cloud-july9-2016

Recently, I was laid off.

A shock of course, I was deeply invested in the position. It was a position of leadership and working not only with a staff, but also for a community. Quite a fulfilling job. No ill will finds my heart and while the loss left me emotional fragile, I will bootstrap and move on. As I’ve done in the past and will do again in the future.

The greatest heartbreak has been to leave behind the great people I worked with, we were a family, the loss of which is causing me deep grief.

It’s amazing how connected the self-esteem is to a job. Feelings of inadequacy, mixed with fear of not finding another position finds me often. But again, keep moving forward, keep shoving aside those dark notions and stay in the light, keep at it!

dark night of the soul
loss, termination, dissolution
gathers cynic’s row
to bestow their venom
break the spirit
dice, shred esteem
leaving one to reap
fragments of self
a patchwork of
anima + animus
bleeding ego and id
seeking
truth to self

oct-22-2016-sol-eye

does Sol’s eye lay bare
truths buried, truths denied
truths fraught with razor wire
guarded on all sides by a
damaged juvenescence in
wont to stand aside during
adversity, calamity, injury, allowing
aged, seasoned, stinging trauma
rise to the skin, firing
nerve endings, twitching fingers
projecting fogged memories
in the skull, imprinting, again
again, hurt upon hurt

photo and poem © by DC Lessoway

fog-people-jan-25-2014

what is this nonsense, flittering
around my skull, scrawling
angry missives, knifing into
my heart’s wall

what is this brutal woe
commanding a tempest
casting distant any joy
any hint of sun’s candied blush

why does it hang around, why
can’t I shake the claws sunk
into my soul, my being
grounding me, deep

photo and poem © by DC Lessoway

 

the hardest notion
is to see another’s pain, be
witness to tears rise, then
fall, spattering a dusty floor, till
a loam forms, holding true
daggers of enriched grief

to bear witness to character’s
hard hammer upon a majestic kindness
shattering old touchstones, transmute
the soft, malleable truths into unyielding
grief

cloud-july9-2016eventually
ache, grief, torment, seeks
each soul’s portage

in following, careful steps
seeking, setting at liberty
knives set deep
initiates healing

yet allow hurt’s mushroom
disavowing truth’s remedy
invokes Thor’s hammer
germinating madness
sets outward storms
beyond one’s mastery

Picture and Poem © 2016 by DC Lessoway

Love vs grief vs joy vs bliss as I sit here dredging my soul for words
comes the upwell from my heart to salt my cheeks
all in mining sediment for sentiments conveying my truth
expressing profound love of my wife, her forever changing my life
joy of treading streets Paris, Rome, Venice or beaches of Maui
bliss of our wedding to the everyday kiss and touch, the flame of passion
then comes ache, sorrow, shock in the loss of parents, friends, an old school-mate
loss comes to us all, we must face it, or a brutal volcano we’ll become
to delve into a fictional character’s live, seeking his/her truth is to
find my own being within the crushing humanity we must endure

I do not write about work very often. Preferring it is our business, so to speak. But at these times, as a part of my own route to healing, this I need do.

Mortality: “the state of being subject to death”
How often I’ve heard:
“I’ll be living forever.”
Denial, might be
defiance of that great
and final outcome. Perhaps,
akin to, a part of, basic
instincts, survival, perhaps.

New years day, I was at home alone watching some movies when I saw on my Twitter feed that Lemmy from Motorhead died. I noticed before that his bio film was on Netflix, so I viewed it. Admittedly I’m not a Motorhead fan, but I’m sure a few songs came my way back in the 70’s and 80’s when I bashed my guitar (and bass) around. Loved the bio, he was a down-to-earth, tough talking, tender-hearted bass player. Would have loved to meet him.

Then the Sunday after new years I get a phone call. Over the weekend the First Nation I work for suffered two passings. One, an Elder with many health problems, was somewhat expected. But then, another, a good, kind man, with a big heart, died suddenly.

The grief surged through my texts, email, phone calls.

That night something happened to me. The middle of the night, laying somewhere between waking and sleep: these aboriginal, circular images came to my vision, one blending with the other, I opened my eyes thinking I was asleep and they stopped. But resumed when I closed my eyes again. Was it a vision? Of what? It affected me profoundly. But then I woke up, it was morning and the visions were gone. Truthfully I didn’t recognize, nor remember them, and not having a great drawing hand, I couldn’t recall or record them. I’m sure this was messaging, from somewhere, someone. Having happened just after the passing of a man with deep aboriginal cultural beliefs, it may have been from him. It would make sense; he was always at the ready to teach.

Got to work that week and had a heart to heart with staff about the passings of the two members of the community. We’ve been through this before, nearly two years ago a staff member suddenly passed away. Horrific. You can read about this here: “Enigmatic”.

Much the same flow of grief through the community, staff… myself. But we didn’t have time to allow the shock to find us as we have two funerals to help with. The first funeral, as it was primarily taken on by another Nation, went smoothly and quickly. However, the younger member (I’ll call him K) who passed suddenly had a few complications. K has a wife overseas whom he had married a year ago. While K was working on bringing her over here, it wasn’t completed and we had to scramble to obtain a travel Visa for her. We did everything we could with paperwork, calling our local MP, here country’s immigration, etc.

Then, January 11th I wake up to find David Bowie passed. Loved him, his music. I wept. But, I know it wasn’t specifically for him, it was one of those triggers of the emotive dam. For all that pent-up, no-time-for-crying tears to wash my cheeks, give release to my substantial grief.

Back to K, the funeral and wake were held off as it was hoped his wife could get here in time.

Then I heard Alan Rickman passed. Another flood of tears.

There are many details to tell (I’ll note the reason for privacy below), eventually we had to do K’s funeral and burial, unfortunately without his wife’s presence.

My truth is this. I love First Nation rituals and practices. I was brought up in strict roman catholic nonsense. Yes nonsense. All the hypocrisy drove me to drink, literality!

First Nation people? They take their protocol and practices quite seriously and practice it each and every day. One of the main reasons I re-connected with my Metis roots, as I knew part of me knew there was more out there than just European rites and rituals.

To witness the drumming, singing, the prayers; the hear how they look at life and death as only a part of the cycle of the world. Beautiful. To hear, no feel the drum circle and singers. I closed my eyes, allowed the beat take my heart on a journey I’ve not had before.

But that is as far as I’ll go with what happened in their ceremonies. What they do is their own private matter and I respect that. First Nation’s people of Canada have had enough of their lives, culture and people torn asunder by the powers that be.

Again though, to witness such beauty and power of belief and ritual is gratifying and made my own heart stronger to partake.

Safe travels up river my friend.