Love, Eclipsing

December 22nd, 2008

Loretta was a fashionable woman, even in her 70’s.  She rose early in the mornings, and enjoyed sitting for an hour or two at her vanity with a collection of brushes, tubes, and powders, sipping coffee, and humming along to show  tunes.  I used to lay on her bed, with its orange and red Indian cover and mounds of tasseled pillows, listening to her talk about leaving home at 14 to become a vaudeville dancer.  She never got famous, but she did get married.  “Oh, that’s a whole other story, sweetheart, do you think this red is too red?  I can’t decide.”

There were moments, watching her bejeweled and blue-veined hands play upon her face, or sweep dramatically through the air, that something in me shook loose from the roots of humanness.  A feeling so expansive that it ached to break through human constraints.

It’s the rarest of all feelings.  It’s more than love, and higher than compassion –- it’s wanting to burst into a body of light, leaving off the drag of time and the pain of humanness –- an excess of tenderness that aches to burst through the scratch and dent of words and other barriers.

For a moment, I wanted to set Loretta apart from the certainty of aging and death, and still the hands that slightly trembled.  For just a moment, I wanted to free myself from the impending pain of another empty space, another lost connection which memory alone could never ease.

There have been other moments when love soared out of bounds.  The day Elisabeth read poetry at her grade school in a whispered voice.  Her words, so beautifully thought-out and deeply felt, flowed through the crowded auditorium and beat in my heart like a primitive drum.  Mother-daughter, me-her:  the most ancient and perfect of all loves.  I wanted to lift her above the distracted crowd and the spattering of applause into some sort of sanctuary.  Mother-daughter, me-her, a sacred bond.

There was a woman I knew only by her loss, and a want for justice that no one cared to serve.

There have been children who should have been loved by those who brought them into the world, but who tragically were not.

My own son, MacKenzie, seven years old and fresh from the shower, wearing a gap-toothed smile, and a razor nick on his chin from his first shave.

A once-upon-a-time lover, standing at the kitchen sink, lost in her own thoughts and smiling to herself for no apparent reason.

Friends and daughters, mothers and sons, lovers and near strangers –- rare moments when love eclipses even itself.  I don’t know of anything holier, more sacrosanct, or perfectly human to celebrate.

Happy holidays.

19 Responses to “Love, Eclipsing”

  • Wow.
    And I love the word: me-her. LOVE it.
    Cheers Jane.
    Happy Holidays!

  • Another WOW.

    I don’t think I’ve ever articulated that feeling you describe, not even to myself. Then you ponder it, call it out, and elevate it to something so real and universal.


    Happy Holidays to you and all my fellow Jane groupies!

  • Count me among the groupies. I always want to fall into these gorgeous words and stay there a good long time.

  • Personal? Yes. Too personal? Nope. Universal personal? Yup!

    I think all of virtual Jane groupies should elect Jane to choose the new celebration of winter, humanity v. materialism, meaningful personal relationships and the moments that make them what they should be, not the derision and humiliation that has taken over.

    I’ve experienced that moment of bursting into a body of light, Jane. In and of itself it never extinguishes itself, but the hair shirt of the physical world certainly snuffs out the moment. Thankfully the moment lives within, never forgotten, and each of us are elevated to a higher level forevermore.

    Those moments are the ones I hang in my head and light my candles with while others go for their wallets and harden their hearts as they jostle the rest of humanity and get more irritable by the moment.

    I’m celebrating my collection of light orbs alone this year, and I’ve found I haven’t grumbled once.

    Thank you, Jane! You are a new gift in my life this year!

    Happiness and joyousness to Jane and each of us in Jane’s World!

  • Believe me, I have no groupies, only friends. If I did have groupies, they’d offer to take the dogs for a walk when it’s 19 below zero. My friends — all of you — might lend me your hat. :-)

  • Beautiful, Jane! And Happy Holidays to you!!

  • Nice…Happy Holidays Jane!

  • Oh yes … Happy Holidays, Jane.


  • Thank you again, Jane! Your words stir my heart when it needs stirring. Happy Holidays, my friend!

    Love, Eclipsing…fantastic~!
    Thankyou…its been one of those mornings that just got a whole lot better after reading this~!

  • [sigh]
    now THAT is how to keep warm in 19 below weather….
    lovely lovely, Jane

  • Awesome, once again. Thank you, it was just what I needed when I needed it :o) It was a ’spingle’

    Proud to call myself a Jane groupie!

  • Celebrate Jane, I have a feeling your new year will be bountiful. YOur words are inspiring.

  • Happy Hanukkah, Jane! Here’s to wishing you and everyone here many moments of Love, Eclipsing in the New Year.

  • Here’s to your health, warmth and great joy for the new year! Thank you for creating such beautiful pieces with ordinary words—-

  • It is good to have friends and it is good to share them. thank you for sharing yourself so generously. This was a beautiful post and a very difficult-to-descibe awareness. You nailed it.

    Holiday Blessings to you and yours.

  • Happy Hanukkah!

  • Blessings.
    Your precisely-right words are blessings to me.
    I send loving, healing, warm blessings to you.

  • An excess of tenderness. Yes, that’s exactly what it is.

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