Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rainy night music...

"If I could through myself set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light and to the day..."

Just a bit ago, as I was working on some notes for a project, U2's "Bad" came up on the Pandora station. I realized I hadn't heard this song in some time and found even more appreciation for it (and I already loved it). The energy, the frustration, the sadness, the elation, the crescendo...amazing.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"...we can know many things that are very hard to bear"

Since my brother died, I've had this urge to wrap everyone I love in bubble wrap. (Not really, but you get my point.) Anyway, connected to that, I just had to share this "Quote for the Day" from The Dish. Marilynne Robinson is a longtime favorite of mine, and this quotation really speaks to me:

“I think one of the poignant things about human beings is that they’re so undefended, physically. And that there’s an absolute relationship between that defenselessness and everything that’s impressive about them. I think a lot of us would like to be turtles and porcupines, and I think that in a way one of the impulses of human beings is to defend themselves in a way that nature did not. But I think the other impulse is to just love the experience with nothing to protect oneself, and actually feeling in fact no barrier. People know about their mortality in a way that we can’t know that any animal knows. They know about Earth being a ball in space. Intelligence of the high human sort could be translated as defenselessness, because we can know many things that are very hard to bear,” – Marilynne Robinson, in an interview included in A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This guy...

Today's been a rough day for a lot of reasons. But for a lot of other reasons, it should have been a good day: I got a ton of work done, I got a good long walk in, I had a great conversation with Rita on her birthday. But yeah...I was still feeling pretty bad.

Then this guy jumped up, curled himself around my arm, and fell asleep. He doesn't usually sit with me like this. He'll lay on me when I am on the couch or in bed, but he isn't big on lap--or lap desk--sitting. But he jumped on up and made me smile. I'm still a bit glum, but he's good for what ails me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"A nice day on the water"

For a number of reasons, yesterday was kind of rough. My parents sent a picture of the marker that has recently been installed at Ryan's grave. It looks nice enough, but that image and what it represents sent me (and the rest of the family) into some dark moments. I still click on the link to his online obituary and sometimes click through all the pictures. Last night, I found myself wanting more and did a google search for my brother's name. His name is relatively common (lots more Ryan Hanrahans than Heidi Hanrahans, for instance), so there were lots of hits, but other than copies of his obituary, nothing came up that was about/by/for him. After all, Ryan never did Facebook or had much of an online presence. Then I added the phrase "Rocky Point" and came across this link. It's just one post on a fishing site, but there's no doubt that Ryan wrote it.

"I took the kayak out this evening and did very well with bluefish with poppers on the fly. The fish were blitzing in schools about half an acre in size. I put down the fly rod and drifted below the surface with a spro bucktail and scored a 43 inch bass. my penn 4300 drag assembly blew apart during his first run but managed to land him after a long battle. It was a nice day on the water."

The entry is dated August 9, 2003...over 11 years ago. He would have been 28. I would have been about to turn 26. He was living with my parents and working in landscaping. I was in graduate school in Greensboro. I keep trying to remember more about what he was like then.What was our relationship like then? Was this a stretch when he was happy? It seems like it was. How did he feel about himself and his life then? What did he think about as he was out on the water? Why didn't he post on the site again? I wish there was more to read. More glimpses of him like this, doing what he used to love doing so much. There wasn't much fishing in the last years of his life, something that I always found so sad and frustrating.

But I do have this little paragraph to hold onto, a time when he was happy enough to actually write about it and share it. For that I am grateful.