The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond



  Takes No Vacation: A Midsummer Rant about Ailing Loved Ones




   KJ Hannah Greenberg




  Gravity takes no vacation on

  weekdays nor does it hold only the worst fire ants hostage. Rather, akin to

  earthly elluvium, it seems to be constituted by built up natural deposits, by

  the frequent pushing and pulling functions of highly caustic happenstance. Sedateness’

  “sediments,” thus, frequently result in unfounded miracles.


  More specifically, people cling.

  Life cycle events like births, weddings, and funerals buoy such resultant scrambling,

  i.e. encourage small groups to struggle for a semblance of moral confidence,

  or, in homage to specters of residual norms, to affix new connections to fresh

  losses. That is, in between mundanities, we tend to create propaedeutical rites

  in order to bolster our turpitudes. Perhaps, it is actually the case that we would

  seek each other more during wee hours, at times when we are most in need of a bath,

  some foot powder, or toothpaste, to build memories that could later be propped

  up by eye sand and body odor, if we didn’t have the fallback of “special life

  episodes” upon which to rely.


  That said, even without sunglasses,

  daybreak gazing can end up being deeply meaningfully. While “forever” might

  seem like a long time, “waiting for sunrise” can feel, occasionally, more protracted.


  In particular, when traveling

  life’s alleged counties, more precisely, when touring its nether regions, especially

  those areas mapped out by intensive care units or by elementary school

  pageants, all of us get transformed into accidental witnesses. It seems that even

  as few persons sing encomia of such passages, many admit to taking pleasure in

  their texture; delight, strangely, in their nights and days of counting minutes

  of regular respiration or of counting stitches for handmade costumes. Otherwise,

  we become quickly wearied.


  Sagacious sorts, in fairness,

  might, alternatively, appreciate that when a loved one is slipping in and out

  of a coma, when smog levels insist on rising, when unplanned pregnancies abound

  among menopausal women, and when teenagers struggle to pass Algebra II, despite

  notes passed back and forth on cell phones, that promotions and paychecks loose

  their relevance. Sure, some smarty pants proffer that harvests’ bounties are

  capable of displacing social cages, especially those of agrarian communities that

  yield not only buckwheat but also loosely gathered prayers, but the greater

  part of the population accepts that what’s important is a first grader remember

  ten words during an assembly or a coronary care patient’s ability to continue

  to wear slippers.


  In brief, whereas joy can be feted by rural air, especially in locales with social

  standards akin to those of European mountain villages, the stuff of creation is

  what continues to awe. The First Wave of feminists, invigorated on select

  hilltops, bought the rights to snigger at the Third Wave, many of whom merely use

  Photoshops  to release the texture of mounds and vales. What’s more, that

  younger generation gets stymied, all rhetorically tongue-tied, when faced with

  a bedpan or a catheter and likely knows nothing about sewing on sequins to

  pajama bottoms.


  Contemporary kids, the ones who

  refuse to appreciate that print was in vogue long before the convergent media

  took over, have little sentiment for nurses’ stations or for well-muscled

  orderlies.  Those youngsters purely carp

  that there’s no stimuli in hospital visitors’ lounges beyond the Game boys,

  iPods and other electronics they’ve lugged along. Further, those initiates

  deign to flaunt their verbs at us oldsters such that our catachreses fail to penetrate

  them. In the world of adolescents, life is smooth moving as long as bytes can

  be downloaded. It’s immaterial, to them, that they substitute icons for proper

  nouns or exchange media heroes for the value of progenitors.


  We grown ups can call and

  respond until all manners of doctors have pulled sheets over corpses, until a

  flat line has been constant for hours, or until we’re overwhelmed with funeral

  arrangements. After all, children are as

  vulnerable to acculturation as we are; gravity does not take vacation during

  midlife or on weekdays.




KJ Hannah "Channie" Greenberg, who only pretends at being indomitable, tramps across literary genres and giggles in her sleep. As well, she eats oatmeal and keeps company with a hibernaculum of sometimes rabid imaginary hedgehogs. Those critters, in turn, take bites out of brooding critics, uncomplimentary readers, and assorted nocturnal terrors.
Her books include: Intelligence’s Vast Bonfires (Lazarus Media, 2012), Supernal Factors (The Camel Saloon Books on Blog, 2012), Fluid& Crystallized (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things (Bards and Sages Publishing, 2012), A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend (Unbound CONTENT, 2011), Oblivious to the Obvious: Wishfully Mindful Parenting (French Creek Press, 2010), Conversations on Communication Ethics (Praeger, 1991), and Watercolors (Scotch& Soda Productions, 1979).

Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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