Thursday, May 30, 2013

And the wind, it cries Mary

After all the jacks are in their boxes
And the clowns have all gone to bed
You can hear happiness staggering on down the street
Footprints dressed in red
And the wind whispers Mary
I woke up from a dream last night. My wife Lizanne, who passed away in 2001, appeared. She was no longer sick, but she was delicate. She only appeared for a moment, and in her way she kindly tapped me on the shoulder. Remember. Outside the wind was blowing.

We all run around making busy lives for ourselves to fill them up with meaning. We are like the little goti glass of Venice, made from left over scraps of glass, all different. All fragile. But still we step outside in the wind, and we run. And run. Competing in a race we will never win. But still, we run.


A broom is drearily sweeping
Up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life
Somewhere a queen is weeping
Somewhere a king has no wife
And the wind, it cries Mary
When I awoke this morning I had an email from a friend in Italy. She simply wanted to tell me about someone who would no longer be in the race. This person had passed on. I had just met this person’s husband at Summa; in fact I was scheduled to visit them last week when I was near Venice. But time and circumstances blew me in another direction.

You might be of royal lineage or you might be just like most of us, but we all run the same race. Some of us run longer than others. For those who are taken early, it’s difficult for those they leave behind. Husbands, wives, brothers, mothers, sons, daughters, lovers. When it happens, a door closes in a cave and we are turned around in the dark and told to run towards the light. And that can take years. Like the finest wine.


The traffic lights they turn up blue tomorrow
And shine their emptiness down on my bed
The tiny island sags downstream
‘Cause the life that lived is, is dead
And the wind screams Mary
What do you say to someone who has just lost their mate? I have found nothing that can comfort them. Nothing comforted me. The closest anyone came was a friend of mine, Martin, who whispered into my mind, “May her memory be a blessing.” Years ago I wrote something similar to a cousin who, in a short period, lost her father, her husband and her son. I have never heard back from her. So it’s different for different people. No one thing works. Nothing ultimately can comfort the grieving soul, save time. The cure is also the disease – time.

Every time I go to Italy I think about the Jesuit priest who prepped me for my first Italy trip. He had been a whopping 25 or 26 times, and he was a tremendous story teller. “Son, just remember your first trip won’t be your last. Don’t try and see it all in one trip.” 42 or 43 trips later I have barely begun to scratch the surface; even though I tell many Italians about their Italy they have never seen and do not know. The irony of it. One like me who can barely put together a sentence in the Italian language, but who has seen more of Italy than most Italians.

“Your first trip won’t be your last.” I remembered that. But this trip, this life, who knows if it is our first, our last or our only go around? Meanwhile we worry about the position of our cubicle in an office or a parking place in the corporate parking lot. Or how to get Joe or Jane to like us more. Or less. The race becomes a merry go round. And all the while, time ticks away, regardless of whether we are heading down the tunnel towards the light or going around in circles with the wind blowing in our hair.

To my friend and those near and dear to her who just lost their wife and their mother and their friend I can only wave from this shore the simple white handkerchief of love and loss. I’ve been there; I know what you are going through. But that won’t help any of you in any way. Other than to know there are many of us who are further down the tunnel and there will be more light, someday. Not in a year. But someday.
Will the wind ever remember
The names it has blown in the past
And with his crutch, it’s old age, and it's wisdom
It whispers no, this will be the last
And the wind cries Mary



In memory of Marie Brandolini d’Adda
ine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

8 comments:

SilvanaMondo said...

Alfons, what a poignant and beautiful love letter to the sorrow that inevitably follows all the living through out this magnificent and short life. I agree, there are no special words to make the passage less painful and yet, and yet...words are sometimes all we have. I'm sure yours are appreciated. and I Thank you for giving us the chance to read them.

Do Bianchi said...

So sorry to hear of her passing. What a beautiful tribute... those lyrics by Jimi Hendrix are as vibrant as when he first sang them...

Gary York said...

Time is both our friend and our enemy. Some days seems to last only seconds and others a lifetime. Open a bottle of your favorite drink this weekend with some people you like.

Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka said...

Alfonso, thank you.

Lewis Perdue said...

Beautiful.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thank you, everyone...

Silvia said...

Thank you for these heartfully words.
I send some love to her and all the people who are now in silence...

LOVE
Silvia

Spencer said...

May I join everyone who reads this (and everyone should!) and wish you well. Thank you. Nabokov once wrote, "Life is a great surprise, I do not see why death should not be an even greater one." What a great song to reference.

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