September 18, 2011

Lenore then and now

Lenore then
Lenore now

As you have been everyday, since that fateful day in October 2010, you were on my mind this morning as I awoke.  
So strong and so fresh, like you were in the same room.  And truly, I do believe you were.  
You are with us all, everyday.  
People say that, when close friends are gone.  They say " they are with us", "I can feel her in my heart", "when I close my eyes I see you there".  

And it is true.  Yet is also false and such wishful thinking.   
Because you are not here. 
You are gone.   
You are definitely gone.  

I can imagine the conversations we would be having.  I can almost remember the conversations that we did have.  I have a strong sense of the laugh, the Lenore laugh, somewhere between a chortle and a raised eyebrow.  
You always knew things, things that other people didn't.   And some of what you knew was true and some was just Lenore.  But you knew.   And God help the non-believers.

Were you perfect?  You were perfectly Lenore.  
Were you a dangerous woman?  As dangerous as you could be. 
Were you a mess of contradictions?  You were a mess.  You were contradictions.  You were Lenore.
Were you a raw nerve, a live wire, a divining rod, a reputation that preceded your presence, an idea whose time had not come, a visionary outsider, a royal pain in the ass?   You were all those Lenore, and more.

I remember a time when you were upset with the "punk rock royalty", so I gave you a crown.  And while some would be offended by this sarcastic crowning, you revelled in it.   Of course you knew the crown was given with love, and even though we were laughing at ourselves, we were also mocking this concept of "punk rock royalty" that offended us so.

This morning I awoke and picked up a book "Under the Sign of Saturn" by the brilliant Susan Sontag.  I had been given this book the past weekend, when I went with friends to visit with your beautiful daughter Saphira and Charles at their home in Gibsons.   The book has a drawing by Constance Fogler of a person climbing a ladder against a giant tree, while two men look on and marvel at the climb or the tree.  
The book opens with a quote from Beckett: 

Hamm: I love the old questions.
(With fervour.)
Ah the old questions, the old answers, 
there's nothing like them!

 She begins her book with an essay on Paul Goodman, writer of Growing Up Absurd, and many others.

Here is her last paragraph of the essay On Paul Goodman:
"With or without his books, I shall go on being marked by him.  I shall go on grieving that he is no longer alive to talk in new books, and that now we all have to go on in our fumbling attempts to help each other and say what is true and to release what poetry we have and to respect each other's madness and right to be wrong and to cultivate our sense of citizenliness without Paul's hectoring, without Paul's patient meandering explanations of everything, without the grace of Paul's example."

I miss not having you to wake up at 7 in the morning with my crazy phone calls.
I miss your Lenore laugh and those eyes that always twinkled.
I miss your fearlessness in the face of injustice.
I miss smoking a joint and playing with words, and drinking wine, and being with our mutual gang of friends.
I miss your artistry, your vision, your outrageous behavior.

The fact that you were so difficult at times, made you that much more lovable at all the others.  
I will treasure every minute we spent together.
I will mourn every minute we spend apart.

I will remember Lenore.
And more.
Then and now.