Let There Be Dark

Mood: Low | Drinking: Watery Tea

nuuanupali

Although I’ve never been a big holiday cheer sort of gal, I have, in times past, managed to muster up a helluva lot more cheer than I am this year.

2008 didn’t come in looking like a brawler, but she’s going out leaving me battered and bruised and more than a little bewildered.

I’m no stranger to getting laid off. I survived the dot com bust of ’01, and I know such things are to be expected when you’re a creative person working in a corporate company while the economy sinks below sea level.

Funny thing is, I wasn’t expecting it this time. I’m the only copywriter in my entire company, and I thought that alone garnered me some job security. Not to mention the fact that I’m a damn fine employee. I work hard and fast. I don’t miss deadlines. I’m more organized than the average type-A office manager. My cubicle is fetchingly decorated. In short, I’m a gem to have on staff.

But it seems the hard truth of the lesson learned is this: Companies don’t give a shit about you.

It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how early you arrive or how late you leave. It doesn’t matter how valuable or singular your skills. When push comes to shove and you’re up against the almighty dollar, they will shove you out the door without a second’s hesitation.

Yes, I’m bitter.

I’ll get over it. I will. But when your entirely unexpected layoff is sandwiched in between the sudden death of your grandmother and your birthday; when said layoff means that the baby you’ve been postponing for 5 years has to be postponed even longer; when your CEO-dictated departure falls on the day after Christmas, well, I think you deserve a good wallow with a heaping spoonful of bitterness on the side. Don’t you?

In the meantime, my website has been down, my neck has a squinch, my dog’s eating dirt, and there’s a wee Asian boy outside my window screaming at his mother in Mandarin because she took away his favorite toy or some equivalent of toddler trauma.

*sigh*

Once the poor-mes are over, though, I’m going to fix my sights on a few things I’ve been promising you all for a long time and have not yet delivered. To wit: the long-awaited arrival of the newest cinepoem, Homeland Security; the long-overdue overhaul of this here fine website, including a real live RSS-feed on yon blog; and some shiny new poetry, fresh from my writing group revisions.

Sound good to you? Yeah, me too.

Now I’m just going to wrap up the boo-hooing and get on with it.

-Lo, keeping her silver lining intact.

Passage

Mood: Un-birthday | Drinking: Warm Dr. Pepper

casket

Today, my birthday, was also my grandmother’s funeral.

I was asked to do a reading during the service, and I read two poems, one that I wrote last Tuesday, the day after she died, and one that my writin’ group friends, Melissa & Kathy recommended. I’d like to share them both with you…

The End

I hear the sirens
from the end of the driveway
winding up Meheula
riding to the rescue.

It has already been three minutes,
three minutes and a lifetime.

On the floor inside the house
daughter cradles unseeing mother
rocking,
waiting.

The end comes
sooner than you want it to
and no matter how much you prepare
you’re never really ready.

Today in the dappled green park
birds flocked
to wheelchair and stroller
as side by side,
grandson and great
grandmother
flung crumbs to waiting beaks
and flirted.

Her last day was lived in the sun
lit up with laughter,
encircled by love
high above aquamarine waves.

It has been four minutes,
four minutes and 85 years.
The sirens spin closer now.
There’s no more time
to say goodbye.

***

Remember
by Christina Rosetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
gone far away into the silent land;
when you can no more hold me by the hand,
nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
you tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
it will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
and afterwards remember, do not grieve:
for if the darkness and corruption leave
a vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
better by far you should forget and smile
than that you should remember and be sad.

-Lo, in remembrance of Mary Ellen.