Monday, November 23, 2009

Lost in the night sky ... and a common theme running through lyrics

I was 10 minutes away from the venue where today's meeting was held, when despite following the sat-nav's directions (and leaving home at 06h30) ... something went very awry ... and I ended up driving around Birmingham in what felt like a Groundhog Day ... until I got so upset that I had to pull over to calm down.

Cue - police car.

Then I really bawled.

So much so, that they asked me which hotel I needed to get to ... and then instructed me to follow them ALL THE WAY THERE. Yes, really.

Jesus wept. I was a mess.

So I sorted myself out, bounced into the room (all men) and told them the truth.

They were decent enough NOT to laugh, however, when I offered to drop a couple of them off at the airport when the meeting closed, they hurriedly informed me that they had already decided to take a cab.

The meeting itself was excellent, really productive, and I didn't feel too bad because I had done a lot of pre-work ... in fact all they had covered during my absence were my ideas and slides ... phew.

Coming home was actually fine (meaning I didn't get lost), except that the traffic was tantamount to wading through treacle. So, I ended up stationary for 2.5 hours at the QEII Bridge. Marvellous.

I couldn't stop looking at the beautiful moon and stars - the stars were so so bright. It looked magical - ethereal almost. Just like the night sky when we drove back from the coast a few days before Cliff died.

Having missed the sunset, I wondered if he had arranged the moon and stars for me instead ... the sky was AMAZING and just like that night.

I could almost hear him .... "look at the sky Boo, look at the stars"

and I started screaming, really screaming in my car. Totally lost it. And didn't give a fuck if anyone noticed.

I had music playing LOUDLY, so it's likely that no one heard me screaming. Or if they did, that they assumed music lessons were in order.

And then it started .... I was station-hopping at random and these songs came on - all on different stations, consecutively:

This song was the first ever song that Cliff played for me.

Followed by two songs I had never heard before. Here are the lyrics:

When I think back

On these times

And the dreams

We left behind

I'll be glad 'cause I was blessed to get

To have you in my life

When I look back

On these days

I'll look and see your face

You were right there for me

In my dreams I'll always see you soar

Above the sky

In my heart

There will always be a place

For you for all my life

I'll keep a part of you with me

And everywhere I am

There you'll be

And everywhere I am

There you'll be

Well you showed me

How it feels

To feel the sky

Within my reach

And I always will remember all

The strength you gave to me

Your love made me

Make it through

Oh, I owe so much to you

You were right there for me

'Cause I always saw in you

My light, my strength

And I want to thank you

Now for all the ways

You were right there for me

For always

In my dreams

I'll always see you soar

Above the sky

In my heart

There will always be a place

For you for all my life

I'll keep a part of you with me

And everywhere I am

There you'll be

And everywhere I am

There you'll be

There you'll be

- Faith Hill

I search the ruins of the world I call my own

In hopeless desperation now I make the journey home

I find that everything is not the way it was

You cannot fight the future; no you can't turn back the clock

The rain upon the mountains

The eagle in the sky

And the wolf and raven prowling all around

A broken cross will mark the holy ground

And when I'm gone, the world carries on

And you must carry on too

When I'm not around, time won't stand still

Your memories will always be true

You've got to hold onto the dreams we once shared

Always be together even when I am not there

I'll be beside you every step of every day

Though you cannot see me, feel my presence on the way

- Williams

The screaming turned to sobs, which then turned into sniffles, finally abating.

I felt as though he was there with me. I felt warm again.

But I was to be hit by another wave. A mo-fo tsunami, courtesy of Kings of Leon, with these lyrics:

I've been roaming around

always looking down at all i see

painted faces fill the places i can't reach

you know that i could use somebody

you know that i could use somebody

someone like you

and all you know and how you speak


and it broke me. I realized my heart is not breaking at all. My heart IS BROKEN. Irreparably.

Because there is NO ONE like him on this entire planet. He was the one. He was my one.

All I could see was a crystal clear image of him after I helped him to lay down on the floor straight after his stroke, just before I ran down the stairs to get my phone to call the ambulance. ... when I paused to say, "I love you so so much Cliff," and he responded by telling me that he loved me equally with his eyes, instead of saying the words. I shall never forget his love burning for me - from his very essence and being, all of him ... his heart and soul. All of it, shining through to me so powerfully, from his eyes. Real unconditional selfless love. The last thing he told me. The last thing I told him.

I will never feel the same again, until I run back into his arms. How much longer ... this is torture. It's cruel. I am dying slowly.

