Words For The Weekends

Tell Them (In honor of ‘Walking Dead’ Words for the Weekend)

It took me a while to accept the fact that I am dead. You don’t automatically go to heaven when your young son shoots you. I guess I should be glad you don’t automatically go to hell either.

I don’t feel dead though. And it’s not like anyone tells you, “Hey, guess what! You’re dead now!”

I can still see the world I used to live in. Differently though. I can see more. It’s like being in a room with a thousand televisions, each one airing a different show, only I can watch them all at the same time. But just like television characters, the people I watch can’t hear or see me.

Not usually.

But every once in a while, like wind blowing sheer curtains open, the veil between my current world and my past world rustles and shifts. In those times, I can communicate with my past world.

Right after I died, I was able to make phone calls to my husband Rick. He and I didn’t end on the best of terms. Things were getting better though. We just needed more time. There’s never enough time. Not in that world, not in this one either. There was so much I still wanted to say to Rick, to my son Carl…but they couldn’t hear me; even though I was in the same room, it was like they couldn’t see me. But I needed to tell Rick that I love him, that I forgive him. So I called him on the phone, and he answered. The funny thing about that, is phone service is non-existent in his postapocalyptic zombie-infested world. All the phones are dead. Like me. I don’t understand how it works, how I got through. If I did, I would tell you. I do know that this is one of those times. The veil has shifted between you and me, allowing you to get my message.

Listen carefully. My family and my friends are being held captive in a train car by some really weird folks. I think they’re cannibals, but I can’t be sure. I’m not so worried about my family dying, because I personally know death is not to be feared, but it’s not their time yet. Just as I am still here for a reason, they have a reason too, they have to find a cure. You have to help them find the cure. You have to help save humanity.

All you have to do is find Carol. Tell her there are weapons buried outside the gates of “Terminus.” She will be skeptical, but tell her Sophia is with Lori.  Tell her Daryl loves her. Tell her to hurry. Tell her Hershel says, “we all have our jobs to do.” Tell her to kiss my daughter Judith. She will believe you. You’re not crazy.

We don’t have much time. I can feel the veil closing.

When you find Rick and Carl, tell them I’m not mad. I’m sorry I was not the wife or mother they wanted me to be. I did my best, and I always, always, loved them. I was not perfect, I know. My final months were a purgatory of sorts–I was torn between two men, one I thought dead and one I had come to love. But just because someone turns out not to be dead, doesn’t mean you stop loving the other person. You don’t stop loving after you die either. I’m dead, but I’m still alive. I’m still here. In another purgatory of sorts, this world between two worlds, this waiting room with a thousand televisions. But I’m still here. Death is not the end. Death is just a doorway taking you into another room.

In this room, there are windows, and I can see you all. I’m here, watching. I’m here, alive. I have so much hope for humanity, so much love for you all.

Maybe it’s love keeping me alive?

Maybe love is the cure.

Tell them. Tell them love is the cure. Tell them I love them. Tell them love never dies. Tell them love…cure…tell them…tell them…love…only love…

“Tell Her This” by Del Amitri

***

This piece was written in collaboration with Words for the Weekend: The Whole World is Haunted Now, Vol. 39. Join us (Cayman Thorn, Mary Pierce, Michelle Terry, Jennie/Diddy/CK Hope, and another piece from yours truly) for a special themed volume in honor of tonight’s Season 5 return of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Many of you may remember we did a similar piece back in February where Cayman and Jennie both shared epic pieces for–my favorite volume of Words ever–Words for the Weekend: The Day the World Went Away, Vol. 16.

Comments are closed here, but please come see us at Words and share your thoughts! ~ Christy

Words For The Weekend (This is the Poem of Goodbye), Volume 50

ANNOUNCEMENT: This is the final Words for the Weekend post here at Running On Sober. Words is moving to a new and totally dedicated home: wordsfortheweekend.com. Be sure to bookmark and/or follow the new site if you enjoy this series. Thank you for fifty totally awesome volumes, I am excited about the next fifty — I hope you will join us! (Running On Sober will remain active, but will be going back to a sober-centric focus.)

