Jul 23 2013

An Angel Takes Flight

Category: AddictionsPatricia @ 5:39 pm

Pre-Flight

 

Jane made a splash. A big one. She was a flashy, splashy woman and I was honored to call her my friend. She had a mane of flaming red hair which at times reached to her waist and was her crowning glory – her trademark. Damn, it was as vibrant at 60 as it was at 16! It was one of Jane’s statements. At her best, tall, thin and statuesque with legs that went on forever, she could have stepped out of the pages of Vogue. But Jane wasn’t always at her best. But who among us, can say they are always at their best? She had some demons. We all do. Sadly, Jane’s demons had a thirst for alcohol.

Years may have passed between contacts, but time stood still in the space of sister-friends. We met in high-school and were semi-roommates during college in Boston. She lived in a studio apartment on the floor below me and the other sisters. Life happened. I met my husband and moved to California. Jane went to New York City to become a production director.  Visits were sporadic but the connection remained. In the past 8 years, it blossomed.

That connection is linked to a little cottage on the Connecticut shore – a symbol of childhood and roots with the past. I visited the cottage at the beginning of summer. Usually a time with the promise of long lazy days and starlit nights, now a time of ending.  It feels so wrong. Jane is gone. Tragically, she passed at the beginning of the year. We all knew it was coming. A freight train out of control, we didn’t know how to stop it. A little time bomb of pain in a bottle. Her beautiful body ravaged by the years of too much… There was a fall, an ambulance and life support. Then there was no more. We all knew Jane did not want to get old.

We gathered on East Dock to scatter her ashes where the current keeps the seaweed away. The site of many midnight skinny-dips and daytime dives, it is a childhood sacred space.  We remembered Jane perched on one of the pilings preparing to dive. Always in a bikini and wearing it well. Wind-blown hair. Graceful, elegant beauty. Summer in New England.  Her favorite season. Her favorite place. Her people. We set about our sad task of letting her go.

Annie placed the ribbon-wrapped box on the piling. We cried. When Jane’s ashes were tossed, for a very long moment, they appeared to be suspended in air – a farewell dive – an angel taking flight. There was form that rode the current of the air and then there was a splash. A big one. And for a moment, the bits of matter that remained of Jane’s form lay upon the sacred waters that she loved so much. And then she was gone. Gone from our sight but not gone. We are eternal. In Hafiz’s poem, God’s Bucket, we are told,

Your existence my dear, O love my dear, has been sealed and marked, “Too sacred,” “too sacred,” by the Beloved – to ever end!

Indeed God has written a thousand promises all over your heart that say,

Life, life, life; is far too sacred to ever end.”

Our spirit may be eternal, however, as physical beings, we leave behind physical things. The cottage and all its contents remains. Waiting to be re-claimed.  Along with the sister-friends, I visited Jane’s closet. I could remember her wearing these things as we visited on the porch or while she was throwing one of her extravagant, sumptuous dinner parties.   I was delighted to retrieve a few things, a little piece of her.  And when I wear them, she’s with me. We had a fine time in Palm Springs. We wore a pair of floral-patterned sheer pants with an ivory top and drank a martini.  I loved Jane. I loved her light and her shadow. She passed away too young after a life of raising hell and doing good, loving deeds.

As we travel the circle of life, we are never alone. Relationships are forever. Once you establish a relationship, it is an eternal relationship. In a lifetime, people come and go. Some stay to leave little footprints on your heart. Be mindful of the gift of their presence before they dance away.

God’s Bucket by Hafiz

If this world was not held in God’s’ bucket

How could an ocean stand upside down on its head and never lose a drop?

If your life was not contained in God’s cup

How could you be so brave and laugh, dance in the face of death?

Hafiz, there is a private chamber in the soul that knows a great secret of which no tongue can speak.

Your existence my dear, O love my dear, has been sealed and marked, “Too sacred,” “too sacred,” by the Beloved – to ever end!

Indeed God has written a thousand promises all over your heart that say,

Life, life, life; is far too sacred to ever end.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply