I have a Spotify playlist titled “Full Album LOVES”.  Today I wanted to listen to Guster’s “Keep It Together” and listened to a song or two before I asked my housemate if he’d like a breakfast sandwich with zucchini from our garden.  Sidebar – you should see this garden.  My housemate put his blood, sweat, tears, money, and LOVE into this beautiful garden creation.  We eat from our backyard almost every night and I’m learning the in’s and out’s of the gardening world day by day.  I feel so blessed to live here with one of bestest friends!

B Garden

When I came back down to my place from the Tree House (top floor), Jackson Browne’s “The Next Voice You Hear” had just started.  YES!!  I love me some Jackson Browne on a gorgeous summer day such as today. This artist makes my heart and soul soar.  His lyrics so profoundly describe many experiences I’ve had throughout my entire life.  For example, Late of the Sky (the song after the Fountain of Sorrow – which was the catalyst for this blog post) described my relationship an ex-boyfriend/first love I lived with.  So much, in fact, I played it for him a couple times.  Jackson Browne says it best sometimes.  The relationship may not have lasted, but I am still in the same home we moved into in March 2008.

The next song after Late for the Sky, The Pretender.  Oh, The Pretender.  This was the song that started it for me.  I heard it in the soundtrack of “Mister Holland’s Opus”.  It brought me to tears at 16 years old and still does today.  ““The Pretender” is the story of a man who betrays his ideals and principles in pursuit of the almighty dollar” (Jim Beviglia – AmericanSongwriter.com).  The activist, humanist, and lover in me, that my mother raised me to be, wants to scream this song from the top of my lungs just because “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  Where does this struggle come from?  Pathology?  Poverty?  Race?  Gender?  All of these reasons and so many more.  I’m happy to discuss Jackson Browne’s songs with you at great length another time.

The song before Late for the Sky is called Fountain of Sorrow.  After the second verse was complete, I was immersed in my Fountain of Sorrow tears as they came streaming down my cheeks.  The story of this song is told through the perspective of someone who is looking through old photographs.  They come upon a photograph of a friend and describes in detail the moment this photograph was taken.

“You were turning ’round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes”

Today, as Fountain of Sorrow played on my system, I glanced at a collection photographs placed purposely on my mother’s hutch.  My mother’s lens caught a 3 year old Marinda in a field surrounded by milk weed reaching out to touch the seeds.

Reaching out...

My mother died in February ’13.  That summer/early fall that year, when I would think about her or when I’d need some validation or a SIGN, a milkweed seed would float my way and dance around me in the wind.  From that point on they would represent my angels, universe signs, spirits… but it started long before my mother died, didn’t it?  That little girl in that picture, who wasn’t capable of understanding the depth of loss, was fascinated by a “weed” that 28 years later would remind her of loved ones past.

Milkweed Marinda 2

Never could I have guessed that on a beautiful Friday afternoon in July I would break down my walls and cry… HARD.  I cried for my 3 your old self.  She did not know why her father never came back after that accident.  She was there to witness but did not know… or did she?  The fact that I was triggered by the song and photo combination shows how far I have come and how much work still needs to be done.

               Milkweed Marinda 3      Milkweed Marinda 4

These moments of vulnerability, especially in public, are usually so fleeting.  Like the friend in Jackson Browne’s song who captured the look of sorrow in another, I see it in myself.  There are, however, many facets of loss/grief and can only truly be understood if you are the person experiencing this pain.  Sure, we can compare breakups, near-death-experiences, and death of our close family members and friends (all forms of loss/grief), but loss is complex and should be treated with LOVE and COMPASSION above all.  It does not come naturally for everyone.  There will be many who won’t see your sorrow and cannot understand your pain.  They may judge you.  They may even say hurtful things that are NOT yours to own.  Do not forget that your grief is unique to your spirit and is your job to be in it, understand it,  and move through it.  Not everyone has the same pace because we do not have the same mind and body.  Be gentle with yourself now and all of the parts of yourself that make up the beautiful you that you are.

Grief July '15