Somehow, opening and closing with Tom Waits, just feels right. In fact, each work included “just feels right” for our topic of farewell. I hope you enjoy this, our 50th (and this site’s final) volume of Words for the Weekend for the weekend of 10/12/13. After saying “goodbye” here, please come say “hello” at our new home, wordsfortheweekend.com. As always, have a beautiful weekend. ~ Christy

~~~

“I can see by your eyes, it’s time now to go
So I’ll leave you to cry in the rain,
Though I held in my hand, the key to all joy
Honey my heart was not born to be tamed.

So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear
And your tears cannot bind me anymore,
And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes
Can I kiss you, and then I’ll be gone.”

“Old Shoes” (video) performed by Tom Waits on The Early Years, Vol 2 (original version, Old Shoes (and Picture Postcards), from his debut album Closing Time has more of a “band feel” with backing vocals and instruments. I prefer the stripped version from The Early Years, Vol 2, just Tom and a guitar and that beautiful whistle.)

*

“I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
it’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.”

~ “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” (video) by Leonard Cohen on Songs of Leonard Cohen

*

“As I went over to say goodbye I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. … He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

*

“Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings. Leave and don’t look away from the sun as you go, in whose light you’re sometimes crescent, sometimes full. … Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ~ Rumi, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

*

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

*

pooh milne

Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard

*

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

*

“Stories never really end … even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don’t end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” ~ Cornelia Funke, Inkspell

*

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~ Gilda Radner

*

“Somewhere the flower of farewell is blooming.
Endlessly it yields its pollen, which we breathe.
Even in the breeze of this beginning hour we breathe farewell.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Uncollected Poems

*

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” ~ Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

*

“Gravel” (a piece from poem “The Leaf and The Cloud”) – by Mary Oliver

1

When death carts me off to the bottomlands, when I begin the long work of rising—

Death, whoever and whatever you are, tallest king of
tall kings, grant me these wishes: unstring my bones;
let me be not one thing but all things, and wondrously
scattered; shake me free from my name. Let the wind, and
the wildflowers, and the catbird never know it. Let
time loosen me like the bead of a flower from its wrappings
of leaves. Let me begin the changes, let me—

Can you imagine a world without certainty?
The wind rises the wind falls.

The gravels of the world,
the stones of the world
are in their proper places.

The vast, writhing
worms of the sea
are in their places.

The white gulls
on the wet rocks
are in their places.

is certainty.

2

Ben sluices through the ferns, hound-smart.
The bracken up to his neck.
He breaks from the wood and gallops over the field.
The sass of his voice rises—

(Death that slow swim,
death that long walk over the dunes,
death that bleached clamshell. . . .)

and the rabbits scatter.
(Oh, heart, I would not dangle you down into
the sorry places,
but there are things there as well
to see, to imagine.)

3

Even the mosquito’s
dark dart,
flashing and groaning;
even the berries, softening back
into the black bog;
even the wood duck’s
white-circled eye,

and the first white lilies
on the shaggy pond,

and the big owl, shaking herself
out of the pitchpines,

even the turtle scratching in the dust,
even the black ant, climbing the mile-high hill,

even the little chattering swift
diving down into the black chimney.

Everything is participate.
Everything is a part of the world
we can see, taste, tickle, touch, hold onto,

and then it is dust.
Dust at last.
Dust and gravel.

In the distance, the rabbit-field.
Ben—his face in the grass, his chomping.
His sweet, wild eyes.

4

Are you afraid?
The ear of corn knows whereof it is plucked.

Are you afraid?
The wind moves this way and that way, something
is pushing it.

Are you afraid?
Somewhere a thousand swans are flying
through the winter’s worst storm.

They are white and shining, their black beaks
open a little, the red tongues flash.

Now, and now, and now, and now their heavy wings
rise and fall as they slide across the sky.

5

Goodbye to the goldfinches
in their silver baskets.
Goodbye to the pilot whales, and the curl of their spines
in the crisp waves.
Goodbye to the grasshopper.
Goodbye to the pond lilies, the turtle with her
cat’s head.
Goodbye to the lion’s mane floating in the harbor
like a spangled veil.

Goodbye to the moon uprising in the east.
