From June 13, 2016
covered now with lines and creases
Tickets torn in half, memories in bits and pieces”
See now, that’s the problem. Digital photographs don’t fade. They sit there in your computer, or on a flash drive, or whateverthefuck, and are just as bright and shiny and new as the day they were taken.
I was looking for a photograph (and now I can’t remember which one, go figure) and I stumbled across the slideshow that Cassi’s beau Bo (apologies, couldn’t resist) put together for Peg’s memorial. And as I click through the photographs, watching, observing the sorrows of her changing face, and loving every second of it.
In my eyes, Peg was forever 40, fresh as the day/night I met her. Ahmigod, she was beautiful – not classically, by any means – but uniquely, exquisitely herself – her scent, her hair, the sensation of her body pressed to mine as we slow danced to a forgotten tune…I didn’t fall in love with her in that moment, but there was an instantaneous chemistry.
But I look at the photos on the computer, and she is as fresh and new at 66 as she was at 46. Or 40 or any age. Yes, a few lines. A little bit of wattle. Smile lines around her eyes. And I loved her through every second of it.
“When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
“How many loved your moments of glad grace?
And loved your beauty with love false or true?
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
“And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”
I loved the sorrows of her changing face; I had not the slightest concern of any flaw, they were as ephemeral as a film of dust on La Giaconda – her essential beauty couldn’t help but shine through, no matter what.
I would give every penny I own, kill all the gods in every pantheon, just for one more night, one more hour with her.
But that is not an option. She is gone. And yet she is still here, as fresh and bright and young as the moment I met her.
I suspect that I need to convert my computer held photographs to analog, then delete the digital. Only then can the photographs fade, and the memories become half-remembered vignettes in the movie theatre of my mind. I need my memory to relax and let go.
Only then, I think, will I be able to go forward. Alone. Surprisingly, the MD’s gave me a completely positive bill of health (re cancer),and I can expect to live to a fairly old age. Alone.