People got out of their cars. I was untouchable. Unapproachable. A couple of builders smiled at me and I made my mouth curl up like the Cheshire Cat's. They couldn't see that the smile didn't reach my eyes. I'd imagine all they could see was the fact that I was practically chain-smoking. In my peripheral vision I could see them all calling home, explaining why they were late. And that hurt so much. I wanted to phone him so badly.

Instead I resorted to turning the volume up ... higher and higher.

The final offering was this before I decided to listen to CDs:

Cold Desert - Kings of Leon

I'm on the corner waiting for a light to come on

That's when I know that you're alone

It's cold in the desert, water never sees the ground

Special unspoken without sound

Told me you love me, that I'd never die alone

Hand over your heart

Let's go home

Everyone noticed, everyone has seen the signs

I've always been known to cross lines

I never ever cried when I was feeling down

I've always been scared of the sound

Jesus don't love me, no one ever carried my load

I'm too young to feel this old

Here's to you, here's to me

On to us, nobody knows

Nobody sees, nobody but me

My mind went off at a tangent afterwards ... and a memory came to me. My Dad telling me about his life in India just after WWII. I remember him telling me that the British Army tried (unsuccessfully) for years to ban the tradition of sati and sometimes they used to deploy snipers (well camouflaged) to "put them out of their misery" instead of leaving them to burn to death.
At the time (aged 15) I was totally grossed out by the thought of it.
Today, I'd gladly walk through those flames to get to him. But that's another time, another world, just as my world before losing Cliff was entirely different.
And in that vein, on the anniversary of Cliff's death, January 6th 2010, Vicki and I are walking 8 miles around Knole Park (provided I can get permission ... otherwise we may walk along the coast) to raise funds for those very widows ... the widows who DO have it worse than I. The ones who have no roof, no car, no job. The ones who are outcast by their families and friends. The ones who have to beg for food. The widows in India and Africa.
It humbles and grounds me.
The traffic moves ...


  1. Seems like we are all having a bad time of it these last couple of days. Is it in the air?

    (((HUGS))) <3

  2. it is. It's the night sky, the darkness, the smell of winter, the feel of the air. The fact that the winter evenings generally meant more time together at home. Safe, Xmas coming etc.

    This sucks. HUGS to you hon xx

  3. dark thoughts at night. darker thoughts in the daylight. they take over while in traffic. they rule while you're trying to get groceries or simply breathe. walking for widows in India and Africa is a wonderful thing. walking through fire to get our husbands, i'd do it in a heartbeat.

    i'm glad you got those last words with Cliff. the Dragon's and my last words to each other were "good night. i love you." i pray he didn't hear me scream for him as he lay dying. i'll forever be haunted by the sight of him struck such a low blow.

    again/ dark thoughts. thinking of you. wishing it was all a terrible dream for all of us.

  4. boo, I can so see you there. staring at the moon, marveling at its beauty the way you would marvel at cliff. it hurts my heart.

    while on the plane, that same exact faith hill song played as well. and "use somebody" was the first song i heard after warren's funeral, while his family and i were all packed into a hotel room drinking and talking about him.

    thank you so much for showing me "cold desert" by kings of leon. i am sitting in my living room, midnight, listening to it, and it is hauntingly beautiful. "I'm too young to feel this old." wow.

    just as you are running over that night your head, my mind has been spinning replaying every detail i was given. i wish i could have held warrens hand, looked into his eyes and told him things were going to be okay. my last words spoken to him were, "i wish you were here babe, i love you." over the phone. over thousands of miles apart.

    the pain is like a heavy lead blanket; i wear it alongside yours. i am thinking deeply of you and your love, hoping that you feel his embrace tonight in your sleep. hoping for anything of him for you.

    and you are right. there will never be anyone like him. no one will ever look or touch or love us the way they did. we do not live for this world anymore my friend.


  5. wNs - this time of year is so tough isn't it? And you, Kim and I are all heading toward that one year anniversary. Not to mention the holidays ... I wish it were a bad dream too. I'm glad that we all told them we loved them you know ... it was the last thing that we said to them. We didn't really argue ... we probably had 2 rows in 15 years ... but imagine how bad we'd feel (guilty) if we had said something horrible. Doesn't bear thinking about.

    Kim - I hope that we are not going to keep replaying the "loop" of those last moments again and again ... or is that something that is to be expected coming up to the first year? I don't know. This is unmapped territory for us. We have had a lot of parallels recently - our loves died 6 days apart. You are right ... home is with him <3

  6. Continuing to hold you close my sister....xo