Goodbye to the going forth, and coming home.
Goodbye to the going forth, and holding on, and worrying.
Goodbye to the engine of breath.

The knee sings its anguish.
The ears fill with the sound of ringing water.
The muscles of the eyes pull toward sleep.

Goodbye to the swaying trees.
Goodbye to the black triangles of the winter sea.
Goodbye to oranges, the prick of their fragrance.
Goodbye to the fox sparrow,
goodbye to the blue-winged teal.
Goodbye to lettuce, and the pale turnip,
and the gatherings of the rice fields.
Goodbye to the morning light.
Goodbye to the goldfinches
and their wavering songs.

Slowly
up the hill,
like a thicket of white flowers,
forever is coming.

6

It is the nature of stone
to be satisfied.
It is the nature of water
to want to be somewhere else.

Everywhere we look:
the sweet guttural swill of the water
tumbling.
Everywhere we look:
the stone, basking in the sun,

or offering itself
to the golden lichen.

It is our nature not only to see
that the world is beautiful

but to stand in the dark, under the stars,
or at noon, in the rainfall of light,

frenzied,
wringing our hands,

half-mad, saying over and over:

what does it mean, that the world is beautiful—
what does it mean?

The child asks this,
and the determined, laboring adult asks this—

both the carpenter and the scholar ask this,
and the fisherman and the teacher;

both the rich and the poor ask this
(maybe the poor more than the rich)

and the old and the very old, not yet having figured it out,
ask this
desperately

standing beside the golden-coated field rock,
or the tumbling water,
or under the stars—

what does it mean?
what does it mean?

7

The high-piled plum-colored storm-heavy clouds
are approaching.
The fly mumbles against the glass.

This is the world.

The hot little bluebirds in the box are getting ready to fly.
This is the world.

The sweet in the parsnip
waits for our praise.

The dragonfly lives its life
without a single error, it also
waits for our praise.

The pale-green moths are pressing
against the screen, fluttering, they are
dying to get in to press their papery bodies
into the light.

This is the world.

8

Listen, I don’t think we’re going to rise
in gauze and halos.
Maybe as grass, and slowly.
Maybe as the long-leaved, beautiful grass

I have known, and, you have known—
or the pine tree—
or the dark rocks of the zigzag creek
hastening along—

or the silver rain—

or the hummingbird.

9

I look up
into the faces of the stars,
into their deep silence.

10

This the poem of goodbye.
And this is the poem of don’t know.

My hands touch the lilies
then withdraw;

my hands touch the blue iris
then withdraw;

and I say, not easily but carefully—
the words round in the mouth, crisp on the tongue—

dirt, mud, stars, water— I know you as if you were myself.

How could I be afraid?

~ “Gravel” by Mary Oliver, from The Leaf and The Cloud (for preview)

*

“Bukowski Says Goodbye” (video) — by Charles Bukowski

I hope I haven’t bored you too much.
Poetry tends to bore.
I know it bores me.
It makes me miserable
Reading it or listening to it
I guess that’s why I could never quit writing it
Because, I just, well hell, I thought it wasn’t being done right or the way I felt it should.
Ego, I don’t know, hell.
Anyhow the stuff makes me miserable.

I think the true artists must be elsewhere riding bicycles in the hidden hills.
I don’t know.
With a bag of all-American hamburgers.
I don’t know.
Anyhow…

Bukowski going, goodnight babies…

This is an advertisement from the edge, from the edge, edge, edge, edge, edge! …

This is, hahahahaha, this is Bukowski saying goodbye all over again.

Uh huh, goodbye babies, goodbye, goodbye, mmm hmmm, goodbye now.

(This reminds me of when I talk to my little girl over the phone.
Goodbye
I say goodbye…
God, it goes on and and on.
But we’re not like
That
Are we?)

Alright, goodnight, hang in, what the hell.

Bye. Goodbye! Jeez-us…

~ “Bukowski Says Goodbye” by Charles Bukowski from King of Poets

*

“There are things I’ve done I can’t erase
I want to look in the mirror see another face
I said, “never”, but I’m doing it again
I wanna walk away, start over again …

There’s a winner in every place
There’s a heart that’s beating in every page
The beginning of it starts at the end
When it’s time to walk away and start over again”

~ “Walk Away” (video) by Tom Waits on Orphans

*

But this is not really goodbye. This is, simply, time for our series “to walk away and start all over again” over at its new home, Wordsfortheweekend.com. In fact, you are cordially invited to attend the “grand-opening” shindig next weekend, just RSVP by clicking here and hitting the little follow button on the right-hand side. It’s going to be an awesome first-edition, complete with special guests–I’m giddy with excitement!–please join us.

Thank you so much for making this series such a success, I have loved sharing with you here. I am excited about the open road ahead.

Like the beginning of a new book, page upon page beckons and promises opportunity and adventure. Let’s begin, shall we?

I hope I haven’t bored you too much.

Uh huh, goodbye babies, goodbye, goodbye, mmm hmmm, goodbye now. 

Alright, goodnight, hang in, what the hell.

