Today is one of those days that marks the anniversary of a day when everything changed. A day when the before was starkly different than the one after; the difference noted at the time. Awareness of the import provoked both laughter and fear. Boundaries shifted, the future took a different shape, everything changed and I knew it was happening. He did too.
We could call it a watershed moment. The atmosphere was pregnant with the import of it all, but we dressed it in frivolity and Thai food and satiety of the senses. There were mangos and daffodils and soft whispers, loud guffaws and shy smiles. An old Jamaican woman commented on our radiance.
My heart hurts to recall it, but my mind cannot shut it out.
The future envisioned during that great change is not what happened. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” But we were weren’t really making plans as much as we were bearing witness to what was happening, knowing all the while that what was happening was changing the future as much as it was changing us.
I don’t regret it in any sense, but that line that drew itself that day on this day bears stark witness to what was and what could have been both with what had been and what was being born.
There is only one photo of that day. I’m not sharing it because this is about the visceral, not the visual.
I miss him, but it’s also been long enough now that it feels normal he’s not here. He should be here and we should be having that future, but we’re not. I’m having a different one demarked by another day where I knew then and now were miles apart but separated by minutes. That day, too, I knew at the time heralded a before and after. I’ve lived them both now, the before having been longer than the after – so far.
The pictures are in my head, a swirling, twirling dervish of love and memory. This is not what we thought, but what is. Leonard Cohen might say, or sing, at this moment, Dance me to the end of love.