometimes gone; and we know, each of us, that we ourselves move and change and will be gone---                                                                                                                                                                 I think of how wise our tradition is that even now, just as the harvest is coming in, and we are praying for the right rains, we are also reading Ecclesiastes---everything comes and goes indeed.

Mazal the cat has been coming and going back and forth meowing.  I believe she may have imagined that Bracha was visiting elsewhere, and would return; and is consternated that she does not, that she seems to be truly gone.  There are days when, in the back of my mind where unregulated thoughts live, I too imagine that Zalman has just been visiting other realms, is not a permanent resident; and I expect to see him coming upstairs from working in his office.                    I can usually rearrange my thoughts to conform to reality.                                            

Tonight it is harder.