Sunday, June 10, 2007

Coming Home

I was away for the weekend and I feel like I'm about to do some serious damage to metaphors if I continue this sentence.

My brain is currently a little bit of a kaleidoscope. I traveled to attend and speak at a memorial service for my old friend, Helen, who died violently and senselessly in New Orleans in January. Most of the weekend is temporarily unbloggable, not because of particularly difficult confidentiality issues, but because it's all tumbling around in bright, important little fragments. I trust that with some sleep and some benign neglect it will settle into a pattern in a few days and I'll try to get it down here.

During the weekend I absorbed more images and memories than one brain is really, normally intended to absorb in a 48-hour period. And also more words. I sell books; I blog; my life is happily saturated in words, and this weekend left me worded out, a state I have seldom experienced. For the first time in my memory I went through an entire plane ride without opening a book or a magazine: no room for more, too many words already in there--my own words, my friends' words, words told by strangers about strangers to strangers, words overheard, words that flowed and words that shouldn't have, words that weren't there when I expected them, words that had power and words that had none. And Helen's own words, recorded in her films.

My ears are still hearing voices I hadn't heard in years, heard again as though no time had passed.

I came home with an even deeper sleep deficit than the one that wiped me out last week. In my absence Z. developed a Mama deficit, A. developed a grading deficit, the changing room developed a diaper deficit (we use cloth; they're in the wash now), and our low-maintenance dog had one of the bouts of digestive upset more typical of our high-maintenance dog. In two weeks it's my turn to single-parent as A. goes off to a college classmate's wedding and I stay home with Z. for the wedding that promises to be the event of the season here in the shtetl I live in. Let's hope that karma is working on a long horizon just now.


Julia said...

Sounds like a weekend worth reflecting on. I read about Helen when it first happened on a completely unrelated blog, and remember thinking that she sounded like an incredible woman. I am so sorry for your loss.

S. said...

My route into blogging was reading what people were writing after Helen died, so I'm guessing that whatever that blog was, I was probably reading it, too--which is to say, it wasn't an unrelated blog.

One of the more astonishing things that Helen left behind was the network of people she created.

E. said...

S., I'm so sorry. Wish I could say something else (something more). It's meaningful and painful and overwhelming attending a service like that. Love to you.

(BTW, the "Helen" link in the post is broken. Thought you'd like to know.)

S. said...

E., Thanks for the sympathy and the heads-up.