Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Sunset at Mills Norrie State Park near Staatsburg.
I'm back on Planet Brewster. LD dropped me off yesterday afternoon about 2:15. I've been in "recovery" since then, getting caught up on bill paying, sleep, curatorial work, and then the biggest issue of sorting out my life.

Well, if I waited until "sortedness" happened, I'd likely never write again. (This stupid auto-correct substituted "sordidness" as if I didn't know what I wanted to write. Nothing sordid about any of this. Alas?)

Even after a nice night of sleep (10 or so hours) and another beautiful summer day, I am not back in my groove. I had been really trying to understand what all the emotion was about when I remembered a FB message I saw on Sunday night.

We lost our beautiful daughter, Charlotte Rose McNeil MacLean last night. She died in a car crash. Doug and I have no idea how we will live with this loss. We know many of you knew Charlotte and loved her for her sweet, caring heart, as we have and always will. I will miss her beautiful voice, her music, her sense of humor, her advice, how hard she worked the last two years to better understand herself and her place in the world. I know she would want all of us to be our best, healthiest, kindest selves. I will try to continue to be the person she knew and loved, for her sake. Cherish each moment with your loved ones, and take care of yourselves for the sake of those who love you.

I couldn't really process this at the time, so I am in the midst of it now. I did not know Charlotte Rose but I felt as if she were a part of my life, however distant. Her mother, Teresa, has been a frequent commenter and participant in this blog. Teresa often posted photos of and updates about Charlotte Rose, so I did hear about her quite frequently. There has been a disturbance in my larger field. Out there on my perceptual, emotional periphery, there is a puncture, a hole, an absence, a loss. 

I know I have posted this many times in the past, but when someone leaves our circle, however far the circumference, I feel this again. Teresa, this is for you and Doug and Charlotte:

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 

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