Becoming Everything

I really don’t want to start this post with the words, “it has been an awfully long time since I last wrote,” and even less do I wish to write, “it is Thursday, the day of the week that Georg died.”

Be that as it may, it has indeed been a long time and it is indeed the day. Not only that, but pretty soon, in just a little over a month, it will be the actual anniversary of his death. September 26. I am not looking forward to that day, not at all.

Obviously, the immediate pain of death has subsided as the months have passed and new beginnings have begun. I found two galleries in Milwaukee, Timothy Cobb Gallery and Elaine Erickson Gallery, that are soon to merge into one. Together, they are going  to represent Georg. I’ve made some progress on settling the estate, although there is still much to do. Many things in my life have taken an up-turn: my work, my love-life, my health.

So many things are really, really good. Why then, this pervasive, underlying sadness? There seems to be no joy in life that is not also tinged with sorrow. It is like that silky cloth that is maroon when you look at it one way, but if you shift it just a little bit in the light, you find it is flocked with blue. That is how life feels all the time to me: much deep, red happiness, flocked with much blue.  (I thought this fabric is called moiré, but it is not. I looked it up on the Internet and that is something else entirely; a silk with a watery pattern pressed into it. If anyone knows this fabric of which I speak—that changes color when viewed from different angles—please speak up. I would like to know what that is.)

Meanwhile, I was cleaning my house one Saturday morning about two weeks ago in anticipation of my sweetheart’s arrival. I never really clean anything around here unless someone is coming to visit. I wanted to dust, wash the kitchen floor, vacuum, scrub the bathtub, organize the mess. I also wanted to keep a date with my mom to go to the farmer’s market and attend a “meet-and-greet” session at a neighbor’s home given by our next state senator (I hope), Martha Laning.

Georg Vihos, Luminous Feather, c. 2004, 12" x 12", oil on masonite

Georg Vihos, Luminous Feather, c. 2004, 12″ x 12″, oil on masonite

I had so much to do before my friend’s arrival and I was way behind schedule as far as getting my place in shape. I ran outside to pick up the door mats I had removed in order to wash the floor, and sitting on one of the mats was a little black feather. It was just there, resting perfectly, like a gift from another dimension. I’m quite sure it was from Georg and I’m quite sure he was telling me to stop fussing. He wanted me to know that no one would be assessing my house with a white glove. I could relax. I did relax. The feather spoke to me. I listened.

I try really hard not to dwell on the things about Georg’s last months, last days, on the planet that make me infinitely sad. I get these flashes of him in his little apartment, sitting in front of the TV, not doing much, always in pain. Those visions are like a knife in my gut. They physically hurt. I try instead to remember him vibrant and active, but those memories hurt too. Didn’t I start this post by saying that the immediate pain of death has subsided? I guess it really has not, and maybe it never will.

The thing that doesn’t hurt so much is when I remember him because I see a feather on the ground, or a flock of birds pop up out of nowhere and circle around in a graceful arc over a cornfield. Those kinds of things make me happy, because they are indications of the new Georg. The things Georg has become, a little part of Everything.

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