Muted Tones

2 Dec

If you have ever walked the road of grief, depression and/or oppression you will understand fully, this particular writing…

My culture and society do not recognize the black veil of mourning (yes our society once did), or the fact that black clothes represent grieving (they use to, but not now).  I’ve written about this aspect of life already and will not harp on it further, at least to the degree of reiterating my desire to have my clothes reflective of my sorrow.  No, that is not my direction today.  My direction today is to give a nod to living life in muted tones.

Muted tones?  You ask with a quizzical, half-hearted interest–if even that!  Yes muted.  Though the black veil of mourning is not covering my face, my soul is wrapped in a dark blanket of grief.  This grief mutes the colorful tones of life.  And I experience this world, currently, without the glitter and glitz of technicolor.

The translation of my predicament is this: my soul is sheltered thus my vision is fogged, or veiled.  It is akin to looking at a beautiful sunset (or sunrise) with colors bursting in multiplicity, clouds accenting the Painter’s canvas with utmost perfection so much so that the breeze takes a reverent pause.  And all who are privileged to view the masterful presentation are awestruck by the art of life.  And I, alongside the other viewers, am also aware of the beauty, though awe is not mine.  For the veil through which I look has slightly muddled the picture.

What is the tangibility of the reported “awe?”  The tangibility equates to happiness.  Happiness for something, anything.  It is a weird place to live, this world of mine without happiness.  Oh I do have joyful moments, for my soul has enough experience to not cloud that perspective.  But happiness, she has sailed away at the moment.  And while she is tarrying, I am somewhat paralyzed.  Not in physical movement but in actions of the heart.  …I want to shop for holiday gifts, but I get into a store and cannot think beyond the reality of my loss and the ‘whom I’m not shopping for’.  I leave the store empty handed, or worse yet, with a purchase that doesn’t make much practical or sentimental sense. I know I have a tradition of baking for our neighbors and friends, but for the life of me I can’t get my soul excited enough to think up a good plan.  I want to bless others, but as my mind tries desperately to focus on what that means, I draw a blank.  I want to make phone calls, but can’t find my voice.  I want to visit with friends, but can’t remember how to converse.  I want to be normal–well “normal” was never mine to begin with! 😉

Thankfully my sister was in town for Thanksgiving and she (and her husband) did everything to ensure our holiday tradition was observed.  For if left up to me, we would have ended up enjoying a warm bowl of pre-made ramen noodles courtesy a pot of boiling water.  I could hardly think one tangible thought past the need to stare into space and not speak one word.  Yes, I was surrounded by family whose children are a complete joy to interact with.  But the enjoyment of them is experienced through my veil.  I have weird and unique miracles all around me, reminding me that our G-d reigns and is watching over us (me).  It is just that the lack of happiness scares me a bit.  It keeps me muted.  And sometimes I worry I won’t recognize an emergency situation because the impact of seeing through my veil disables my reflexes–whether the emergency is physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Even writing is elusive.  I have considered writing quite a few times since my previous entry, but when I sit down to express myself the paralyzation sets in and I stare.  I am quite boring at this particular stage of grief.  How droll am I.  To paraphrase Mr. T, “I pity the fool who has to spend time with me!”

Person: How are you? Me:  I’m ok, thank you.  How are you?  Person: Fine.  So what’s new?  Me:  Nothing, and you?  Person: How’s your new job?  Me: It’s going well, thank you.  Person:  Do you like San Diego?  Me: Yes, but it’s not my home.  Me:  Well I’m glad you are well.  Thank you for checking in, perhaps I’ll see you again soon.  Take care.

And then I bolt before the conversation turns to my children, my family, my heart.  Which is probably why I am in a place of muted tones.  For I am constantly running away from the same wall that keeps appearing before me.  I turn and run right…the wall appears.  I turn faster to the left and run like hell…the wall appears.  I move backwards with grace and ease, running like a pro…the wall appears.  I run straight, steady and poised; the wall, the grief, the loss…appears.

I spend minutes in futile wonderment…what is the difference between happiness and joy?  Are they synonymous?  When the bible speaks of the “joy of the Lord” what does that mean?  Does it translate to peace, this ‘joy of the Lord’?  If so, I have that–peace that is.  Not to be confused with reconciliation.  Reconciled to this life I am not.  But I do have peace in knowing my reconciled state is irrelevant to the cycle of life, thus in a quasi manner, I live a peaceful life.  …futility at its finest (and that is just a glimpse).  It is here I see the blessing of my job.  For focusing on work keeps me from loosing myself in the wreckage of my thoughts.

I breathe deeply here at the end of a long and sorrow-filled note.  I breathe deeply for I am sitting at the wall, its color is gray, though the sunset this evening was magnificent!

Thank you for allowing me this moment of grief sharing.


6 Responses to “Muted Tones”

  1. Greg Wilker December 4, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    this is a good song for when i am helpless

    • mfincham111 December 4, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Unfortunately, there are many videos that cannot be up or downloaded to Nicaragua.

  2. Jillian Nance December 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    So when I was younger and I was listening to pretty much nothing but punk, this album comes out with this sound they call “industrial” and I’m kind of fascinated by it. The band is Nine Inch Nails and I ended up with a crappily dubbed copy of their album and I liked it, it had a lot of the angst that punk was expressing, just in a different way. They came out with other albums years later but by then I was doing other things and didn’t keep up but I remember reading this article about frontman (and basically the only member) Trent Reznor who spoke about how he used to travel playing music and he had like this German Shephard that he owned and he was totally obsessive about this dog. He loved it dearly and would hire live-in dog sitters while he was gone. He lived on like the fifth floor and after coming back from a long tour, he gets out of the cab and sees the dog through his open apartment window. In his excitement, he yells to the dog and in a moment of bad decision making, the dog jumps and out the window and falls to his death. Right at his masters feet. It’s terrible and heart breaking and Trent Reznor said that’s the thing. That’s why his music in the first album is so dark, so desperate and truly sad. I always thought as a kid and teen that people had dabbled in like Satanism or some other dark magic thing and that’s where this scary music would come from. I never thought it could be something as simple and just plain sad and having your pet pass away. I remember thinking that he actually seemed like a really nice guy and he said that as his sadness diminished and he continued to create music, album sales dropped and he realized after many albums, that the dark time in his life, the things he created at that time in his life were by far, his most successful. Interesting. There is no beautiful moral to this Riv, my sister, I just keep think about old Trent Reznor and feeling like you needed to hear this story. Love you. Ryan.

  3. Adrienne Mannis December 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Oh Rifka – our hearts are with you. You can’t run away from your grief, as I know you are aware. Cole would want you to have joy and peace. He is rooting for you to begin to see the colors once again. They will come, one shade at a time. Love you all lots.

  4. mfincham111 December 3, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    I have felt your sadness here because I haven’t heard from you and know that your illness was not as physical–although it was also that–as emotional. When I think about your lose with Cole, I think about all the times I have worried about you. Throughout your life from the time you were born, I had a feeling that I would loose you. That scared me and I would pray that the angels would watch over you for me. I am so grateful for all my children and particularly for your sister, Leah, who is the better mother than I for her family and friends. I was especially thankful at Thanksgiving that the Smiths were at your house to create some holiday function and bring a smattering of joy to your world.

    Cole is still a missing piece in the puzzle of my life. His photo looks at me as if he is telling me to not give up on life and the projects that I have in process, although obstacles seem to pop up daily to entertain me.

    Grief is not a spigot that one turns on and off. It is a waterfall that is intense at the top and diminishes as it mixes in the pool at the bottom. I hope that your waterfall is nearing the precipice of decline.

    • cyndetruex December 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Pish i will wait to hear from you!!!! as long as it takes!!!!!

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