Into the Grain of the Cloud

For two months now I’ve been digging in the field of grief and loss with nothing but a spoon. So when my husband David and two other friends commented this weekend on how “intense” (code word for a variety of dark and heavy descriptors) my recent postings here have been, I got the message. Time to put down the spoon and lighten up.

While I may have been a lonely but determined sifter of sorrow’s soil, it isn’t the only story line for my life right now. Here’s an excellent new theme I can share: I went to my studio today for the first time in weeks. Key in hand, the door opened easily. Up the stairs, into the familiar. And within minutes I felt at home again. The barrier that has kept me away, as visceral as the invisible fence collar that keeps a dog from leaving its yard, has lifted. Even the smell of a skunk’s passing through several weeks ago has nearly evaporated. Something significant was reclaimed for me today.

And here’s another light-filled narrative from my life at the present moment: When creativity seeks only silence, that energy gets reapportioned. My life force, redirected during this fallow period, has increased its allotment to two primary recipients: poetry and sexuality. With silence leaving my soul in a state of wordlessness, poetry has been my voice for insight and wisdom; and the body, bless it, has offered itself as my primal gesture of authentic expression.

How fitting that the great Sharon Olds can bring them together so powerfully:


As we made love for the third day,
cloudy and dark, as we did not stop
but went into it and into it and
did not hesitate and did not hold back
we rose through the air,
until we were up above
the timber line. The lake lay
icy and silver, the surface shirred,
reflecting nothing. The black rocks
lifted around it into the grainy
sepia air, the patches of snow
brilliant white, and even though we
did not know where we were, we could not
speak the language, we could hardly see, we
did not stop, rising with the black
rocks to the black hills, the black
mountains rising from the hills. Resting
on the crest of the mountains, one huge
cloud with scalloped edges of blazing
evening light, we did not turn back,
we stayed with it, even though we were
far beyond what we knew, we rose
into the grain of the cloud, even though we were
frightened, the air hollow, even though
nothing grew there, even though it is a
place from which no one has ever come back.

It’s probably a good thing my kids don’t read my blog. They really don’t ever want to hear about any of this from either of their parental units…

10 Replies to “Into the Grain of the Cloud”

  1. Elatia Harris says:


  2. How great that these two aspects of your life provide so much fulfillment at this time. I definitely think there’s a connection between the two.

  3. Ybonesy, you’re right, there is a connection. It’s another kind of listening for me anyway. And so many other layers to explore in terms of that relationship. Thanks for that insight.

  4. Um. Excuse me, but your kids DO you read your blog. Also, I think that poem is amazing. It helps if I just don’t linger on it too long.
    love you mom.

  5. Linger not, my dear daughter! But hey, thanks for stopping in and correcting me.

  6. Diana Johnson says:

    Not so long ago David found himself sifting through grief with a spoon, as you lifted him then, now in commingling he lifts you. Beautiful!!
    I want a heads up, are you two going to look like each other when I see you next?

  7. No Diane, we have had surgery and now look like Brad and Angelina…NOT! Hey, thanks for being a witness to our lives in their ups and their downs.

  8. This is so beautiful and truth -full. Sexuality and grief do conmingle in a beautiful way and underscore the value of the life-force in carrying us on. G

  9. G, I never really understood that relationship until now. Thank you for making that connection.

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