Sunday, September 24, 2006
This is a post for a friend of mine stationed in harm's way. She struggles between Iraq and the hard place of trying to do her job while feeling the futility of the war bearing down on her spirit. She is coming home in December and will begin the tasks of taking her life back from the life-altering experiences of dealing with war casulties.
There has occured an odd confluence of events and emotions for me over the last few weeks. A friend of a friend died tragically young from cancer a few weeks ago and another friend of a friend died in a car accident very recently. I did not know either of the women that passed but I know the people that lost them and it brings up for me feelings of my own losses, and of loss in general.
My friend wrote a lovely post about his friend that was taken by cancer and also has links to her music. Please read this post about Elissa Hadley and check out the links to cancer resources; it is well worth your time. The other friend-of-a-friend told me that the woman friend she lost was, in her words, "The woman I wanted to be..."
I would rather feel sorrow than feel nothing at all. The numbness that comes with feeling overwhelmed either by grief or some other set of circumstances is also a feeling but it is a feeling of separation from that which seems too much to bear. Like when you get novacaine at the dentist and you can bite the inside of your cheek without pain, but eventually the anestetic wears off and you are left with feeling, and a chewed-up cheek.
Difficult situations bring on hard-to-deal-with emotions. It is always seemingly easier to tuck the feelings away until a time we think we can 'handle' them. Many studies have shown that these repressed feelings get expressed in unconscious and often destructive ways, both psychologically and physically. As it turns out these emotions end up handling us.
I have been attempting to express my anger and outrage about the current state of the nation in the productive if not cathartic manner of blogging with political activism as the main topic. It has helped. But the cost of awareness has been high dealing with so many feelings. I often get overwhelmed. So I withdraw a bit and try to fill my inner environment with things that bring me joy. One of those things for me is music.
Where the roads of awareness and healing converge for me of late has been 2 of the songs by Elissa Hadley, the woman who succumbed to cancer on August 27th. She was with the band 'Breathlanes' and the songs are "Day" and "Twirling". Give them a listen and see what you get out of it. Listen to the lyrics, very powerful.
This is the song "Day" featuring Elissa Hadley
powered by ODEO
powered by ODEO
Then the web of interconnectedness continues. My friend that's coming home in December will be finished with her service and a Veteran, like me. This video comes courtesy of Nate over at "Get In Their Face"
Listening to this music is bittersweet. The messages, powerful. The vehicle of music easier to absorb oftentimes than a great lecture or the best written article. What I take away from my listening is hope. Hope in myself, hope in the future and hope in you.
Don't let me down.