One of the matriarchs in my life died this morning. I am devastated. Because, of course, you are devastated when you lose someone you love. To not know the pain of mortality is to not know your own humanity.
We spend so much of our lives in the art and literature of the human condition that we can sometimes forget we are actually living it out right now every single day.
Your own life is just as rich a tapestry of meaning anything Dostoyevsky ever wrote. Losing someone close to you who really lived their life occasionally gives you sparkling moments of crystalline clarity on what matters.
All of living is struggle. We find the boundaries of the world through trial and error. We find each other as we negotiate the rhythms of each other’s lives.
The old cunt had the balls to die on the summer solstice. She was extremely Swedish so on aesthetics grounds I feel happy about her moment of passing. Midsummer. What a witchy thing to do. I love it for her even as I am weeping.
The last thing she said to me was so poetic it almost makes me angry. She told me that she had repeated herself a lot across the years. I said I knew and I appreciated that she’d helped me learn the tunes by repeating the songs with me even as I stumbled to commit things to memory.
Her response? Now that you have sung the melody with me, you can sing it on your own. Which is a very beautiful good bye worthy of anything I’ve ever read in a book or seen on screen.
But also the fucking temerity of that woman to deliver folkloric wisdom on the way out. Our elders know a thing or two.
The singer lasts a season long, While the song, it lasts forever
Unknown (to me at least) folk song
May your solstice be as bright and true as mine. I will be trying to carry this tune on my own and if you like I’ll try to teach you to sing along with me. May we have a chorus of love songs on our longest day in the sun.