~~~

You may also enjoy these past “Words For The Weekend” Volumes:

We begin anew at the new Words for the Weekend.com. Click now and join us!

Words For The Weekend (Squeaky Clean and Sober Edition), Volume 49

ANNOUNCEMENT: Words for the Weekend will soon be moving to a new and dedicated home: wordsfortheweekend.com. Be sure to bookmark and/or follow the new site if you enjoy this series. 

~~~

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 10/5/13 (Volume 49). I hope you enjoy them too. This week’s topic is alcohol and sobriety. All persons* quoted found sobriety after alcoholism or alcohol abuse, and, while they have publicly shared their experiences, I do not know if everyone (alive) is currently sober — it is my great hope that they are. (*I do not know if poet Barton Sutter has ever been in recovery, though his poem “Sober Song” will surely speak to anyone who has ever said goodbye to alcohol.)

I am proud to share the poetry of Leigh Ann Kyle from Paper Plane Pilots. Leigh Ann is a gifted writer and artist, and she now has over four months of sobriety. My best wishes and my gratitude to Leigh Ann for allowing me to share her work.

***

“Well, my money’s no good when I’m up to no good
No good ever comes from it, honest
I got a really good heart
I just can’t catch a break
If I could I’d treat you like you wanted me to I promise
But I’m fractured from the fall
And I wanna go home
I’m fractured from the fall
And I wanna go home
But it takes two when it used to take one”

“Two” performed by Ryan Adams on Easy Tiger.  Video HERE.

*

“All the things that she’d suspected
I’d expected her to fear
Was the truth that drew her to me when I landed here
There’s a man who walks beside me
he is who I used to be
And I wonder if she sees him and confuses him with me
And I wonder who she’s pinin’ for
on nights I’m not around
Could it be the man who did the things
I’m living down?”

“Live Oak” performed by Jason Isbell on Southeastern.  Video HERE.

*

“That one started as a worry that I had when I cleaned my life up, decide to be a grown-up, you know? I worried about what parts of me would go along with the bad parts, because it’s not cut and dried. It’s not like you make the right decision, and everything’s great, and you’re a better person for it. You are, you know, at least 51 percent better, but there are some things that are lost forever, and that’s just a fact of it. You know, everything is not better.

I was concerned with that, and I was concerned with my relationship not only with my wife but with a lot of people who, in some way, had been attracted to me or, you know, charmed by me or just liked me in general. I was thinking, well, what do they like? You know, do they like that guy? Do they like – what combination of those two guys are going to make those folks stay in my life? Luckily, most of the people that I really cared about were there for me. And I think at the core, I still have the same values. I just actually behave according to those values now a lot more.” ~ Jason Isbell, speaking about his song Live Oak and sobriety, in an interview with NPR

*

“I can choose to accelerate my disease to an alcoholic death or incurable insanity, or I can choose to live within my thoroughly human condition. … Alcohol is a very patient drug. It will wait for the alcoholic to pick it up one more time.” ~ Mercedes McCambridge

*

“It (rehab) was the best thing that ever happened to me. … It was great. I loved it. Because I was ready. Problem is, people go into rehab and they’re not ready. You want to get sober for your parents, you want to get sober for your job, you want to get sober for the cops, you want to get sober to protect your image. A lot of good reasons, by the way, but unfortunately, the only thing that works is that you have to want to get sober for you. So, I was ready. And so if they told me, ‘Hey, Lowe, you’ve got to go stand in the corner on your head,’ I would have done it.” ~ Rob LoweStories I Only Tell My Friends

*

“My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart.” ~ Jamie Lee Curtis

*

“I used to be a pretty serious drinker. Heavy in defiance of knowing my family situation, which is chock-full of alcoholism. For a long time I was a functional alcoholic, though it never got in the way of my work. But it affected relationships. I never killed anybody, but I made people unhappy, including myself and people who are extremely important to me, like my kids. It’s easy to say I had a wonderful time and a lot of great years, and I did. There were some bad times, too. So that was not a major give-up. That time was due.” ~  Brian Dennehy

*

“There’s an uncanny thing that chemically happens to you when you’re in the chronic stages of alcoholic drinking. I have been able, on occasions, to have two bottles of vodka and still be up talking to people. That got very frightening. By nature I’m an isolationalist, so my boozing was at home, thank you. I was not a goer-outer. I mean, I didn’t drink for the taste and I didn’t want to be social. Someone once described alcoholics as egomaniacs with low self-esteem. Perfect definition.” ~ Gary Oldman

