Posted by: alegra22 | January 8, 2013

point of light

Image

I sit on the patchy grass and whistle to the ducks as I throw feed into their wading pool. I’m wearing Dan’s basketball shorts, an old tank top, and my hair is pulled back into a haphazard braid. I’m puffy-eyed and feeling old and too young all at once.

Old in the sense of beginning to understand that if you live long enough, death continues to shape your edges, soften them, inform them, until you no longer recognize the point when you transformed from an angle to a curve.

Today my parents wrote me to tell me that my first child, Daemon, was crossing over to the other side. I say ‘child’ because Daemon opened up something in my heart; a sense of being rooted to this world, of being responsible for something other than myself, even though she was the one who took care of me, who accepted her responsibility to me without fail…unless, of course, I threatened to get near her food dish. She did have certain lines drawn when it came to unconditional love.

I met Daemon when I was twenty-three. It was a different lifetime. I was sun-kissed, anxious, a tightly bound heart beating in my chest, but my muscles were strong, my lungs large, and my moments spread before me without boundary. We were driving away from a surf break stationed next to a light house and fish camp made of tarps, old caravans, discarded bits and pieces. Just before we were spit out from the bumping, dusty, irreverent road that took several hours to cover, Daemon came crawling out from a ravine filled with trash. Plastic bags, rotting meat and diapers…small piles on fire…aluminum glinting in the sunlight. My ex put on the breaks and his best friend gave him a look as I was already trying to open up the door from the backseat.

I remember it now, crouching down next to her, my ex looking worried because she was hairless and grey with filth. He looked to his friend and said something along the lines of,  “I guess we now have a dog.”

I fed her avocado and held her to my chest. It didn’t occur to me to worry about the insects crawling across her skin. I just wanted her to survive.

I guess in those moments she was already teaching me things about myself that would take me years to understand – and that is what our truest friends and spiritual guardians do; they recognize us before we recognize ourselves.

I named my dog ‘Daemon’ after a character in a book. It meant a ‘spiritual familiar’ an extension of self.

Daemon has knocked me over, running up behind me, delighting in her speed, along the edge of the ocean in Baja. She has been shipped across the planet to New Zealand and back again, to retire with my parents. She has been with me from my transition of who I was to who I would become.

And today she transitioned to the other side in my mother’s arms.

As I’ve been engaging my sadness in all kinds of distracted activities, beneath the surface, I’ve been trying not to think of my failures as a person, but to think of the way our failings are the ways in which we become available for love in all of its forms.

I wanted to be there with my parents today and in the days to come. She has become a steady rhythm in their days, my daemon stretching across the planet. My spirit familiar. My guardian. My watchdog taking care of what is most important to me – my family.

But as the day has progressed, I’ve been thinking about death and love.

I’m thinking of the way the moments of the last month have wrapped itself around this event, wrapped until it only seemed natural that it was time – the event that was always far off in the future…it was now time.

Death is teaching me that we are created completely incomplete. We are meant to love with the abandon of knowing that we are an interlocking creation. When one piece crosses over before us, it teaches me that we are always, every moment, bridging two worlds…we are a thousand points of light emanating from the same source.

In the end, we are a sum total of what we loved and what chose to love us in return.

I finish feeding the ducks and return to the house to write this. My eyes are puffy and so is my heart.
But I’m grateful.
For all of it.

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Responses

  1. The love in your words is felt. Thank you for sharing and hugs.
    Deborah

  2. “In the end, we are a sum total of what we loved and what chose to love us in return.”

    I love this so much. Beautiful and true. Glad you got to have Daemon in your life.

  3. What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone mouments, but what is woven into the lives of others. Pericles

  4. I remember that dog. Very nice Alegra, it reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw the other day, “Don’t be a Dick.”

  5. Oh this is written so beautifully. There is wisdom, and story, and understanding here.

    It’s been a while since I’ve come and read your blog, and boy, is it nice to be back!

    • I’m glad you’ve returned xx


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