CS Lewis said that no one told him that grief was so much like fear. At the time I understood him, because new grief twists in your gut and sends shocks through your arms just like intense fear. Older grief, however, feels like dread more than fear per se; fear mixed with hopelessness. It is heavy and leaden, like something crushing your chest.
I am not saying that as the opening of a sad post, though; just noting it. Though I keep finding myself transported to Alaska almost entire. The other day I found myself standing in the upper hall of my parent’s house; I could see the way the sun fell on my mom’s laundry and even feel her presence downstairs on the couch, wearing the wool poncho a church friend wove for her in Switzerland. Just for a second, but it was so clear.
That kind of memory doesn’t make me sad per se; it is more like a painful tingle. I think I am having so many of these memories because we are in the time of year that last year was mostly devoted to caring for Mom. I wish I could talk more about Mom herself, rather than my feelings, but that can’t happen both because of privacy per se, and also because in relation to a mother, a daughter can’t really distill the connection into words. Still, I wonder if I should try sometime; not here.
We are up in Oregon again now, arriving last evening. We listened to almost all the rest of Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness and Thinking Machines. I like the professor’s way of summarizing a philosophy and then showing the problems. As is the tendency with these philosophical Great Courses, it skims over all sorts of questions and raises further questions and sketches out difficulties.
The rest of the day today I have to plan out a traveling curriculum for the guys and making sure I make good use of the transition times. It’s nice to be away from the snow and ice for a few days, even though Oregon tends to be rather grey and damp this time of year!
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