*

“I’m not gonna lie. I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using, like a lot of teens do to numb their pain. … ‘Sober is Sexy’ is my new motto, and it couldn’t be more true! All you need to have fun in life is a great attitude and good friends. I’ve made a commitment to myself to live a happy, healthy life the best way I know how, and I want to spread the message that you don’t need to do drink or do drugs to have fun.” ~ Demi Lovato

*

“Staying sober is a daily challenge. I mean, my problem now is not, ‘Oh God, I’m gonna leap over that bar and grab some Cognac,’ or go out and try to find out where you score smack round here. And I’m sure I could do it within 90 minutes if I needed to … It’s much more about not getting resentful about things. Really, it’s a spiritual thing. It’s accepting that however important you think your problems are, you play a part in those problems. And probably one of the things you should look at is not being so self-involved.” ~ Russel Brand

*

“I am an alcoholic. I know people who have abused alcohol and now they can have one (drink) and they’re fine and I respect that. I’d love to have a glass of wine, but what if I have another, then another? My life is too important for me to risk that. … I just realized that drinking was counterproductive to what I was trying to do. Acting is very difficult in weird ways. You’d have to get to class by 8 a.m., work all day, rehearse all night, and it’s not really good to do when you’re hung over. I’d wanted to be an actress my whole life. That was my goal; that was all I cared about. Something had to go, so I chose drinking to go.” ~ Kristin Davis

*

“Yeah, all the experts say that you’ve got to surrender, but fortunately I was tired. I had reached that place where I could honestly say to myself, ‘I’ve tried everything else — may as well give this a shot.’ … The irony is I never got to taste Cristal. Back then, Moët was my champagne of choice. Now I get sent crates of Cristal, and I ain’t never tasted the stuff. Ain’t that a bitch?” ~ Samuel L. Jackson

*

“I knew I had to change my life. But addiction is a fucking tricky thing. I think I relapsed within…three weeks? And within a month, it had ramped right back to where it was before. That’s what really freaked me out. That’s when I knew: Either get help, or I am going to die. …  As a father, I want to be here for things. I don’t want to miss anything else.” ~ Eminem

*

“Basically, I took an honest look at myself and at my actions, and was horrified and felt like I couldn’t forgive or live with myself. I wanted to blow my brains out. I checked myself into a second psych ward, and that was when it dawned on me that suicide was not the answer. … I was locked up in the psych ward with two weeks on my hands. Some people came in and talked about how they stayed sober and it stuck. They gave me the idea that getting sober was something that could be done and that I had to do it.”  ~ Stephen Glover (Steve-O), Steve-O: Professional Idiot

*

Sober Song – by Barton Sutter

Farewell to the starlight in whiskey,
So long to the sunshine in beer.
The booze made me cocky and frisky
But worried the man in the mirror.

Good night to the moonlight in brandy,
Adieu to the warmth of the wine.
I think I can finally stand me
Without a glass or a stein.

Bye-bye to the balm in the vodka,
Ta-ta to the menthol in gin.
I’m trying to do what I ought to,
Rejecting that snake medicine.

I won’t miss the blackouts and vomit,
The accidents and regret.
If I can stay off the rotgut,
There might be a chance for me yet.

So so long to God in a bottle,
To the lies of rum and vermouth.
Let me slake my thirst with water
And the sweet, transparent truth.

“Sober Song” by Barton Sutter, from Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey. © BOA Editions, 2004.

*

SQUEAKY CLEAN – by Leigh Ann Kyle of Paper Plane Pilots

You know,
I really do
laugh
about it,

all those days
wasting this brain,
sucking down
drinks, sipping
in smoke, drowning
all doubts of
ever
being understood.

Oh no,
I’m going to laugh
my way to
you,
without any more
excuses.

Tell me.

Why wouldn’t I?
Now I’ve got
everything to live
for
and little old
habits
to lose.

Not even
all the temptation
staring at
me,
this side of the
sun—

No.

Not even
enough booze
to satisfy Keith
Moon
could change
my resolution.

You’ll hear me,
all the way,
laughing
towards you.
I won’t keep you
waiting.

If I only knew my
home has been
hiding,
behind those
dark
eyes and pure
intentions,
I would have
laughed so
hard,

fallen through this
hopeless
sea
I’ve deemed
“Life,”
and landed
in your
lap
years ago.

Squeaky Clean” by Leigh Ann Kyle. Leigh Ann blogs at Paper Plane Pilots. Reprinted with permission of Ms. Kyle.

~~~

You may also enjoy these past “Words For The Weekend” Volumes: