Born in the dark only to die in the dark,a certain amount of darkness is to be
expected in or in between our lifetimes.
I received an email late last night,often a harbinger of acceptance or
rejection, only to learn she’d died.
It used to be that telegrams wouldsuffice for such, letting one weep for
or rejoice a life in peace and quietude.
Then the ubiquitous telephonebrought such news without the
luxury of considering a response.
Modern technology has givenback what had been taken away,
but has removed any spontaneity.
So when I received her sister’smessage and reread the meaning, I
realized I had to carefully respond.
What condolences should be usedwhen the fragility of emailed words
convey so little of oft-studied memories?
Recollections of dual loves long ago,flowered in such youthful exuberance.
yet wilted by thoughtless replacement.
Careful words to her sister; but, for whomam I sorry: the girlfriend who died? - or the
sister, the writer, replaced by her? – or me?
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.