Monday Morning Quotes

Monday Morning Quotes
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Since 1998 I've been sending out these reflections first thing each week--one or more quotes plus my thoughts about the intersections and contradictions. They're archived here back to 2002, and a new one is posted every Monday morning. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #1043 - #TangledWeb

08 Aug, 2022

TANGLED WEB

"Farewell is said by the living, in life, every day."
R. A. Salvatore

"Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering."
Roland Barthes

"Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory."
J.R.R. Tolkien

"Absence is a house so vast that you will pass through its walls and hang pictures on the air."
Pablo Neruda


Is it a loss when someone dies
who you had already let go?

Do you have to let them go again?
And how can you do that when they're already gone?

I'm trying to figure that out this morning,
trying to figure out this tangled web of feelings
about the death of someone I was at one time so close to,
someone I taught, directed, edited,
someone I wrote with, laughed with, sang with,
someone who tended my wee babes,
someone I attended daily as he almost died of AIDS
just as protease inhibitors were coming over the terrain.

What is more than memory
that connects us always?
Ah, yes, I wrote it in the poem I wrote for him
when he lay in the hospital almost thirty years ago--
and his ex and I (we two his health care proxies)
gave them permission to save his life,
and he woke livid at us
that he wasn't out of his misery--
not just the misery of the disease
(which became a condition, which was becoming and became
manageable),
but the condition of being human,
the condition of having hope for the future
and then being disappointed,
for which he had lost the will.

Like I said, a tangled web.

He lived. He healed.
They said he might not sing again,
but we built his voice back better than before,
wrote songs together of Lazarus rising
which he sang in a triumphant cabaret act which I directed,
tried to make it a show
that brought us closer, too close,
because then it tore us apart.

When I tried to clear up a misunderstanding
as we were ending our relationship,
not wanting him to believe I resented him,
wanting him to know there was affection and appreciation
for his having been in my life,
he said--not angrily, not bitterly, but with compassion--
"If I don't understand, it's not your problem."

I let him go so he wouldn't be my problem.

Like I said, a tangled web.

But what was it I wrote for him,
this then-young then-not-young man hungering for fame and acclaim
as much or more than burning with something to say?

I wrote a poem called Immortality,
assuring him of his,
about the immortality we have through connection,
through shared experience and the memory of it,
through how we touch and alter each other,
and today I am so profoundly aware of just how true that is.

I am sad that he is gone from this world.
I am not sad that he was no longer a part of my days.

Another contradictory co-existing reality.

Like I said, a tangled web
of feelings.

Shellen Lubin
August 8, 2022


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