Friday, June 20, 2008


After receiving the "I Love You" Series, I received seven more images, either drawn on the front side of envelopes which were addressed on the back side, or as part of handwritten letters. I believe that most of these drawings arrived in the early days of RTN's time in Vietnam. We wrote a letter to each other every day that he was gone. Ten months after he returned from Vietnam, we separated for a second and final time, remaining friends. Not long after that, I burned the approximately 335 letters he had sent from Vietnam, saving only his drawings. I knew that if I carried those letters with me, I would never go on with my life. Nevertheless, the grief that followed that separation lasted a long, long time. As hard as I tried, I never completely went on with my life. I'm still working on that, only now beginning to feel the holy ground beneath my feet again.


It reads like a fairytale
and that's what it was
Young man in his prime
young girl from the cross
The most perfect of strangers
and then the night closed in
and the holy ground took care of everything

Now she was a fine one
and he was a handsome man
One look was enough
and away they ran
They spend many happy hours
and then the night closed in
and the holy ground took care of everything

Oh what's the use in complaining
In for a penny in for a pound
I remember the loving time
and nothing else really counts

And I recall the promise they made
With a faith I can but admire
That she'd be the one he adored
and he'd be her hearts desire

It didn't come true in the end
they went their separate ways
He couldn't change what he was
she wasn't ready to wait
They couldn't live in the daylight
they let the night close in
and the holy ground took care of everything

I remember the loving time
and nothing else really counts

(Lyrics by Noel Brazil, sung by Mary Black -- If you'd like to listen to a clip, scroll down here)

A view of today:


Anonymous said...

I keep thinking of my relationship with N when I read these entries. We are in the middle of it, of course, and it has not been marked by drugs and Vietnam as has your experience. But it feels somehow similar to your experience. I don't know. Whatever happens, he has changed me forever in ways my ex-husband never did. It's hard to explain, maybe why my retrospective moves in such fits and starts. But when I read these entries and see these images, I'm moved to write again.

cbb said...

Am, this post left me with so many thoughts. I cannot help but wonder if perhaps you have ALWAYS been 'on holy ground.' For me, mid-life in particular seems to be a perpetual test of faith in What Is, a test of my capacity to accept that there is a Larger Logic to my life than what any given circumstances may suggest in the moment. What if, for instance, RTN had bound your life to his with unfulfillable promises of his recovery? That might have been an unendurable torment for you, and might have destroyed you in the end.

Having said that, how could I ever argue that even witnessing from afar the self-destruction of a precious soul could be said to occur on holy ground? To me it is one of the great insoluble mysteries - the suffering of someone who cannot in any way be said to deserve the pain.

Finally, sometimes I think it can be harder to witness the pain of someone we love than to merely endure pain ourselves. May the holy ground beneath your feet hold you and guide you and protect you as you continue in the new morning of your life...

R.L. Bourges said...

I love the link you make between the drawing (looks like embroidery) and the view of the green present. healing strength to you, am

Dale said...