Jilly D.

Dance me to the end of time

In Mourning, Uncategorized on February 24, 2013 at 6:50 am

Leonard Cohen’s song is an earworm.

“Dance me to the end of time,” he croons.

Flashbacks to dances from my past. Maybe from my future. Til the end of time. A slow song.

The YMCA overlooking the Fox River. Charlie Daniels concert in Stevens Point. The disco ball in Cleo’s on College Avenue. Singing Van Morrison inside the warehouse in the flats. Polka dancing at the 1st Annual Otto Grunsky Bike Race. The Lascivious Ball  in Hyde Park. The Athens sound with R.E.M. and Dixie Chicks. Rockabilly in the Ramada Lounge. Kumas formerly known as the Woodside. Grass Roots.The Rongo.

Madison is still on the bucket list for rooftop rocking. Future August adventure sweating to the oldies?

Sam and I rarely danced. I desperately wanted him to dance me to the end of time. Please, lead. In tempo to the dance of our lives, I expected him to lead.

I could not follow his final steps.

Guilt. I could not follow him by ending my life when he ended his. I never imagined I could go on without him. It’s more than three years and I still can’t fathom one more day without Sam. It happens anyway.

Shame. Why did he do this and leave the stigma on me? Everyone thinks I must be the reason why. No one knows our intimacies or the sexual longings I can hardly control. He’d left me after one of the most passionate and peaceful nights we’d ever spent together. I wanted to be with him.

But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t actualize my suicidal ideations.  I had no reason to continue living without Sam. I lost everything. He defined me.  I desperately wanted to merge my soul with his. Joining him on the other side proved particularly seductive. But I couldn’t self-inflict pain. I sought pain relief.  Sam’s death ripped us physically apart and the open wounds left me very much alive and suffering. How I envied him the restful peace of eternal sleep.

Dancing to the end of time. I dance with Sam in my dreams. I close my eyes and whirl around, snap my fingers, shake my hips. He won’t dance, but he’ll watch. Then grab me around the waist and pull me close as we laugh and he whispers loudly in my ear that he loves me. The wondrous sensation of his passion fills my dream life. When I awake crying, only his dogs lie beside me. Their groans sorrowful.

I dance through the Spruce, Red and White Pine, Ash and Beech trees in the Shindagin Hollow Forest. Warm enough to rain instead of more snow. The dogs and I march into the night and greet the darkness and solitude. The only music here plays in my mind.

Dance me to the end of time.

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  1. Went to a workshop with Marion Woodman in 2007, the summer Vic felt well before cancer returned. I constructed a mask I called “The Lady of Praise and Lament.” I was so in love with Vic. I knew our time was short. There was much dancing at Marion’s workshops, and the song played over and over this time was “Dance Me to the End of Love.” I rocked and swayed, sometimes wearing my mask, ending each solitary dance in tears. I didn’t have the shock you had, Jill, but I resonate with your longing. Not another day without him? Yes, another day and more life to live. Thank you for this lovely piece. When you express your grief, I get to feel mine.

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