The idea for this trip came together as a reaction against the small and pitiful feelings I had when I was asked what I was planning to do on 20 October – what would have been my wedding anniversary.
I billed the trip the Kick Back Against Misery Tour – and have been feeling proud of myself for taking such a bold step in the face of the oncoming melancholy. In the days leading up to the trip, however, I have found myself thinking differently about that approach. It’s not that I regret it, not that I’m not pleased that to be here. But I feel that while there is a need for big gestures, for those kick back, valiant moments, I have feeling of resistance to the idea that these gestures, these actions in the face of the misery could in any way negate or supersede the awfulness of what happened. I think what I am resistant to is both the fact that somehow what happened could be superseded in some way by the experiences and life that comes after it.
I’m enjoying sitting here in this coffee shop – Reveille Coffee Co on 200 Columbus – I’m excited that for the next few weeks I am going to be traveling and writing in America. I’m excited about my writing projects and keen to get going with others. But as a good life emerges from the rubble of loss, how do I honour Mark and that part of me that wants to scream and wail over the defacement of what was such a beautiful life? Mark mattered to me, our life together mattered to me, and I know that the pain of losing him is not something to skate over, to try and short circuit. I’m going to go to Detroit in just over a week – I’ve heard people say of Detroit, as I have heard them say of Greece, that there are great things happening there. But how do we hold the reality that there is also great suffering, great loss?
Moving on seems to be based on a re-evaluation or a re-affirming of what is important in life. If my life with Mark was important enough to mourn, and life still has value now, then how to live it with that in mind? What does matters in life?