I am not quite sure why I picked this as the “word of the week”. When the lovely, sassy, creative Mona asked me if I would be able to do the word of the week, I had to beg off twice. The crazy work week, the 3 a week PT sessions and workouts, had helped “whatever is left of it” creative part of my brain to just shut down. So after thinking about this, the word just hit me while I was putting away newspapers from a cpl of weeks ago into our recycling bin. There staring at me from the front page of book review section of the NY Times were the words “left behind”. The review of this dark novel can be found here.
Cormac McCarthy’s subject in his new novel is as big as it gets: the end of the civilized world, the dying of life on the planet and the spectacle of it all. He has written a visually stunning picture of how it looks at the end to two pilgrims on the road to nowhere. Color in the world — except for fire and blood — exists mainly in memory or dream. Fire and firestorms have consumed forests and cities, and from the fall of ashes and soot everything is gray, the river water black. Hydrangeas and wild orchids stand in the forest, sculptured by fire into “ashen effigies” of themselves, waiting for the wind to blow them over into dust. Intense heat has melted and tipped a city’s buildings, and window glass hangs frozen down their walls. On the Interstate “long lines of charred and rusting cars” are “sitting in a stiff gray sludge of melted rubber. ... The incinerate corpses shrunk to the size of a child and propped on the bare springs of the seats. Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts.”Some of us are also familiar with the words due to a series of novel written by the evangelicals Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. They deal with a world where the Christians get to go to heaven and the rest of us live on earth only to die horrible deaths. More here.
I am not very optimistic about the state of the planetesp the future, although who knows better sense may prevail and humanity might still make it through.
When you think of "left behind" it also implies a sense of loss of having left something behind. Maybe it's just me..
If the word of the week seems to be dark it is not entirely by design. Some of this has to do with the upcoming anniversary of the loss of a loved one, a person as altruistic as only a few can be, loving and giving as a father, husband, son and a friend.
It was an untimely call from a world beyond, if it at all exists.. perhaps only in the imagination of those who chose to believe, no questions asked. The rest of us happen to be the ones left behind, marooned and desolate and forever with a part of us empty.
Left with memories of times bitter and sweet. Of moments simple, mundane and not always memorable that form the mosaic of our human experience.
Nothing prepares you for having to explain to a little kid, why her father is not around for her.
Our heart broke when she snuggled up between the two of us wanting to hear a bed time story and then fell in to a calm, serene sleep. And we were left wondering if there is at all someone who pulls the strings in this world and what is just about this situation? I will move on and in some ways I have but there are times I just say WTF?
It will be a year this Saturday. I am blessed in that I am married to a woman who is a kind and a gentle and loving person. Her family is like her and their acceptance of me.. no questions asked has always been amazing (to me). It has been hard to see them all in pain. No parent should ever have to attend the funeral of their child.
Below is a good reason why I don't do poetry...
My apologies about the dark edge to this Friday word.
Look back won’t you.. she said part entreaty, part question
The words piercing my consciousness
Only to be left behind..lost..left out..
For all I was about was my id..
Never look back I whispered to myself
Do you want to be haunted by her forlorn
eyes and that plaintive cry?
The cry of an abused sibling..
For whom all I had were impotent words to offer
What wounds would they ever salve?
Words that were evanescent unlike the scarred psyche..left behind
The loneliness of old folks
I will be back.. soon
I would be …only to see
The inexorable march of time and age
Of backs bent
The lines deeper
I will be back
Even as I left them behind
With unasked and unanswered questions
Veiled replies true to none... but to my id
Say something the voice would say
Before it is too late
But I was always running yet frozen in place
Leaving behind the detritus of promises unkept
Dreams unfulfilled and words unspoken.
The image below may be funny in some ways but it is also sad. Look who got left behind...
Sadly the joke is on us.